One of the hardest emails to compose at Microsoft is the leaving email, so I tried to keep mine short and simple, let folks know I was moving on, thank them and give them my new contact information. We Microsoft employees live and breath via our email, so leaving email@example.com is one of the hardest parts of leaving Microsoft. I think I wrote a pretty good one, and except for the one slip, where I accidentally hit “send” instead of “send personally” on one batch of emails. (Send Personally is an awesome product by the way, highly recommend it…)
After 26 managers, 19 office moves, 12 years, 6 divisions, 5 major reorgs (couldn’t add up the minor ones…) today is my last day at Microsoft. I have been offered an amazing opportunity to go and work with Neudesic, one of our Gold partners, in a job that pulls in all the favorite bits of my time at Microsoft and rolls them all together. More tales to follow.
Thank you so much to my friends and coworkers who have made Microsoft such an incredible place to be over the past decade. My personal contact information is below and attached. Please update your address books, and do stay in touch.
I have had wonderful responses from people, and for a smaller company it’s amazing how many people are fans of Neudesic. I am being reassured it’s nice on the outside. I’ve also had some follow up questions…
First, my new job:
I start April 9th, I will be in California the first week (April 9-13th). I am on vacation next week, and yes I am open for lunch, except Wednesday.
Yes, I will have the opportunity to work with Simon again, and I am looking forward to it, a lot.
Neudesic is a consulting company based out of Irvine, California, with offices all over the US. I will likely be commuting for the first few months, then based out of Bellevue with the occasional trip south.
My official title is director, strategic communications, and the job is working primarily with the technology leadership group, helping to build the technical brand of the company, community, influence and reputation. It’s a new role in the organization, and I will be in the technical team, working for the CTO. That being said, we will be doing more definition in the first 30 days, and as I get to know more about the role and the company I will gladly share. Try and stop me.
Second: Yes, really, 26 managers. As a side note, technically, I only changed jobs 3 times.
I have a new job title “Developer Marketing Manager, Community and Influencers”. It seems fairly simple. We have a bunch of influencer programs here: the MVP program, the RD Program, various partner programs, and customer programs, regional programs. All I need to do is pull them together, do a SWOT and needs analysis, push out some interaction guidance and I’m done. Right?
What if engineering, planning, support and marketing worked together on community and influencer programs and helped to support each other’s efforts, what if the community understood what the different programs and people were? How big is the community really? In my case, I think I’m looking at between 800-1000 people. I think we currently interact with about half of them. I don’t think we know who the other half is. I also think we have a 30% overlap between programs…the same people floating between communities, and I think if we were more cooperative about it, that 30% of overlap could be replaced with net new, for the same cost, and no impact in the existing community people, if it’s properly managed.
I’m running into a lot of “We already tried that and it didn’t work”, or “So-and-so already does that, sync with him/her.” It’s frustrating. You tried it and it didn’t work – great – what exactly did you try, why didn’t it work? Did you try it a different way? If she’s already doing it – great, but is she doing in a way that is effective and encourages collaboration? More than it’s being done, am I allowed to ask if it’s being done right? Is this team considering that that team is reaching out to the same people?
What complicates the problem is that the very nature of community and influencers, people and relationships are at the core of our success, and traditionally, we are not very good at quantifying relationships, and if you can’t quantify something, it’s hard to get long term support within the company. How do you measure the impact of depth relationships in a company where we target by month or quarter?