Saturday, May 27, 2006

What it feels like to be an employee again

Someone asked in a blog comment what it feels like to be an employee again. I replied that my short answer is that it is too soon to tell. The "honeymoon" isn't yet over. I'll have a better answer in a few months.

I'm really busy coming up to speed in the new job and waiting for my first pay check (not to mention my signing bonus).

I'm also still in the process of moving my residence. I'll be looking at more apartments next Saturday and hoping to make a housing decision then or within another week as well. I may not be "settled" until late June. This process will consume a lot of my "spare" time and attention.

All of this activity doesn't leave me with enough time to contemplate what I may be missing from the entrepreneurial world.

In truth, my recent entrepreneurial efforts (past few years) were stalled, unsuccessful, unsatisfying, and distinctly unprofitable at the point where I contemplated employment anyway, so it's not like I had a very hard choice to make or a lot to regret.

Two months ago I hadn't even imagined that I would consider working for my new employer as a full-time employee (known around here as a "blue badge FTE").

If I had had some great entrepreneurial opportunity in my head two months ago I certainly would have pursued it, but I didn't, so there is nothing for me to "miss" there.

My current plan is to spend the next five to ten years pursuing team-oriented opportunities at my new employer, and then consider my options going forward. I don't anticipate spending even two seconds of my time contemplating entrepreneurial opportunities over the next five years. I'll be too busy to do otherwise.

I'll spend the next year just coming up to speed for my initial position. Then I'll spend another year or two after that in my current position, establishing as strong a performance track record and reputation as possible, and only then contemplate moving around in the company and what type of "career" development I might want to pursue, such as PhD, MBA, JD, or whatever, so that five years from now I'll have plenty of options to pick from. I have absoluetly no idea where I might be five years from now, either in terms or my nominal position or my career options.

For now, I'll dedicate my personal time to assuring that my work life is extremely successful. Any "spare" time will be reserved for non-business pursuits (i.e., non-work and non-entrepreneurial).

Whether I do any further blogging remains to be seen.

As a final note, I'm not terribly happy with the overall state of the technology sector (my new employer excepted), including the dismal state of affairs with hardware architectures, new Web architecture and infrastructure and application development, the stumbling progress of the Semantic Web, the dismal state of Artificial Intelligence, and the lack of sufficiently robust and focused research programs in computer science and related disciplines. Far too much of what we're seeing as "entreprenurial" is incremental improvement, "me too", and re-hashing of existing products and services, with far too little significant innovation. Meanwhile so many real world needs go unmet because the technology simply isn't "there" yet. Maybe my "plan" is that if I wait another five (or ten) years, we might see some big enough technological advances that my entrepreneurial drive might once again be stimulated.

-- Jack Krupansky

Sunday, May 21, 2006

Suspension of my entrepreneurial and blogging efforts

I've now finished my first week as a full-time employee of Microsoft, so it's now safe to say that my entrepreneurial and blogging efforts are now suspended indefinitely.

-- Jack Krupansky

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Day 2 at Microsoft

My entrepreneurial and blogging efforts are another day closer to being over as I finished my second day as a full-time employee at Microsoft. Most of the day was taking up with a second day of NEO (New Employee Orientation). I got my official "blue" badge, a free bus pass, my email "alias", unpacked my Dell computer, enrolled in Direct Deposit for my paycheck, and drank some free chocolate milk (one of the free beverage selections).

The remaining step before I'll feel like a "real" employee is to attend my first work meeting (besides the new employee orientation). I'd rather get my first paycheck as well, just to be sure.

Oh, and I need to read the corporate blogging policy.

It was a short day since I arrived at 8:30 a.m. and left at 8:30 p.m. I'm going to try to get in by 6:30 a.m. on Wednesday and stay till about 8:00 p.m. I've got a lot of catching up to do before I'll be ahead of the curve. My manager assigned me two "peer mentors" to help me come up to speed even quicker.

-- Jack Krupansky

Monday, May 15, 2006

Started at Microsoft - Day 1

My entrepreneurial and blogging efforts are almost over since today was was first day as an employee at Microsoft. I say "almost" bcause I won't consider myself to be a "real" and "official" employee until I have a badge (SmartCard cardkey with picture), an email address, direct-deposit is set up for my paycheck, and I have attended my first meeting (other than the formal new employee orientation). Then I'll consider that all of my entrepreneurial bridges have been burned.

Tuesday is the second day of NEO (New Employee Orientation) and then I wander off to find my team.

I'll be a Software Design Engineer in Test (SDE/T), developing tests and software tools for testing in the Cellular Core team of the Mobile and Embedded Devices Product Group (MEDPG) in Redmond. That includes the low-level software that goes into smartphones and other gadgets based on Windows CE.

I'm in temp housing, a nice apartment in a complex named The Trails of Redmond, for three weeks or so until I get my first paycheck so that I can afford to pay the first month of rent and the deposit. I've checked out a dozen apartments and found a cheap studio in downtown Bellevue that is good enough for my needs and is only a 20-minute bus ride, but I remain undecided and cannot commit to a lease until that first paycheck is in the bank (May 31 or June 1).

I may eventually resume some amount of blogging in some form, but probably not for some time since I expect it will take 250% of my effort just to come up to speed and get at least slightly ahead of the curve over the next six months.

Oh, and since I'll be joining "The Evil Empire", please... pray for my soul! The world may no longer be safe with me on Microsoft's side.

-- Jack Krupansky

Thursday, May 04, 2006

Updated concept paper: The Consumer-Centric Knowledge Web

I've updated my concept paper entitled "The Consumer-Centric Knowledge Web - A Vision of Consumer Applications of Software Agent Technology - Enabling Consumer-Centric Knowledge-Based Computing" which discusses a conceptual framework for knowledge-based applications that keep the consumer at the center using software agent technology. This is more than simply consumer-oriented, which means that vendors at least pay lip service to consumers, but consumer-centric means that the consumer is placed at the center and has full ownership of all of their data and is in full control, and where vendors are not in a position to dictate any terms.

This concept paper is now frozen since I have accepted an offer for full-time employment with Microsoft (unrelated to anything in the paper) and will not be working on this concept as long as I am employed.

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Updated Distributed Virtual Personal Computer (DVPC) proposal

I've just posted an updated version of my proposal for a Distributed Virtual Personal Computer (DVPC).

I still have no intention of personally designing or implementing the details of such a product or even developing a business around the concepts, but I would like somebody to do it so that one of these days I can buy a new PC and it will come with right out of the box.

This concept paper is now frozen since I have accepted an offer for full-time employment with Microsoft (unrelated to anything in the paper) and will not be working on this concept as long as I am employed.

-- Jack Krupansky