An Ending and a Beginning

Julie Zhuo
Feb 20 · 2 min read

After nearly 14 years at Facebook, the time has come for me to embark on a new adventure.

It’s hard to say goodbye to a place that has been so much a part of my life. The closest metaphor I have for it is “leaving home.” (In fact, I have spent more years at Facebook than I did living with my own parents before heading off for college!)

Facebook is the first and only place I’ve ever had a full-time job. It’s where I was introduced me to the profession of design, to the practice of management, to the exhilarating and chaotic swirl of Silicon Valley’s start-up culture. From the first day I walked into the scrappy offices of a college site created by recent college grads, Facebook has been an enormous part of my identity and and my community. I grew up here. Its values will always run through my bones and color the lens from which I see the world. Some of my best friends today are people I’ve hacked with. I am so, so grateful to Mark and to the brilliant, good-hearted people that I’ve had the privilege of working with and learning from. I believe in this company because a company is nothing more than the sum of its people, and I believe in its people, full stop.

But like I felt before heading off to college, the world is large, and there’s more to see and do. I’d like to try my hand at different problems from different vantage points across different teams — and learn more about myself in the process. Toward that end, my friend Chandra Narayanan and I will be starting a company together to advise other start-ups and maybe build some new things down the road. Our company’s name is Inspirit because its definition — to embolden; to enliven— really spoke to us.

Chandra was one of my favorite people to work with at Facebook because even though we came from very different places (data and design!), our core values shared the same language. I’ve learned so much about the power and nuance of data-informed product building from him, and we both believe that data and design together can unlock some pretty wonderful outcomes.

The road behind me is filled with incredible memories, and I’ve had many joyful moments reliving them over the past few weeks and months. I’m lucky and proud to be a part of Facebook’s design and research teams — an incredible group of people who tackle every challenge they see with deep thoughtfulness and humanity. I am indebted to my managers who gave me opportunities to grow and fail, and I hope I can always do the same for others. The road ahead feels wide open. I’m excited to see where it leads!

The Year of the Looking Glass

A collection of essays by Julie Zhuo on design, building…

Julie Zhuo

Written by

Currently: Inspirit. Former Product Design VP @ FB. Author of The Making of a Manager https://amzn.to/2PRwCyW. Find me @joulee. I love people, words, and food.

The Year of the Looking Glass

A collection of essays by Julie Zhuo on design, building products, and observing life.

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