Reality Check – 1998

I was in the throes of the new job at Cygnus, where I had been for two months, when I found out about two events:

1. My team at Sun was broken up. The manager took a few of them with him as he founded Scriptics, which was later changed to Ajuba and acquired by Interwoven. The rest of the Tcl team had 3 months to find another job within Sun, or they would be laid off.

2. Claris was renamed to FileMaker, Inc. All of the non-FileMaker personnel were let go. Some of the products, like ClarisWorks, were brought into Apple (ClarisWorks was renamed to AppleWorks, not causing any confusion whatsoever). A lot of my friends no longer had jobs; most of my FileMaker friends did have jobs, but they were shell-shocked. Steve Jobs had a closed door meeting with them, and evidently, forced people to not take notes about it. At least some of the hurdles of being a subsidiary of Apple were worked out; FileMaker badges would open Apple buildings from that point forward, for example. But still. Lots of people without work; lots of survivor’s guilt.

This all happened in a 10-day period. It hit me hard emotionally initially, but not as hard as my friends affected at Sun and Claris. But at the end of the day, Cygnus was pretty great, and I was grateful to have that job!



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