People at SAP know that I work using round numbers. 100 is one of my favorites.
It has been 100 hours since I jumped into the void – so far no "splat". That could mean that I either learned how to fly or it will hurt real bad when I hit the ground at some point. If anything created elevation for this flight it must be the power of a thousand supporting email messages and postings from within SAP and on SDN that made me feel still part of the SAP family. You guys gave me a collective hug and I am forever at your debt for such a show of emotional support.
I am sure that for every positive voice there must have been a negative cheer somewhere, but I decided not to keep score on my departure. People will have opinions, and most of them are not grounded in what had transpired or why I am gone – they are merely opinions, some more informed than others, but all focused on the past. Instead of dwelling on that past, I will try and post my views on the industry in my own blog – when I figure out a name for it (every name in the known universe has been taken!). I will also cross post on SDN, so that I can stay connected to this wonderful community (or at the very least - win my way into TechED by scoring enough points.)
I would love to hear from you what topics are of high interest for you. Think of this as your ability to have a virtual sapphire or TechEd Q&A with me. I will not gossip on my past life, as it might become valuable for some future book (if you, the reader, are a lawyer working for SAP, I was just kidding). Seriously, I would like to share with you my observations, with a bit more perspective that comes from being a bit distanced, on the future of enterprise computing. It will become a much tougher challenge to be correct, as I can no longer influence the direction from within, but at least it will give you guys a clue as to how we thought until Wednesday of last week. In between, I will probably share with you some of my new found insights from the great alternative energy and transportation industry. It feels like there is a band of angels right now working on so many interesting ideas, and some of you expressed your direct or indirect interest, that I hope you won’t be bored when I wander off to the energy space.
A lot of speculation on where I will end up, as the short comment on the press release caused a bit of a shake. I received so many blessings from people who expect me to solve at least one of the 10 most important problems in the universe that I had the urge to change my ambition. If I could choose one personal goal it would probably be “manage not to be a part of any frequent flyer program” – so I can spend more time with my family – but then again, I am writing this on an airplane, so I am not sure I will be successful in that goal. I decided to take 100 days to go through the 100 or so offers I received in the first 100 hours. I hope to narrow them down and look at the most interesting problems to solve. I will remain completely unbiased during this time, as I have not had a chance to stay broad and open since we started TopTier (called Quicksoft back then), 17 years ago.
As to alternative energy, I did not discover it last week, while looking for a classy exit line in a press release. I am a member of the environment subgroup of YGL which is the under-40 group of the World Economic Forum (think “baby-Davos”). There is a lot of excitement going on in the "alt.energy" field right now, giving it the feel of an Internet-like frenzy. At least this time the problems are meaningful to the entire population, and the money spend is real not linden-dollars. I am focusing more attention on the transportation question, but will also look at generation issues.
In any case, I am sure this will be a fantastic “pride adjustment period” learning how to fly with my own wings, not the borrowed one I got at SAP. As some smart man said – “Angels fly because they take themselves lightly”, I promise to take myself very lightly during this flight – hopefully you can take me lightly as well until I land somewhere.
PS. Although my sap email address still works, I will be using a new one from now, until I figure out where I land. My new address is shai.agassi@BetterPlc.com and you can probably figure out the reason for the name…