“Every new beginning comes from some other beginnings end” — Semisonic
It’s that time for me.
I came to EMC thinking that I would come work for Chad and JT and the vSpecialists (#Team06 FTW) for about 18 mos, cause some trouble and probably be asked to leave and go back to startup land.
Exactly (to the day) 6 years later my time as come to do that. I’ve done so much cool stuff here. Stupid videos with Fred, Chad, Nick and everyone else. Skunk-works projects that became actual products with Clint (ESA). Built awesome stuff for the VMware labs. Got in trouble for a twitter fight. Built a whole team from scratch to try and change the EMC / Dell culture (who knows if that was successful 😂). Got acquired - again 😯.
But I am most thankful for the friends I’ve made and people I’ve been able to learn from.
Aaron Chaisson - thank you for taking a chance on me (twice) and always being there as a friend first and manager second. I cannot express the depth to which you’ve influenced my life in a positive way, so I can only hope to honor that by repeating it.
JT & Alex Candelaria, Brian Whitman - you guys did an amazing job welcoming me to the team and our unique version of EMC culture. I hope you continue to push that culture through dell and *ahem*competitors*ahem*. Thank you for protecting me from stupid newbie mistakes too.
Ben Dunning - the number of times you talked me out of rage quitting over something stupid at VMware is uncountable. Your stability made me a better “executive” 😇.
Natalie Corridan-Gregg- I feel like you are me, but a woman. Having you to lean on for the last few years and be a stable influence is valuable beyond measure to me.
OG vSpecialists like Nick Wallace, Chris Catano, Chris Birdwell, and so many others….you pushed me to do better, and also reminded me when to back the F off. Thank you.
My vSpec turned marketing peeps (and ones who should have been) - Chris Cicotte, Erin Banks, Jon Hyde, Brian Carpenter, Fabio Chiodini, Jonas Rosland, Jase McCarty. I would never have survived this long without you, and would probably still be writing 500 word rants about SCSI command sets.
Chad Sakac - I don’t even need to say it. You embody the good parts of the book “Tribes,” and loyalty is the best word I have.
Lastly, but most important. My team.
You all, willingly and not, embarked on an experiment with me. An experiment around how to change the way things are said at Dell, the way we talk about the future, and a forceful view of *right*. I lack the vocabulary required to describe how incredibly proud of the work we accomplished together and the changes we made. As you continue your work, don’t forget to be the change you want to see - don’t allow the status quo to get in the way of future.
Tommy - I’ve always known you’d be there to pick up whatever needed to happen and do it properly. You are a rock, just like your truck 🤣.
Luke - your loyalty to Dell, the brand and the meaning of what we do is a tremendous asset to this company, and more importantly to you. Fight your fight for the customers that aren’t being considered.
Fabio - you are a production machine, and it will always serve you well to have others know that the tasks you are given WILL GET DONE. Even in August 😤.
Sammy - Your presentation style is the most amazing mix of authoritative believability mixed with relaxed hippie. I love it and so do customers - your ability to consistently network is something I’ll never be able to match, but am appreciative of your showing me how to do it.
Dionne - you probably had the most challenging starts to this team - being brand new, from outside Dell, in an area with no existing contacts and none of mine to lean on. Yet, you excelled and found the success where the majority would have failed. It’s a testament to your drive and work ethic.
David - I’m so glad you took this (brief) chance to come work with me and the rest of our team. I love that you embody the bravery needed to just start doing briefings, without asking permission. Keep that up - forgiveness is better than permission.
Dragana - you take risks, and they are good ones. Pushing hard with me for an interview, pushing for speaking slots, pushing for a better workforce story. Don’t stop taking those risks - Dell needs them.
I don’t know yet where I am headed - lots of neat things happening in this industry. But you know where to find me on twitter and figure it out.
My last official day at Dell is May 4.
Winnie the Pooh said it best:
“How lucky I am to have something that makes saying good bye so hard.”
Thank you to all of you.