There comes a day in every dad's life when he has to take a deep breath, trust that he's made a difference, and let his child carry on without him. And then occasionally send his child a few bucks when things get tight. Today is that day for Woot's Big Daddy, the man who dared to ask "who says trolling isn't an effective business model?": our founder Matt Rutledge announced today that he's moving on.
Matt's gleeful anarchy is splashed all over Woot's DNA. Few companies can boast a leader who would say things like "this product copy isn't weird enough" or "I feel like I should approve this request to rent a chimpanzee without asking any more questions." Almost no CEOs would give his weirdo copywriters free rein to write all kinds of craziness under his byline, or sustain a gruesome dunk-tank injury and let us show it in a video. And the world has Matt to thank for making "crap" a borderline-acceptable ecommerce term.
Yes, Matt infused his snotty exuberance and aversion to BS into Woot so well, there's no turning back now. Woot couldn't be a typical, dull company if we tried. We're damaged beyond repair. We never had a chance to be normal, and it's all Matt's fault.
Whatever Matt does next, we're sure it will stir up some crap and make us all ask "Can he really get away with that?" As for Woot, we'll rest a little easier knowing that the next soda can we open won't have been shaken up by Matt beforehand. And while it would be overstating the case to say we'll miss assisting Matt's axe-throwing demonstrations, the fact remains that he's never hit one of us yet.
Thanks, Matt, and rest in peace. (By which we mean, enjoy those six weeks resting in peaceful Orlando! And can you bring us back one of those googly-eyed seashell monsters? It'll look great on the trophy wall.) Just remember, watch yourself in the forums. We can put you on probation now.