Today I Resigned from Foldera, Feb 13

Today I resigned from my executive position of Global VP of Research at collaboration technology start-up Foldera, Inc.. Effective immediately, I am no longer employed by Foldera.

What? Why?
The “what?” is plain to understand, but the “why?” is a harder question to answer. It’s one I’ve pondered for months. For me it boils down to this: Being a virtual worker didn’t work for me nor Foldera in this situation; given the intensity of start-up life, I really needed to be there a whole lot more than I was able to be.

Foldera really does have a service (as it has said and demonstrated at various conferences), and it’s close to continuing with its release cycle (as it’s always said). For the major reason above, and for various personal and professional reasons, I’m choosing not to be a part of Foldera any longer.

With total sincerity I wish to thank Richard Lusk for taking a risk on some guy a million miles away in the middle of nowhere. Thanks to the many great people that I’ve had the chance to interact with at Foldera during the past 9 months–Shane, Marc, Reid, Shabaz, Daniel, Blake, Oliver, Allen, Dave, Jnan, Steve, Hugh, Peter, Dannel, Simon and many others. I wish you every success as you get the Foldera service to market.

Three Invaluable Career and Life Lessons
I learnt a lot about myself during the 9 months that I worked at Foldera, some things which I already knew and were thus confirmed, and others that came as a surprise to me. For example, I just can’t reconcile my thinking to having value assessed based on a 40 hour week; I’d been focused on value-based delivery for so many years before joining Foldera, and it’s like my internals have been rejigged so much that “doing the hours” is an anathema to me. I remember what Carl Davidson said to me 18 months or so back … “I think my consulting and freelancing work has ruined me from ever being able to be an employee again“.

Secondly, I didn’t realize how much I was going to miss the professional interaction that I’d experienced in my consulting work at Shared Spaces prior to joining Foldera. Given that family commitments kept me from traveling to Huntington Beach as often as I would have liked to, the once-a-year interaction in person with my colleagues at Foldera wasn’t enough for me. Although I’m an intense introvert and absolutely need time each day to think and write, this experience has taught me that I really do like being with people! And … there have been many days during the months that I’ve contemplated this decision where knowing that there are 600 or so people “out there” that would take time to read and comment on my blog has been incredibly helpful to my state of mind and mental wellness. Thank you. You’ve meant a lot to me.

And finally, I so incredibly missed the freedoms (and responsibilities) of the IT analyst and consulting work that I’d been engaged with prior to Foldera. Not being able to comment on the substance of other vendor announcements was very hard. Not being able to visit with organizations and talk about success with collaboration technology irrespective of vendor relationships or products-in-use was … soul destroying.

So What Now?
This blog will continue. I think I’d die if I had to stop writing here.

In terms of professional work, that’s all very much up in the air. I don’t have another job that I’m stepping in to tomorrow. I have some dreams that I’d like to pursue–research dreams, writing dreams, and consulting dreams. I just have to figure out whether my dreams help a sufficient number of people to enable me to pay the bills and care for my wonderful family! Mmm, much to think about … and quickly.

Watch this space … and again, thanks for the richness and meaning you’ve contributed tacitly and intentionally since I shuttered Shared Spaces.

0 thoughts on “Today I Resigned from Foldera, Feb 13

  1. My dear Mike,
    Life is such an exciting ride with you. It is a little scary to see where your career will go. But I know you have what it takes to be successful at any thing you do because you are focussed, an outstanding listener and careful.
    Change is not easy for me. But I will try to understand and love you in a deeper way, knowing that we both change and grow through time.
    I am so proud of you.
    You are so gracious, thoughtful and patient and I am so blessed to be your wife.
    With all my love,
    Katrina

  2. Uh-oh! Your wife is reading your blog! 🙂
    Seriously, great post and good luck on your new adventures. You’ve been an inspiration to me in the past, and I look forward to following your travels in the future.

  3. Welcome back (as it were)… I’ve continued to read your blog but have missed the limitation you had experienced yourself wrt being able to comment as widely as before to things going on in the industry. Best wishes for the time ahead…

  4. Michael: A lovely farewell post and ample evidence (if such were needed by those who know you!) of what a gentleman you are. It has been my great pleasure to work alongside you this past (almost) year and I look forward to reading your great analysis and building on the friendship we’ve established for many years to come. I’d wish you luck but you don’t really need it. You’ll do superbly at whatever you choose to tackle next.

  5. Michael,
    Best of luck on your next adventure! Even though you do not yet know what the next step is I know you take comfort in the fact the God does!
    Take care!

  6. Wow, sad and exciting news, Michael. I admire your courage and adventurousness, both in taking on and letting go what you have. And I am utterly charmed to hear one of the people who knows the most about virtual work say “Being a virtual worker didn’t work for me”. Anything you say about virtual work from now on will be even more worth reading than what you have already said about it.
    I wish you, and your family, well in whatever is next. I wish it could be working with us. But at least lets have lunch soon, face to face, with real food. Let’s draw pictures of crazy ideas in sugar spread on a table.

  7. All the best Michael.
    It’s been a pleasure working with you and I hope we have the chance to meet up in the future.
    Regards, Hugh.

  8. Hi Michael. All the best as you make this bold move back into the unknown (or, at least, less known, for now). This post comes with our thoughts and prayers for you Katrina and your family. Regards, Gavin (& Jill).

  9. Dear Michael,
    It was absolutely a pleasure working with you over these past many months.
    Your insight and guidance has been incredibly useful to all of us here at Foldera and it will be sorely missed. I’m very certain that you will be incredibility successful in anything you do.
    I wish you and your family the very best of everything. If you ever need anything at all, please don’t hesitate to ask.
    You will be missed.
    Your Friend,
    Richard Lusk

  10. Michael,
    Congratulations on your decision!! I am sure that you doing what is best for you and your family!!
    DO NOT STOP WRITING your blog. You never know who’s reading it and gleaning some pearl of wisdom or nugget of information!!
    All the best to you!!
    Sincerely,
    Lawrence Miller

  11. Michael,
    It was a pleasure meeting you and working with you this past year. You are a true gentleman and a scholar. Please give my regards to Katrina and the rest of your family, including your son, who at the tender age of ten has taught me humilty on the chessboard. I wish you all the best in your future endeavors.
    – Allen

  12. Michael, as you recall our first meeting when I joined Foldera I said I admired your work and found it a valuable resource to me during my tenure at Microsoft. That value continued as I and Foldera benefited from your work, insight and perspective. I have no doubt all of us in this industry will continue to benefit from your work in the collaboration space. Best of luck to you, but as Marc said you likely won’t need luck.

  13. Hi Mike,
    I hope it turns out to be a great move for you. I can totally relate to the circumstances that you describe. Illness forced me to switch from an intensly collaborative team working role to a global product research and development role. In this global role there is little true teamwork and everything is virtual. Whilst I think collaborative tech is useful as a complement its no sustitute for working with real people. Its strange that I am also an introvert and I didn’t expect to miss people as much as I do.
    Fortunately I have a large family as well, have lots of cafes to work from and I do get the opportunity to meet up for working lunches every couple of weeks which keeps me sane.

  14. Lawrence … thanks for the feedback. Much appreciated.
    Allen … it was great working with you too, and learning about your prowess with the sword. Hey, that chess game isn’t finished yet …
    Dave … you did say that … and thanks for saying it publicly.
    Steve … thanks for sharing. There are defiinitely limits to virtual teams, as you and I are both finding out.

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