One of the things I love about Microsoft's employees is their sense of humor. Unfortunately this very rarely comes out in public.
Anyway, Dean Hachamovitch (the guy who runs the IE 7 team) and I had a meeting set for this morning and when I got there he threw a chair in my honor. Of course we were laughing about that. He's a great guy and someone I'm glad to have gotten to know over my journey the past few years.
While walking to his office (it's in building two, which is one of Microsoft's first buildings) I drew misty eyed. I realized I've been given a gift very few human beings have ever had the opportunity to have: to walk the halls of Microsoft where history has been made.
While walking by office after office I realized something. Each office had a name on it. The Microsoft empire has more than 60,000 people working for it. Not just one.
What has changed in the past few years? Easy: search engines have made it much more likely to get to know each person inside a company. Even a big one like Microsoft.
If there's one thing I'm happiest with is that Bill Gates decided early on not to blog. He wanted you to get to know the employees who build the products and work the halls of Microsoft. I far prefer that approach. Why? Because he knew it would lead to better conversations with customers. That, in turn, would lead to better products.
Don't understand how this works? Read this blog. It shows how a guy you didn't know, fixed a bug you didn't know about, reported by a customer you didn't know.
Microsoft no longer has one Scoble, but it has one David Powell. And 60,000 others like him.
I'm getting a few notes this morning about "I was thinking of joining Microsoft and now I'm wondering."
That bums me out. Why? Because you're placing your hopes and dreams on someone else. Don't.
Take a job because you could use that job to do something good for the world. Why would I consider working at Microsoft? Because the things you'd build here MATTER.
I was sitting in the studio listening to Robert Fripp a few weeks back play for hours. Why? To find one 2.5-second clip of sounds.
Why take that effort? Cause that sound will play trillions of times over the next decade.
And I'm not overestimating that, either. That'll happen if Microsoft's Windows Vista turns out to be a huge sales flop. If it's successful (and I believe it will be — I'll be running it on my computers at PodTech after I leave) it'll be a factor of ten higher than that.
As to working for Jeff Sandquist. He's the best boss I've ever had. And I've had some damn good bosses (if you have a good boss, knock on wood, there are very few out there). Jeff and his family are personal friends and are welcome in our home anytime.
The usual belief is people leave bosses, not companies. That is NOT true in my case. I just had a spectacular offer thrown at me that, at the end of the day, excited me and Maryam.
Out of all the people at Microsoft that I've met he's one of the top 10 in terms of being able to motivate people to give their top performances. He has, over and over and over demonstrated to me his ability to bulldoze through red tape and get shit done.
I am quite confident that he'll soon be a major corporate leader, although he's too humble to ever say that himself.
Anyway, I'll miss working with him. He always hated being called "Scoble's boss" by the way. I used to bug him with that by always introducing him that way. But, really, he was a far better person than that. He covered my back and made it a joy to come into work every day.
Not only that, but he hired the best people in the industry.
The first on that list is Charles Torre.
One thing I feel bad about is that Charles often didn't get the credit he deserved. Why? Cause he isn't the kind of social butterfly that I am. He's more a typical developer who just likes building stuff. That's why I love him.
He built Channel 9, along with a couple of other developers over the years. Bryn Waibel. Adam Kinney.
It's unfortunate that in the world some people get credit for other people's work. That happened in the media storm this weekend.
When I'm gone and you see that Channel 9 is still rocking and rolling you'll see that Channel 9 was a lot more than just me.
I think Michael Gartenberg said it best: the cemetaries are full of people who couldn't be replaced.