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One Final Memo

We launched Memo a little over a year ago to create a safe place to talk honestly about work. Sadly, today we are closing that place. As with any social experiment, there are numerous reasons why Memo failed. Some were mistakes we made, others were beyond our control.

Most fundamentally, however, we found that the honest conversation that we all need to have about work is bigger than any one company. Much of what was posted on Memo could be boiled down to: My job serves no real purpose. The question that needs an answer is why many of us are working at all? Humans used to work to survive, and yet with the massive productivity gains over the last century and the gains yet to come, our work is less and less necessary to provide for our collective needs.

We all still have to work though. Today, however, we work more to justify our social utility than to produce things society truly needs. Work is more the fairest way we know to distribute resources than an engine for our betterment. The new work conversation we need to have is whether there is a better way to distribute the bounty of our innovation than to have an ever-increasing number of humans spending 40+ hours a week doing work that doesn't matter.

We want to thank all of you who had the courage to speak openly about your jobs. Rest assured that any and all conversations or personal data you shared with us has been permanently erased. We also want to thank our investors who supported this venture. It was an experiment worth undertaking. Finally, I want to personally thank the designers, engineers, and other product professionals who worked so hard to make Memo great. I deeply regret not being able to kindle the work revolution we were striving for.