jump to navigation

On leaving Microsoft 2010-May-08 at 08:52 PDT

Posted by Scott Arbeit in Blog.
Tags: , ,

Yesterday was my last day at Microsoft, and I suppose that, given such an important life transition, I should capture a few words.

First of all, I love the company, as much as anyone could love a company. I always wanted to work there.  I believe in their mission.  I believe they are uniquely qualified to make a tremendous impact on computing and the way we interface with computers over the next two decades, at least.  No company in the world invests more in R&D than Microsoft, and IIRC Microsoft accounts for 3% of the total R&D in the United States.

I also really love their products, with few exceptions.  They deliver incredible enterprise and business functionality in a fairly user-friendly way.  The consumer products (I’m typing in Live Writer) are also getting really good.

So I don’t have anything bad to say.  What I can say is that after looking around the company for other jobs, and looking into my heart, I’m just not quite a fit there.  I’ve got a unique set of skills and perspectives around technology that are, by almost anyone’s standards, both broad and deep.  As I interviewed around the company, I kept running into groups that looked for even more depth than I have in very specific areas, and didn’t care at all about my breadth and experience.  And, ultimately, I didn’t want to dive into that much depth without getting a chance to leverage my broad experience in interesting ways.

I’m not in resistance to that… just observing it.  Microsoft is an incredibly successful company, they’ve gotten there doing what they’re doing. Recognizing that I’m not exactly fitting in, as happily as I’d like to, is just giving myself the ability to stop struggling while trying to.

As soon as it became clear to me that I should leave, though, an enormous weight was lifted.  I feel energized, I feel excited, I feel alive.  I can’t wait to get started on my new life.  And I’m grateful for what I have learned in my time at Microsoft… much of it will be useful to me as I continue down this new path.

And now that writing this book and blogging here are crucial parts of what I’m doing, look for a lot more traffic.  A lot more.



1. Sean - 2010-May-08 at 14:04 PDT

looking forward to learning more about your next step.

2. bryan - 2010-May-09 at 07:01 PDT

Great thoughts. Now that I’m done sharing nice but useless sentiments ;-)… I thought your Microsoft Exit note was simple, but still very useful as far as distinctions go. In the most general sense, I’ve found my life presenting more and more paradoxical dilemmas when it comes to working, living, practicing, and hopefully enjoying most of what I do. I can’t say for sure, but it seems like we all have a unique “sweet spot” of balance between the depth and breadth. When sustained over a long enough period, this balance generates serious momentum towards whatever it is that really matters to us, and eventually opens up possibilities that would otherwise remain untapped. Here’s to showing the f*&k up and taking full advantage of this opportunity to take the next step!


3. Isaiah Landers - 2010-May-09 at 20:32 PDT

You are my new ‘hero’ Scott! Spirit’s abundant Grace will be the wind beneath your soaring wings. Love=beams from us embrace you always…\o/
Isaiah & Elena

4. Elena Chvany - 2010-May-09 at 20:46 PDT

You are a great example of courage, Scott, and integrity, by
going for what works for you, not just what will keep you “safe”.
I totally understand and value the “broad perspective”. Deep is good,
but seeing as you do makes connections of great value that others may not see. Deep is often also “narrow”.
I admire and support you in your next creations.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: