October 28, 2010

How I met Ray Ozzie, Part 1

A couple of days ago I read about Ray Ozzie’s departure from Microsoft, a memo sent from SteveB. It reminded me of how I met the guy himself so many years ago. It’s a story I cherish, it’s one of those thing that happens you don’t expect and then you look back and you say WOW that was cool. It also got us to learn a thing or two about ourselves along the way.

First Contact

One Saturday morning late 90ies, I received an email from Ray Ozzie, he was inquiring about what we might be able to do to assist him and his crew with a project he was working on. Absolutely no details, the email was very secretive. He then went on to introduce himself, which was a good thing because I didn’t know him from a hole in the wall. …silly me…

The introduction started like this “By way of introduction, I started a company named Iris Associates”' … still didn’t ring a bell to me … “I have been involved in the collaboration space for a long-time” … sure good for you… “and I created what became Lotus Notes” …At that point I got a glimpse, and my heartbeat went way up.

He went on to tell me other stuff he was involved in, but I don’t recall. The first thing I did was to look his name up, where I learned that he had been named to the Computing Hall of Fame and many other awards.  Bill Gates once said of Ray “His is the smartest programmer outside of Microsoft” or something along those lines. The bottom line he is super smart and respected for his achievements!

I could not believe my luck, THIS Ray guy was looking us up for expertise we had to assist him on his super duper secret project. That whole day, weekend I was on a high. We were going to be discussing with a big shot in the technology world about helping him with his challenge. This whole thing meant a lot to me because  having the opportunity of working with the best gets my juice going, it’s success on its own for me.

We arranged to a meeting a few weeks later, where he and his team would be visiting our office to show off their product, and get our assessment if we could work our magic on it.

Stay tuned more to come: the visit, job and product launch.

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