Today I wrote that mail that every Microsoftie has written and rewritten in their head a hundred times in their career....the exit mail. Friday is my last day as employee #45918 at the mothership. Whole new challenges ahead and never felt more excited to step things up a notch and see where the road leads.
Here's the mail for anyone's that interested and be sure to subscribe to 8ninths by clicking the link to the right. I've spent the last 6 hours reading and responding to well wishes from friends, colleagues and partners. It's not often you get to experience something like that and it's really quite humbling! Man, I'm thinking that I may miss working in a big company after all :-)
I recently found an old homework book from 1984, I was 10 years
old...As you can see, America's cultural exports were already
influencing this wee lad sat in Plymouth, England as I spent my time
playing and programming the new ZX Spectrum 48K and dreaming of hanging
out with B.A. Baracus. What I was surprised to find, and had no
recollection of, was that even back in those days I had a personal
dream of being a programmer at a big company and one day having a
software company of my own.
Fast forward 10 years, I found myself working at IBM's Hursley Park
research laboratory in Winchester, UK writing software to analyze
visitors to their Olympics website. My fascination around America had
continued to grow as I played basketball and eventually visited
Disneyland (a somewhat skewed first experience with this amazing
country). I decided that I wanted to learn more about this place and
applied for jobs in Silicon Valley. Terry Myerson was the young CEO of
a plucky startup in Sunnyvale, CA named Intersé Corp. who took a big
gamble, sponsored my visa and brought me over to the US to work as a
developer on his Market Focus product...Less than a year later we were
acquired by Microsoft and I had a lesson in geography as I found out my
new home would be Seattle, WA.
Over the last 12 years I've grown both personally and professionally
with this company. I've tried my hand at almost every discipline in the
career guide, and had a hand in shipping (Microsoft Site Server,
Windows NT 4.0 Option Pack, MSN Carpoint, MSN Alerts, MSN Spaces, MSN
Sales(BEET), MSN Filter, Ops PM for (Datacenter Monitoring, Messenger,
Hotmail, User Profile Store, MSN Mobile), Live Labs Deepfish, Live Labs
I've received 12 patent cubes, circumnavigated the globe and interacted
with personal heroes including, Kevin Johnson, Ray Ozzie, Bill Gates
and Steve Ballmer.
My approach has always been to aspire to be a great generalist and
follow my passion for the cutting edge. The reward has been the most
amazing set of experiences I could have possibly have imagined, and an
education on building world class software and services that no other
company could possibly provide. So with mixed emotions I announce my
departure from the mothership with my final day of employment being
this Friday 9/19.
The Next Chapter...8ninths
I'm partnering up with the talented MSN veteran, William Lai and
together we're creating a new r&d lab and incubator here in Seattle
that will be focused on exploring new concepts in the online space.
In addition to building products and services we'll be reviving the old
'Shep Report' model of seeking out and providing an analysis of the
cutting edge of the web in the 8ninths 'Deep Dive' bi-weekly mailer and
blog (Please click to subscribe and tell your friends, colleagues, and
partners!). Product announcements coming soon so sign up!
There's no way I could thank everyone I’ve worked alongside over the
years. Through the ups and downs, I have only had the utmost respect
for each and every one of you and without a doubt you were the reason I
got up each morning and crossed that bloody bridge.
With that, I'm off to finally finish my homework and "make my own company".
p.s. I'll be attending the company meeting this Thursday and then
enjoying a post "I love this company" brew at the George and Dragon Pub
in Fremont into the evening. Would be great to see you there!