So my whirlwind ride with Ipsum Networks comes to an abrupt, but in retrospect natural, conclusion. It happened very quickly, from my point of view, but had really been building for a while. Suffice it to say this last couple of years has been pretty interesting, with a lot of good people and a lot of the typical tech-startup issues.
Now there is a skeleton crew staying on to “polish” the technology to help make it more salable to the burgeoning masses of Route Analysis-aware behemoths that are finally starting to wake from their somnambulist stumble through the land of IP.
But, alas, I will not be among them. And that makes me a bit sad. Anyways, instead of rambling on incessantly, I thought I’d share the farewell missive email I sent to the people I will no longer see 8-12 hours of my day:
What a wonderful crew. And despite all the crazy turns, the excitement, and the setbacks, we remain a predominantly upbeat and positive bunch.
When I try to come up with a good definition of “Ipsum Networks” I think of the work and the work product, of course. But equally important is the list of people and memories that I’ll take away from there. Ipsum was the people who encompassed it; who made it what it became.
Thanks to all the hard work, belief and cooperation, we were able to congregate and create a product that largely reflects our collective passion and will. Each of us, with our own strengths, poured our time and commitment into something that will hopefully bear great fruit, in some way, to the world.
To those of you who are tasked with the challenge of continuing to bear the burden, I wish great strength of resolve and best of luck. To those no longer in the fight, I salute you and your efforts! All the past and present contributions represent a monumental effort. I don’t look at any of my time spent at Ipsum as wasted (the people, the good times, and the copious “Friday Sugars” remind me of that)! I will remember so much, but I thougt I should list some of the most memorable things.
I will remember the weary faces of late-working engineers. The fun-loving jeers of competitive dart players. Communal dining most days with people from around the globe. The spirited social discussions and arguments over silly semantics. The screams of “Lunch?” and the odd savory mixture of smells from Rustica, Panang, and home.
I will remember being asked to drive my new co-workers (which I’d only known for several weeks) in a large SUV many miles south through a seeming blizzard to my first business convention as a “vendor”. I’ll never forget the enthusiasm generated there. I will remember feeling like a part of something big though the group remained quite small.
I’ll remember homegrown demolitions squad remodeling our offices with their heads. Ouch.
I’ll remember the Xbox we never had (thank GOODNESS 🙂 ), to the coffee machines we did. The spate of dartboards that suffered at our hands, and the predisposition to use any gathering of people as an excuse to…well, gather. Snaps, snaps, and more snaps.
Company meetings in a room that became increasingly too small for them.. The acrid, gym-like smell of Fran & Mike’s inherited couch. Pets, children, and significants of all types. White boards that always seemed to have room for more squiggles, regardless of how many ancient hieroglyphs had been scrawled on them in the past. Being too hot in the winter, and too cold in the summer. The joy and warm security of nightly backups.
I’ll remember how Ipsum’s engineers could get excited about the latest release of Eclipse, or Bugzilla. I’ll remember how only engineers could attempt to make everything into a system, function, or graph: from soda consumption by type, the rate of bug fixes v.s. bug generation, to the relative cost/benefit of a meatball sandwich. I’ll remember how the constant flow of Fed Ex and UPS packages to the office would shame another business twice our size.
Oh, I WILL remember promises made to spur on the team to complete our milestone, and the weak “frosted tips” response when the team succeeded. (Zelesko, as God is my witness, you WILL be a bleached-blond freak like we were!) 😉 I will remember Red noses and pranks brought on by wine; great meals; power outages; hallway fires; and savoring the rare “honor” of being the last person to leave the building.
And since this has become the long winded diatribe that some of you,(no doubt) expected, let me add simply this:
“I know of no more encouraging fact than the unquestionable ability of man to elevate his life by a conscious endeavor.”
~Henry David Thoreau
Thanks Ipsum; All the people who once lived it, and the people who bear our hopes by continuing the work.
– Maurice “mo” Gaston