I spoke with Robert Scoble last week and he confided in me that he was seriously considering an offer from PodTech.net and might be leaving Microsoft. Unless you live in a deep dark hole, you know by now that he has made the decision to move on from Microsoft.
This is clearly a big win for PodTech.net and for Robert. It's less clear how this will impact Microsoft. A company that size is bigger than any single person, even one who has contributed as much as Robert has. He helped make Microsoft a more human place but it's important to remember that a lot of people helped him make that happen. Some of those people like Len Pryor have also moved on. Others like Jeff Sandquist remain.
Personally, I think this is a great time in Robert's life to be making this change. Following the recent loss of his mom, he's been doing some serious soul searching and a change that brings him home to the Bay area and closer to his son seems completely appropriate. Tech.meme is all about Scoble today and everyone has an opinion about this news. I think Dave Winer, who has known Robert for a very long time, nailed it. It's hard to be at a big company for any period of time and not have it change you. I just want want to wish my friend godspeed as he continues on his journey.
I'm reminded of a saying I first heard as a kid when I was a Boy Scout at my first Jamboree event: "Leave only footprints". The great American poet Henry Wadsworth Longfellow in A Psalm of Life wrote:
Lives of great men all remind us
We can make our lives sublime,
And departing, leave behind us
Footprints on the sands of time.
Scoble's tenure at Microsoft lasted three years. His footprints will endure for a long time.