Well, this is a surprise…

So there I was, happily tooling along, planning eventual world conquest by open SDN and the Brocade SDN Controller.

And then an old work friend called about a startup. And then another one. At first I said, Sure, let’s have coffee and catch up, I’d love to hear about what you’re working on. Because it’s always a good call to spend time batting ideas around with smart, interesting people, right? But one thing led to another, and well, they hooked me.

I’ve been doing internal “startups” in established companies for close to a decade now. I like blank sheets of paper. A lot. Yet despite having spent most of my life in the Valley, I’ve never been at an actual startup. There are pros and cons about doing bleeding-edge things within established companies; I know them all intimately at this point. I also know there are lots and lots of things I don’t know, because I’ve never had to before. There’s a certain adrenaline rush to getting something off the ground. Once it approaches cruising altitude though, I usually start to get antsy. The Brocade controller isn’t quite there yet, but it’s getting close, and I knew I’d be getting antsy by the end of 2016.

And so, with a great opportunity in front of me to learn all kinds of new things alongside a bunch of old friends and some pretty interesting new ones, I decided I could probably hand off controller/SDN marketing to someone else, in good conscience, sooner rather than later. Believe me, this has come as a bit of a surprise to me, as much as it likely has to anyone else, given how invested I’ve become in it all over the past several years. But there are different kinds of things I’d like to learn about now.

So this is my last week at Brocade. It’s a bit bittersweet, because there are so many awesome people at Brocade (no emo post on Medium for me…). But it’s a very small world, and I’m confident they won’t get too far away.

Where am I going? Stay tuned–all will be revealed in a few weeks.