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by Michael S. Kaplan, published on 2007/08/26 13:16 -04:00, original URI: http://blogs.msdn.com/b/michkap/archive/2007/08/26/4576704.aspx

A colleague and friend of mine, a former v- at Microsoft who went full time, was talking to me just after I had gone full time.

He predicted that I wouldn't last two years.

(He himself had already left within a year of when I started)

I asked him why he thought I would only last two years, and he told me that I'd realize that the people who didn't want me there would make their feelings clear enough for me to realize there was no future for me.

Intrigued, I turned the question around and asked him why he thought I'd last as long as two years, to which he replied that I am stubborn, idealistic, and cynical -- a combination rarely found in nature but then (as he further pointed out) I did not spend a whole lot of time in nature, either.

I pointed out that I had been a boy scout in my youth (until roughly the time I discovered the existence of girls, in fact!). To which he said the scouts thing just proved the point about being stubborn, and the thing about girls proved the idealism.

"What about the cynicism?" I asked him, but he had a response for that too - the fact that I am not in a relationship and seem to shun opportunities when they arise.

I started to respond but then I realized it was quite possible he had thought this out and was going to be able to outflank any counter-argument I could come up with on the spot. And since no one wins an argument when they think of the comeback a month later, I realized conceding would be more sensible (perhaps a subtle disproof of his theory about me, but I knew enough not to run myself into that trap since pointing it out negates the effect of the concession).

"We'll just have to see where we stand in a couple of years," I said.

Today actually marks my fifth year, though. :-)

I'm not in the office today since its Sunday and won't bring any special candy tomorrow (I have two huge bowls of candy sitting in my office now, I suppose my friend would say that every day that I have not left is reason to celebrate?).

I asked him about the fact that his prediction turned out to not be prophetic, and of course he had a parry to the thrust of this argument too -- the Longhorn/Vista ship schedule threw off the timing.

"We'll just have to see where we stand in a couple of years," I said again.


So here I am, still sorting it all out. I'll be in late tomorrow (waiting for a repairman) but if you are on campus in Redmond and feel like popping by and grabbing a piece of candy during the afternoon, celebrating my stubborn/idealistic/cynical nature, and just generally saying hi then please feel free to do so. :-)


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# Mihai on 27 Aug 2007 2:14 PM:

Maybe he is right, and you are there because you are stubborn :-)

In other words: "Ohh, what's really going to bake your noodle later on is, would you still have broken it if I hadn't said anything?"

Congrats, anyway :-D

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2008/05/07 25 years at Microsoft? Amazing, I tell you!

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