Yesterday, an article was posted in the Telegraph Journal about Whitehill Technologies entitled Moncton Tech Star Fading. This article presented the legacy of the Whitehill story in a somewhat negative light, more so than I think is appropriate (NOTE: I had nothing at all to do with the article – no one from the paper spoke to me). This article has also led to some fairly rancorous response by other former Whitehill executives.
First off, nothing was said by any former Whitehill employee I know “biting the hand that fed us”. Comments regarding the staffing levels at the former Whitehill office are simply a statement of fact. As opposed to the blog post referenced above, no comments made in the article involved personal or professional attacks towards any individual or organization related to Whitehill Technologies or its subsequent owners.
Secondly, I think the article itself somewhat misses the point in regards tothe Whitehill legacy. Did things change in the Moncton office after the acquisition by Skywire? Of course they did. Were there more changes after the Oracle acquisition? I would assume so – though I have no visibility into the organization now. The fact is, change is constant in this business. Companies evolve. They are acquired. The economy goes up and down (and hopefully back up).
What has happened at Whitehill, both during the time I was there and since, is just part of the natural lifecycle of a technology startup.
The Whitehill experience, shared by all of us who poured a lot of our lives into it for the better part of a decade, grew a pool of extremely talented, dedicated people into a pool of potential entrepreneurs and business leaders. After the Whitehill years, many or these people have gone on to start other businesses, adding to the long term value brought the region by a startup such as Whitehill. The legacy extends far beyond Whitehill itself.
That is how you build a thriving, growing private sector – people start companies, grow them, take them as far as they can, and then they move on and do it again!
PS – the people I have worked with at Whitehill (including those who are still in the Moncton office) are as good a group as I have ever worked with.