Apr 142012

This afternoon it was announced that Carlos Icaza is moving on from day to day operations at Ansca Mobile, although he remains an advisor.

There is no doubt this is a sad time, a sentiment echoed in the emails, tweets and Facebook messages you guys have been sending me since the news broke, however I would like to take this opportunity to reflect on the positive.

I first had contact with Carlos on the 18th of October, 2010, it was 9:30 in the morning and I hadn’t slept. An Ansca employee had commented on a blog post I made lamenting about GameSalad Direct, my concerns for the future and the fact I was considering Corona SDK as a possible salvation for myself and my career as a developer.

From here I wrote to Carlos, I wrote with questions and concerns – and as some of you have heard before, I mistakenly believed his name was “Carl” at this time… I never expected a reply, I was even scared to write the email – I saw him as this big shot CEO of Ansca Mobile and I was so shy; “What if he thinks I’m an idiot?” is all I could think.

I was amazed when he wrote back within an hour.

His reply contained more encouragement, more support than I could ever have expected. That email changed my life.

From there Carlos held my hand in coming to grips with Corona, no matter how busy he was he always made time to help me when I was struggling. As I came to learn how to use his product and no longer needed such frequent guidance he would still write to me, he would see how I was – not just how my app was coming along but how I was.

Over time I realized that the big shot CEO Carlos Icaza was in fact a genuinely amazing man and a very special person – he did not only want to look out for my best interests and it wasn’t all about Corona – he was teaching me about things I was inquisitive about. He became my mentor.

At this time I was helping out on the forum a lot and he offered me a casual gig with the company. At the time I was very unsure of myself and asked Carlos, “How do I do this? I don’t know if I’m good enough. What if I let you down?”

He told me; “I believe in you, you will be fine, trust yourself. You are already making a difference.” – and with that I joined the team. It became official on April 21st, 2011, a year ago this month.

The more I got to know Carlos the more I wanted to know him. He has a knack for making you feel safe and protected, he tells you wonderful, funny, often insightful stories, he makes you feel good about yourself and spontaneously does things to make others laugh or smile – and yet he manages to, with a change of his tone, let you know it’s time get serious.

I saw him have this effect on many people in our community and I loved that. He wanted to be involved with all Corona developers, he often told me he wanted to put together a developers conference to meet people using his product, to talk with them personally, to thank them.

When I was lucky enough to first meet Carlos in person it changed me. His caring, support and guidance made me a much happier, more positive and more confident person.

I remember one night sitting outside my hotel in his car, he told me “You are doing a great job, users email me praising you – I told you, I knew you had it in you.”

I remember the feeling of a silent tear rolling down my cheek.

I was not sad, I was moved. Here I was with a man I’d thought would never reply to my email a year earlier, sitting in his car, having a conversation about the fact I was actually working with him and he was proud of me.

This might be hard for some people to understand, the sheer intensity of that moment – but here’s this guy who is very much a hero to me, with me, quietly insecure and not at all accustom to such positivity and praise.

He maintained this attitude with me the entire time we worked together, he did not coddle me (well, maybe once or twice when I really needed it,) and he helped me grow confident and grow my passion for helping our developers.

I never thought I’d work for a company, until I met Carlos I had avoided that kind of thing like the plague – he single handedly changed my mind and changed my outlook on work and on life. He changed me.

I am a sentimental person – when I make an attachment it tends to last a lifetime and I consider myself blessed to have had the opportunity to meet, to work with and to form such an attachment to Carlos.

It might seem odd to say that you love your boss but I guess I’m an odd person – and I suppose over time he has become more family than anything else, perhaps in loco parentis* at Ansca for me (*a guardian of sorts, basically) and as a result I could grow and thrive, I didn’t feel pressured, only encouraged to do well by my desire to make him proud.

Although it will be a large adjustment to not work with him on the day-to-day stuff, he is still on board as an advisor (as mentioned in the blog post earlier today), Ansca is as strong as ever and the team is still the best bunch of people you’ll ever meet – and I am so grateful to be a part of it. Corona will continue to grow and thrive and Carlos has helped to ensure that and will continue to do so, simply from a new vantage point.

He has his own personal reasons for moving on from the day to day operations and we should all wish him nothing but the best, because that is what he deserves.

Without him I wouldn’t be doing what I’m doing now, Techority wouldn’t exist and I wouldn’t have found my way into the Ansca family, a group of people I simply adore. I never would have met any of you.

Thank you Carlos, you have been a central part of my life for the past year or so and whatever you choose to do next you will always have a very large, very prominent place in my heart.

Congratulations to anyone who managed to read this entire post; the thing to take away is that as much as we will all miss Carlos’ day-to-day involvement that the future is bright and he is still, of course, co-founder of the greatest SDK in the world.

At the end of the day it is as he always tells us; “The journey is the reward” – and above all else, he touched people’s lives and that is what he is all about.

This is not the end, just the next chapter – and of course you can still reach out to Carlos as always on Twitter @carlosicaza – he is only a tweet away.

Peach Pellen

*Carlos will be talking about 8 elements to a successful game on May 1st and virtual attendance IS an option, so check it out here.

PS – Carlos and I were previously in talks about a podcast/interview in the near future discussing the journey, startups and entrepreneurship and I am hoping we can still go ahead with this sometime soon. Stay tuned.

  17 Responses to “Thank you, Carlos Icaza”

  1. @Carlos! U butt!!! I’ll have to email you a punch, and ask…”feel the love?” lmao! Very happy to see your words.

    @Peach……yes u are! ;P Anyways, You are one lucky girl, so many people love and care for you, including me, and I am so happy Carlos was there to pull into the scene more! Will see u very soon!

    <3 ST

  2. My trust in you, your company and your product was all well earned and while we might disagree about how instrumental (very) you have been in my getting to this point, I think we can agree that no one could ask for a better mentor or a better “boss” – but don’t let that go to your head ;)

    @Joey – That was a beautiful comment, Carlos has a very positive influence on me and anything I’ve picked up from him that I can share with others is always a great thing.

    @David – Thank you. It wasn’t easy to write but I am happy to have been able to share it. (I’m grateful to have an audience to share with.)

    @Adam – Not offended, flattered, thank you.

    @Biffy – Sorry, I must be following in Carlos’ footsteps in that department ;) We all must keep our heads up. Like you said, he is a genius – everything will be OK, for everyone.

    @Nick – I understand that feeling but remember, however removed he is, he’s still around, you can still “show off”. Complete your app, make it brilliant and tweet it – I think we are ALL eager to see it, you have been a great part of the community for a long time now – even if you’re a little crazy about MMFT9D ;)

    I appreciate all the comments from everyone, this whole thing is obviously a little emotional so I hope I’ll be forgiven for not acknowledging them all individually – positive or negative I thank you all for sharing your thoughts, feelings and kind words.

    For anyone who hasn’t read it yet, see Carlos’ post on “revolution” here; http://www.carlosicaza.com/2012/04/15/there-is-a-revolution-coming/

  3. Thank you Peach for the kind words. It has been wonderful to see you grow into a role that fits you perfect. All I did was show you the door. You wooed everyone once you got in. Thank you for putting your trust in me, my company and product. But it is, at then, about you, and only you could have made it happen. Not me. I was merely a conduit.

    Thank you for your passion, and for engaging new and regular developers (as there are no old-timers) and for proselytizing Ansca Corona.

    Thank you.


    @nick – get going on your app, here, get inspired http://www.carlosicaza.com/2011/03/31/the-warnock-algorithm-or-rather-the-warnock-influence/

    @biffy – i think i made you cry once before. glad wasn’t me the second time around. Just kidding !!! Feel the love? :-P

    @david: thanks

    @adam, @joel, @apocalyp @alex and everyone else, Thank you !

  4. Ever since Carlos left, I’ve been un-motivated to work on my app. I don’t know why? I can’t explain it but I was working on my app, and doing things that were not “possible” according to other people and I exposed limitations and “bugs” that I am actually using as part of my gameplay. I was so excited when Carlos reached out to me and said “Hey want to get coffee? I’m flying into Burbank area…” I was like WHAT?????? Carlos wants to meet HOLLLLY CRAPPPPPP!. Burbank is near Los Angeles, CA in case you don’t know :). I tried to rearrange my entire schedule around it, knowing that it would be like probably 30 minutes or something. Unfortunately I was unable to do it, I had a production outage at work and….grrrr. I regret that I didn’t make it. I was looking forward to “showing off” and telling him the things I was able to to with Corona SDK and how I wasn’t a programmer and if I can do it anyone can…..sadness.

    Now, I don’t feel the same motivation to “show off” as he’s not there anymore. I hear he’s an “advisor” but I work with a lot of fortune 100 companies who’s big people leave and become “advisors” and that usually turns out to be they talk about things, but are not really exposed to the “big picture” anymore. Ansca is a small company, so the culture may be much different and it wouldn’t surprise me if it was different.

    I am worried though, I just need to jump start my development again and get things going!



  5. U just made me cry ST!

    Keep ur head up! We all loved Carlos so much! He was truly a mentor to a lot of people, and its hurting knowing he wont be around anymore. I think people really need closure about all of this…and no one is willing to give any.

    Im sure it wont be the last we see of him….after all…he IS a genius!

  6. Nice post Peach. Even though I haven’t been on the Corona scene for very long I’ve noticed how Carlos was very involved with the community and he made it complete. It’s a shame he has to go. I just hope Corona will still strive and develop into this great SDK over time.

  7. Thanks Peach for your thoughtful and insightful comments regarding Carlos and your work with him at ANSCA. I can personally say YOU have changed the direction of my app development by your expertise in Corona SDK, your tireless support and encouragement, and your belief that in helping others, the “journey” that you and Carlos talk about, makes the difference. They say that “Talks Cheap” and “Actions Speak Louder than Words!” Your day-to-day actions speak for themselves and I want others in the Corona Community to know that you deserve a BIG “Thank You!” for all you do in helping newcomers into the world of app development! All the Best to Carlos as he moves on and Three Cheers for Peach!!! (-:)

  8. Thank you, Peach, for this wonderfully touching post. I can see how difficult it was to share such deep feelings to everyone. And it helps me see another (though not at all surprising) side to Carlos.

    I agree with some of the other comments… It will be hard for any one person to fill Carlos’ shoes, but if a bunch of you at Ansca (and the rest of us) try squeezing our feet in there together, we might come close :-)

  9. Like some others have said about I don’t really know what to think about this. It’s still such a shock I don’t think anyone should be jumping to conclusions.

    This is all very sad for lots of people, I know you in particular Peach are really close to Carlos and a few of us always thought you two might end up together or something. The picture of you two together you posted during your visit you looked like a natural couple. Sorry if that is a weird thing to say, no disrespect intended and I hope you will not be offended.

    I hope you stay at Ansca a long time, with Carlos not around a lot of us are going to be looking to you.

    Carlos was a great CEO and I hope whatever he goes on to do he has a great journey, he deserves it for all he has done to improve our lives.

    ps. I was going to email you about a project I hoped to hire you for but imagine you are overwhelmed at the moment. Take my email from my comment and write to me if you have the time and inclination for a side project, probably about 20 to 25 hours worth, nothing major.

  10. I agree with D and apocolypic. This smells bad and is worrysome. Hopefully Peach’s role with the company and rock hard work ethic will remain the same.

    Thanks for sharing Peach

  11. @d they had some unknown staff person make a forum for posts rather than letting any on the blog? what about the blog post a few days ago about a new direction? they don’t have mac apps yet and it feels like smoke and mirrors. carlos’s post doesn’t even talk about his cofounder or the investors or thank them… i feel like we should have heard more from him directly, he didn’t even post in his own thread and that isn’t like him, it’s rude. i wrote to him once and he took 2 days to reply and said sorry! i couldn’t believe he replied at all. (excuse lack of caps, posting from dodgy chinese android and it only sometimes works.)

  12. A truly sad day for Ansca. Carlos was and in my opinion and STILL IS one of the main reasons (besides Peach of course) why I chose to renew my subscription and continue to use Corona SDK. Directly or indirectly he build what I can a small empire that seems to be only growing and only time will tell how big Ansca will get… as much as I thought there was no stopping Ansca from achieving world dominance, Carlos’ departure may be a gigantic road block.

    I wonder now what will happen with Ansca and how they will respond to the community… after all Carlos WAS THE ONLY ONE high up in the ranks who would still show his face around and talk with the subscribers on the forums. Yes sure there are Ansca staff on the forums, yes they show up; but from what I see the remaining founders will be plagued (because thus far they have been) with staying in touch with the community, and I truly hope this will not be Ansca’s decline!

    As much as I don’t like to call out on people in public, I hope the remainder of the founders and people high up in the ranks STEP UP TO THE PLATE… you guys have some freaking HUGE SHOES TO FILL.

  13. Very inspirational post.

  14. This whole thing stinks, in my experience a cofounder only leaves when there’s some serious disagreement about the direction of the company.
    (Am I the only one who noticed that the other cofounder didn’t thank Carlos or tweet or anything?)
    Honestly I’m concerned that without him around we might all get screwed.

  15. Such sad news :(
    Thanks Carlos, for Corona and for Peach :)
    Behind every great leader you will find a great team.
    He created a great SDK and a great company and now he has to move on to greater things…the end of an era and the start of a brand new one.

  16. I can certainly relate to the feeling of encouragement and inspiration at a time when I’ve felt like I wasn’t good enough or couldn’t grasp things.
    Someone showed me this same kindness just as Carlos did you.
    Her name was Peach.
    Peach the kindness that Carlos has shown you have traversed through you and carried on in a way that i’m sure has made Carlos very proud, and because of this and the time invested by himself, and you, I’m on my way to living my dream.

    Carlos Icaza you have helped to create the very tool that has been used by many, like myself, that has made dreams come true.
    You have inspired , mentored, and given the world, one developer at a time, the very foundation in which we stand.. to be the very best mobile developers this world will ever see…Simply because, this community is driven by passion, and a burning desire to share our creations with the world.

    It’s for this very reason that I chose the name Crayotic.
    The “Cray” derives from Crayola, which I’m sure all of us have come to associate with color.
    Color is one of the many Elements of art that contrasts and helps us to achieve our artistic creations.
    The “otic” comes from the word Chaotic and sums up in one word the over all emotion one may feel when creating any form of art, but more so is the case with games.

    It can be very frustrating, trying, and difficult at times.. chaotic if you will, but Carlos you said it better than anyone.

    “The journey is the reward”

    The symbol I chose is the tree of life, for it as at the center of all creation.

    So, in closing I thank you Carlos Icaza for your amazing work and contributions and for inspiring the very soul that carried on to inspire me, Peach Pellen.

    Thank you both from the bottom of my heart.

    Joey King

    Crayotic Games

  17. I’m not ashamed to admit I actually teared up a bit reading this. I think Ansca has a bright future because Carlos is still there, just like you said not as much as he was when he was there every day. I hope he stays active on twitter.

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