The studio is now closed. Thank you all for everything! The community lives on at the Agilistry Meetup Group!
So Long, and Thanks for All the Stickies
We opened the doors to the studio in January 2010. We called it a "practice space" and intended it to be a place where software development professionals could sharpen their saws and practice their craft.
By all possible measures, we succeeded wildly at that: in the last 3 years, we've hosted 30 meetups, 4 intense multi-day community events including the Agile Up to Here series, and numerous public and private classes and workshops.
We would not have had that success without you.
The Agilistry community is full of bright, thoughtful, articulate, curious, passionate folks. Although we expected to reach people locally, we were delighted to welcome people from around the world. Visitors from all over the globe have made a special point of including Pleasanton on their itinerary just so they could come to the studio. We thank you all so very much for your encouragement and support. It's been such a fantastic three years.
However, whenever someone asked how the studio was going we were honest: it's been a great community success, but not a financial success. When we opened our doors, we envisioned a bustling center of activity hosting events every week. The plan was to host community events for free, and support that with commercial classes. Unfortunately, reality did not match that vision.
The commercial public events we needed to fund the studio proved difficult to sell. We believe there are a few reasons for this. Public commercial events are not selling all that well in general. We aren't a dedicated marketing organization, so we were not as aggressive in our marketing as we could have been. Further, our location turned out to be a deterrent. Pleasanton is at the edge of the San Francisco Bay Area and a bit of a trek for most people. Although the studio is in a charming and very walkable downtown area, it is not particularly accessible via public transportation.
Whatever the reasons, the facts remain: we were not a commercial success. As a result, the costs associated with running the studio have far outstripped the revenue that the studio brought in for all three years that we've been open.
We absorbed the costs for three years because we believed having the space was important. Fortunately, the consulting side of our business was strong enough to sustain the studio.
Toward the end of every year, I take a step back to evaluate my company's direction. This year, I had to do some very deep soul searching. Just because we could cover the costs of the studio didn't mean it was the right thing to do for the company as a whole.
I realized that while the costs are all for a physical space with windows and whiteboards and modular furniture, the real value is in the community that gathers here. Without the community the studio is just an open room. With the community, it's a creative haven. The community is the heart and soul of Agilistry.
Furthermore, the community is global. Distributed. Present in spirit more than in person.
So the studio part of Agilistry is closing at the end of November. We'll have one final meetup here, and then we'll need to find another venue.
But Agilistry isn't a place. It's a tribe. It can't close. You are part of it. You can still find us gathering in the Agilistry Meetup group.
My heartfelt thanks,