And then there was one, founding member of AppsLab, that is.
As it was when Paul left, the mood is mixed. On the one hand, Rich is heading to a great company to work with great people doing something he really enjoys, hacking around and talking nerdy. On the other hand, we’re losing an invaluable resource and brother in arms, a friend.
Yeah, I know he’s not going into hiding, but we won’t be chatting very often. That’s the nature of the beast when a colleague leaves.
While I’ll miss working with Rich every day, I know he’ll be happier tackling new challenges and growing his already large reputation.
The AppsLab isn’t dead, but we’re not the same team anymore.
When Paul, Rich and I started AppsLab in April 2007, the goal was to build a startup within the walls of Oracle. Four years and a few months may not seem like a long time in work years, but it’s an eternity in technology time.
For perspective, when we started this gig:
- MySpace was the social networking Goliath and Facebook was a small upstart with 40 million users, give or take.
- Twitter was a punchline, if anyone knew what it was.
- 95% of people we spoke to thought social networking was frivolous and just for kids.
- Apple only made computers.
- When someone said Android, you thought robot.
- Nokia, Palm and Microsoft owned the smartphone market.
- BEA and Sun were companies.
Over the years, we have functioned like a startup. It seemed like each year we were looking for new sponsorship, pitching to new people, pivoting our strategy for new investors, recruiting new users, building and promoting new products and tools.
The experience has been both supremely rewarding and extremely frustrating, just like a startup.
So what’s next for the AppsLab?
We’ve settled into WebCenter development over the past two years, which feels like the right place for what we do. We’re getting a chance to build products that users will actually use and fingers crossed, will graduate outside the firewall. That’s one area where AppsLab has always suffered, releasing product.
I’ll still be blogging here, until they tell me to turn out the lights, but I don’t know how much work stuff I’ll be able to share. If you read here, you’ll know it’s been devoid of work details for quite some time. So, business as usual.
Rich casts a big shadow, and it’s time that our other rockstars, Anthony (@anthonyslai) and Noel (@noelportugal) get their due. Anthony has been a quiet Juggernaut for years, cranking out awesome code while keeping a low profile, and Noel has been on fire since he joined us, scratching itches and bringing a new positive energy to the team.
Paul once said everyone should get a Rich. I’m glad we had one. Good luck buddy. We’ll miss you.