Goodbye Sunlight


It’s been just over two years since I first started here at Sunlight, and today’s my last day.

Over the past two years, we’ve done some incredible things together. Through Apps and Design for America contests, our community developed nearly 200 open source applications and visualizations on top of government data, for a total expenditure of about $100,000. We built an army of nearly 2000 developers and designers working to change their government. We launched the first wiki bid on, and changed the FEC using a collaborative testimony.

On top of that, we invented TransparencyCamp, getting the right people in the room. Organizations like Code for America and Crisis Commons got their start in initial meetings there. We set up the Great American Hackathon, getting developers out of their offices to build a community of locally engaged developers. That laid the foundation for the first Crisis Camps, where our management tactics became a manual for managing volunteer developers.

Now an open community, free from any organization’s direct control, exists to really change the way government works. That’s exciting stuff.

Filling my shoes will be Tom Lee. Tom’s been leading our SubsidyScope project for a little more than a year, was the guy who built the magical Sunlight Door Opener, and is a competent, and great leader. He’s sharp, wonderful, and will bring a breath of fresh air into the labs. He will serve you well.

The thing that Sunlight Labs has always been about is service and connectivity. How can we serve developers who want to change their government in the best way possible, and how can we connect them together and to their government so they can be the most effective. If you’re interested in our secret sauce, that’s it. That’s the thing to emulate. It’s about the developers.

Thank you so much for all that you’ve done and all that you do. We’ve accomplished a lot in two years, and I’m excited to see what Tom is able to do with this platform that we’ve built together.

If you want to stay in touch with me, I’m cjoh on twitter. I’m also going to start blogging a bit.

In the meantime, Ali: it’s time to take my head off the top of the blog sidebar and replace it with Tom’s. Tom: shift gears and take it to the next level. You guys will be great.