Sunday, August 10, 2008

The Next Chapter

While I was at 3Di I had the pleasure of working with many real and potential partner companies from across the globe. Many times I succeeded only in embarrassing myself professionally; but I always tried to hold true to a sense of professional competence, ethics, and behaviour that stood for the kind of person I want to be. Not unselfishly, I hoped to be seen as a stand out guy, even if only to serve my own conceited self image.

Part of my professional ethic is that companies, as abstract entities, with no more life than that which the whim of its investors endow it, deserve no great respect or loyalty in and of themselves. Companies demand obedience, whether it be to laws or directives from superiors; but it's people that deserve respect and loyalty. And many times it's people outside your company, who's respect you've cultivated and earned, who go furthest in helping you accomplish your goals.

I hope that doesn't sound too shocking, because superficially it appears to be a contradictory to the notions of belonging and identity that most people hold. However if you look closer you might find merely a different definition of the same.

The purpose for someone like me to join a company, it's never about getting rich, it's always about creating something larger that yourself. Money is just a means to play the game, not the game in and of itself. On the other hand, for many people, joining a company is about keeping your head down so you can continue to earn a wage to fund whatever it is you'd rather be doing. People like that aren't going to join you in building new things.

I am happy to say that the result of my connections was several strong relationships with people from many different companies, industries, and backgrounds. Some of whom I haven't even ever met in person yet. When I informed those people that I would no longer be able to act as a liaison with 3Di due to my decision to leave, I was impressed with the level of interest in continuing working with me after 3Di. It didn't take very long for someone to offer me a job, but I am somewhat surprised at the quality of opportunity I have been given a shot at.

I have tentatively accept a role as senior engineer with RealXtend, an emerging leader in open 3D virtual worlds, to work with them directly in Oulu Finland. I will likely be involved in working with the open source community, general programming, and helping plot technical direction using the knowledge and insight I've cultivated during my short but eventful career in virtual worlds.

That means picking up the family and heading down to the equivalent of a small town to the north of Edmonton. While Oulu is quite a bit smaller than the some 35M people in the greater Tokyo area, I am actually relishing a chance to leave this mass of humanity behind for a while. I needed a new direction, under leadership that I can respect, and quite frankly, I am impressed beyond words at the professionalism and attitude that realxtend has shown in their work to get me over to Finland. These guys are great guys, and as I said to start out, it's the people there that have earned my respect and loyalty.

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