Neal Freeland

Engineering/marketing manager, family guy. My personal blog with a few work thoughts mixed in.

Goodbye Microsoft

with 3 comments

After five years, last week was my final one at Microsoft. I feel very lucky to have had the chance to work for such a great company. Looking back, here are some thoughts:
 
Strengths
 
  • Great place to start to a career. Microsoft provided me with the opportunity to start my career after graduate school, and while there I discovered that I very much enjoy online consumer marketing, leading teams, and having an impact. As a former manager stated, I am who I am today because of the time I spent at MSN and Live Search.
  • Talented group of people. My co-workers were amazingly energetic, talented, and fun to work alongside. Several are now friends, and I look forward to keeping in touch.
  • Caring place. I will always be thankful for how the people and company supported us when our daughter Amelia was born with a couple of heart defects. People stepped in and took over my responsibilities, and the insurance took care of everything. Not even a single form to fill out.

Constructive comments

  • Don’t let the perfect be the enemy of the good. The culture is very open and encourages questioning, and with a lot of talented people there are a lot of questions. Unfortunately, sometimes it felt to me like there could be more emphasis on execution. Winning comes from executing several good ideas quickly, rather than forever chasing the elusive ideal of perfection.
  • Beware of Versailles. I sometimes felt like I was in Versailles, where courtiers vie endlessly for the King’s favor. Though I was only a director for a relatively short time, from what I saw there was quite a bit of palace intrigue among the leaders. Louis XIV, who led the strongest country in Europe, created Versailles to keep his nobles busy with frippery so they wouldn’t plan intrigue. However, for the online businesses in hyper-competitive markets, the company would probably be better served with leaders who are a little less focused on talking pretty in front of the boss and instead actually know how to dive into battle and wield a sword.

Overall, my time at Microsoft was a great experience. I still felt like there was a lot to do for search, especially via the Club, so I regret slightly leaving. However, I’m very much looking forward to my new gig, which starts tomorrow. Update soon.

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Written by nealfreeland

October 7, 2007 at 8:37 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

3 Responses

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  1. Enjoy investigating your viewpoint of a former employ. Just let you know \’I\’ve been to your blog.". Awaiting your update.

    Bill

    October 9, 2007 at 5:58 am

  2. Good luck!

    Mike

    October 11, 2007 at 11:33 pm

  3. Wow!  Congrats, good luck, and I can\’t wait to hear about your new gig!

    Ann

    October 16, 2007 at 6:53 pm


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