The Next Chapter

Around 1.5 months ago something big happened in the WordPress space, Automattic acquired WooThemes. As a WooCommerce developer this had more consequences for me than most realized.

Today I’m excited to announce that I will be full time focussing on fulfilling my dream. I will be selling my own products, under a new name. Starting today, Never5 will be the company that sells my currently available and future premium plugins. I’m very excited to get this started!

Conflict of Interest

The WooThemes acquisition isn’t just about their products like WooCommerce, it’s about people as well. All WooThemes employees were offered a new contract, with new terms. While my work on WooCommerce would barely change (if change at all), the new contract would have implications on other things.

WooThemes employees were allowed to work on their own personal products as long as they didn’t conflict with any WooThemes products. Employees of Automattic aren’t allowed to have any money making side projects, under their conflict of interest policy. So in order to sign the new contract I had to give up my personal business.

Decision time

Decisions like this are hard. I had to choose between a good steady salary at the WordPress company while working with a lot of awesome people but giving up my personal products where I worked so hard on or declining the contract and keeping my products but losing my job.

I came to the conclusion I just couldn’t give up my products and abandon my customers. I just love working on them so much and I put so much effort and time into them. I couldn’t and I won’t. I have declined the contract offer of Automattic.


After having decided not to join Automattic I had another decision to make. I’ve always dreamed of making a living of my own products but was never sure this was a realistic goal. Instead of taking a new job and keeping my side business I figured now is as good a time as any to really go for it. I figured there will always be a risk, it will always be scary and I will always doubt if now would be a good time to go for it.

So as of today my side business will no longer be a side business but will be my business. It will be my job, my primary source of income. I’ll be doing this all day, every day and the thought of that makes me extremely happy. With all of this comes a new name as well, Never5. Never5 will be the company that sells my currently available and future premium plugins. The new website is already up, so be sure to check that out here.

My last day at WooThemes will be most likely within a month or two, depending on when the deal closes. I’m sad to leave Woo and the wonderful people I’ve worked with and I’m very grateful for what Woo has given me while working with them. At the same time I’m very excited about the future and where this new chapter will take me.

Like always I would love to hear what you think. Please leave a comment below with your thoughts and feedback or tweet to @Never5Plugins.

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31 thoughts on “The Next Chapter

  1. Well done for taking the leap! Looking forward to hearing more about Never5

  2. That is great news, no doubt it’ll work out great. Congrats & shine on buddy!

    PS. I wrote this poem to celebrate your new endeavour. Hope you like it.

    Hey, Barry just Matt Woo.
    And he is crazy
    Not giving up his side projects
    Starting a new business maybe

  3. Hey Barry, congratulations on making that decision. I;m sure you will be successful! Just curious, how did you decide on the company name?

  4. Tough call, yet I understand your choice(s) to the fullest, have a great one Barry!

  5. Interesting. I thought the original WooCommerce contracts would still apply after the takeover. Good luck with your new plugin empire 🙂

  6. Great decision by taking control in own hands.
    Anyway where’s the risk ? You’re so talented in what you do, pretty sure it’s going to go more then just okay.

  7. Great news, Barry! Good luck with everything.

  8. Best of luck in your new adventures!!

  9. The *new* contract was pretty positive in the end. It pushed you to jump and do whatever it takes to succeed.

    This is a great adventure and you’ll enjoy it.

    Glad for you!

  10. So that’s why you didn’t answer my DM 😉

    It’s not easy leaving a great team and coworkers who are friends, but it’s also not easy turning off that desire to build your own company.

    Much respect to you Barry!

  11. Good choice 🙂 #rockdatshit

  12. Already looking forward to all the stuff you’re gonna do!

    As others, I’m also curious how did you get to the Never5 name?

  13. You will be missed!

  14. Well done on making the leap, looking forward to watching Never5 develop as a business 🙂

  15. Tough choice but the right one, especially for the sake of your customers. Best of luck.

  16. Brave and bold move. Well thought out reasoning. Best of luck Barry. Keep rockin’!

  17. I really want to talk more about how we can help make you mega-successful. Always loved seeing your work and have been impressed by your attention to detail and desire to build things that are useful for customers.

    Hit me up on skype some time (ryandonsullivan). Here’s the to taking the road less traveled! 😀

  18. This is awesome. Pray you’ll have great success and satisfaction!

  19. We’re definitely going to miss you Barry. I totally understand why you want to work on your own products and I know you’re going to be great at it.

    Best of luck with everything. 🙂

  20. You’ve worked really hard over the years Barry and know you are doing what’s best for you and your goals / ambitions.

    I know you’ll kill it and am excited to see this grow!

    You’re a great friend Barry, very talented and look forward to more adventures together.


  21. Good luck Barry. Going to miss working with you, but you can still troll me on skype if you want 🙂

  22. Barry, All the best man. With your passion I believe this venture will surprise you.

  23. […] venturing out on their own with their businesses, this week Barry Kooij, formally of WooCommerce wrote a post about his decision to leave Woo and focus on his own plugins full-time, I wish him all the […]

  24. Best of luck!

    … and I personally think it was a good decision. I have done the same.

  25. Congratulations on becoming an even stubborn business and your website also looks great

  26. Wishing you the best for your future business plans. Hopefully you will generate more than you are thinking about!

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