Mari Sheibley, Foursquare's first designer, is leaving the company after four years. She told TechCrunch she's going to travel and then begin working on a few projects of her own.
Sheibley's departure doesn't sound like it has anything to do with the negative press surrounding Foursquare's troubled fundraise or slowed growth. She's been at the company for four years -- probably enough time for her stock options to vest -- and she's decided it's time to move on.
"Almost four years later I’ve watched Foursquare grow from two guys working out of Think Coffee to a company employing over 150 people across three offices on two continents," she writes on her Tumblr. "In that time I’ve drawn hundreds of badges and icons, designed UI for web, Android and, most notably, iOS. I’ve watched the product evolve from a simple check-in service to a robust recommendation engine….It’s been a wild ride, but like all good things, it must come to an end."
On the other hand, it's not a given that star employees will leave startups after their four year vesting schedule is up. Some people stay for more stock and more opportunity, and you can't ignore the fact that Foursquare is not as hot of a company as it once was.
Sheibley was formerly Art Director of New York City user experience design shop, Hard Candy Shell. She has done design work for JetSetter, SheFinds and more. Sheibley first found Foursquare when its founder, Dennis Crowley, shot her an email and asked if she'd like to help him and Naveen Selvadurai on a "project." Sheibley said yes, and now she would like to do the same for other startups.
"It’s a bittersweet feeling to leave behind something that was so tightly woven into my life for so long, but at the same time, I’ve never been this excited for the future," she says. "I’m ready to tackle new problems and help other entrepreneurs bring their vision to life, just as I did with Dens and Naveen all those years ago."
For more on Sheibley's work at Foursquare, check out: Working At Foursquare Sure Seems Like A Lot Of Fun: A Day In The Life of Mari Sheibley >
Here are some of the logos and badges Sheibley has created. Any startup would be lucky to have her lend a helping hand.
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