Thank you Microsoft, Hello Bungee Labs
Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.
Why am I quoting this? Well, my desire for new adventures has gotten the best of me once more…Friday March 30th will be my last day with Microsoft and I’m off to join Bungee Labs, a start-up based in Utah. A little more about that in a moment, but first I wanted to say a few things regarding Microsoft.
Old Microsoft, New Microsoft
I joined the 'dark side' 5 years ago (nearly) to grow, learn, do 'stuff that matters’ and have fun while doing it. Along the way, I've had the opportunity to work with truly amazing people on amazing things. During my time here I've seen the company begin its transformation from a company that was perceived to be highly mysterious and "evil" (among certain communities) to one that is arguably now perceived as less mysterious and not quite as "evil" as people thought (although some will probably argue with this last point, but I'm not here today argue...). From the business standpoint, Microsoft has been motoring- here's a tidbit for you: in the past five years, the number of employees since my joining has grown from 50,621 (2002) to over 75,000 today, and revenue growing from $28B in 2002 to $50B by 2007. I think that's amazing.
It's an interesting point in time to be leaving I think. Change has been and is still occurring at Microsoft, but for companies as large as Microsoft this change takes time. What has been unique in some respects, is how some of this change has been occurring right before our eyes via the web: dialogue through employee blogs; magic like Channel 9; Microsoft's Open Source Labs and Codeplex (these are more than just lip service), efforts by product units and individuals to engage with the web development standards community, little signs that Microsoft is 'getting' the web thing ;-P ; doing 'the right thing'; the articulation of the Windows Principles; the ability to not take oneself too seriously; revealing Softies really are made of flesh and blood; blogger dinners with execs; product teams meeting with skeptics; and that
we Microsoft can work well with the competition. There's the kind of change that we won't hear about for a while and I'm looking forward to following the continued progress on a number of fronts.
At this point, it would be appropriate to call out some of the people I admire and have influenced me in positive ways and provided me with support and great advice while at Microsoft, but the list would be too long, and I'd risk missing people out. So, look, you know who you are - and I thank you :-)
So now on to Bungee Labs.
As I said, Bungee Labs is a start-up based in Utah and I'll be joining as VP of Community on Monday. That means I'll be leaving leafy Redmond and moving my family to the Salt Lake City are (or thereabouts) at the end of the summer.
A big move for me in every sense, but that said I've gone down the entrepreneurial before (for 7 years prior to Microsoft) and am dying to get back into that mode.
So what is Bungee Labs? Well, I need to respect the fact that I'm still working for Microsoft until Friday, so a detailed pitch for Bungee Labs just isn't appropriate. Bungee Labs is in private beta mode today, so there isn't anything for you to play with today. You can visit the site and there is some information there to give you a flavour of what it's all about and info on how you can learn more.
Once I've joined and I can tell you more (I promise ;-). But I can tell you this today - Bungee Labs is cool, the oh-my-that's-the-coolest-thing-I've-seen-and-I-want-to-be-a-part-of-it-kind-of-cool-thing that gets me very excited. Hey, it had to be to take me away from a job, the people, the company and a city I love!