After almost 16 years working for HP, almost half of which on HPVM, I have decided to do something else. Please welcome my new little company, Taodyne, into the fierce world of software development startups. Taodyne is supported and funded by Incubateur PACA-Est.
For me, this is a pretty major change. So it was not an easy decision to make. Leaving behind the HPVM team, in particular, was tough. Still, the decision was the right one for a couple of reasons.
- First, I had to face the fact that HP is not trying too hard to retain its employees. To be honest, in my case, they actually offered something at the last minute. But it was way too late. The decision had already been made over one year ago. There was no going back, as the creation of the new company commits other people who I could not simply leave behind.
- However, the primary reason for leaving HP was my desire to invent new stuff, something that I felt was less and less possible at HP. Don’t get me wrong, it’s still possible to “invent” at HP, but you have to do it on demand, it has to fit in the corporate agenda, to belong to the corporate portfolio. Nobody could invent a totally new business like the Inkjet or the calculator at HP nowadays. Well, at least I could not (and I tried).
The tipping point for me was probably when one of my past managers told me that I should feel content with my contributions to HPVM, that I “had been lucky” to have this as the “high point to my career”. That manager probably meant his remark as a compliment. But I personally think sweat had more to do with the success of HPVM than luck, and I’m not sure how to take the “high point part” (“from there, you can only go down”?)
Ultimately, the choice was relatively obvious, if hard to make. Simply put, I didn’t have a dream job at HP anymore, nor any hope that things would improve. I was working long hours (meetings from 5PM to 1AM 5 times a week, anyone?), more or less officially had two jobs for only one pay, only to be told year after year that the only way forward was down… I owed it to my family to look for a way out.
So really, for me, HPVM was hopefully not the high point in a career, it was hopefully just one step along the way. Taodyne is the next one. Let’s hope I still have something to offer. When we deliver our first product, I hope that you will agree that I took the right decision. In the meantime, please check out our progress on the XLR web site.
Update: This entry was shortened compared to the original to remove useless material.