The time has come to say good-bye. I can honestly say I didn’t anticipate how difficult it would be, even though, in its way, it’s been coming for a long time.
A huge part of what I am has been determined by what I have learned from all of you—about customers, about sales, about service, about support, about technology, about finance, about how to take the fuzziest of notions and turn it into a product and explain it to a market, about how to run a company, and most of all, about how to be in the world. More than anything else, I want to thank you for that.
Many of you have been kind enough to drop me notes about what working at WebCT has meant to you.
Some of you have talked about the company. Kathy Vieira taught me that the heart and soul of any services organization, the magic confidence that enables consultants to go out and do their jobs, comes from knowing that someone has always got your back. That’s the way I felt at WebCT. I knew I lived in a strong and supportive network of people I could count on, who put the customers’ interests before their own, pulled together as a team, and always, always watched each other’s backs.
Others of you have talked about the opportunity we have had to change the world. It’s hard to travel back 10 years and imagine a time when the most exciting content accessible on a university’s network was the menu for the dining hall–or back to a time when many people told Carol and I this notion would never stick or grow because college professors would never, ever touch technology.
I find it overwhelming to think about the change we’ve seen in global terms. I find it easier to think in terms of a story Lisa Philpott and Sarah Burke included in the IMPACT 2005 keynote about a middle-aged man who displayed such talent and compassion at the hospice while caring for his dying wife that the workers there urged him to change careers and become a healthcare practitioner. He made the change while working and caring for his daughter, and never set foot on campus until the day he graduated as valedictorian of his class. When Sarah interviewed him, he said that what made him proudest was that working at home in the evening on his computer, he was able to model for his daughter the skills, eagerness to learn and work ethic he believed she would need in her own life. When he returned from graduation, she had created a Powerpoint presentation to offer her congratulations.
That is the sea change we have been a part of. All of us. And I hope each of you takes pride in your own contribution.
I want to wish every one of you the very best wherever life takes you from here. Please do not hesitate to reach out if I can ever be of any help.