The Future of Shoelace

It's been more than two years since the beta release of Shoelace 2.0, which was the first version of the project to ship Web Components. What started off as a fun side project has quickly grown to become one of the most recognized Web Component libraries in the world. As of today, Shoelace receives more than 100 million monthly CDN hits on jsDelivr, and that number continues to grow.

Thank you for that. I've poured my heart and soul into this library and I'm honored by the overwhelmingly positive feedback Shoelace receives on a daily basis.

But today, I want to talk to you about the future.

Shoelace is and always has been a side project. I spend a lot of time maintaining it because I enjoy working on it. However, the effort I put into Shoelace is in addition to my full-time position as a technical lead at Microsoft.

Lately, I haven't been able to find enough spare time to move the project forward. The more hours I carve out to work on it, the less I have for myself and my family. I've been careful not to burn out. I take breaks when I need to. But there's so much more that needs to be done.

Shoelace has reached the point where it demands a full-time effort, otherwise its potential will never be realized. That's why I've decided to bid farewell to Microsoft in November.

To be honest, that's a really, really hard thing for me to say. Microsoft has been great to me. I have an amazing manager, we've built a fantastic team, and I get to work with Web Components every day! In many ways, it's a dream job and that makes it very hard to give up — especially for an open source project that doesn't have any revenue.

If that seems crazy, well, there's a bit more to the story. Let me explain…

A few months ago, I found myself on a plane to Bentonville, Arkansas to meet with the folks who created Font Awesome. We spent days talking about Web Standards, open source, and Shoelace. I had a great time and learned a lot about their values and how they were able to turn an open source project into a sustainable business.

What came of that trip was something I never expected — an opportunity to work on Shoelace full-time. I thought about it long and hard and ultimately decided that, given my current obligations, I can't do this all on my own anymore. And who better to team up with than an amazing group of people who have been there and done it before?!

It's bittersweet, but as I close this chapter at Microsoft, I will be starting a new chapter with the folks at Font Awesome. I will be responsible for building Shoelace into a sustainable open source project under their expert guidance.

You can expect the same commitment to open source as always! But now, with my full attention and more resources, you'll get bug fixes even faster; you'll get features I've wanted to build for a very long time; and you'll get even more as Shoelace continues to grow!

Thank you for your support and contributions up to this point. The last two years have been an amazing journey for me, and I'm very excited to see what the future holds.

If you're not following Shoelace on Twitter, now would be a good time to hit the button to keep up with the latest news.

Hang on, everyone! Shoelace is about to get even more awesome.