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So long and thanks for all the fish

4 May 2018 by Alan Byrne

It is with a mixture of sadness and excitement that I announce that Friday, May 4th 2018 (Star Wars day!) will be my last day as VP of Product, and indeed an employee of Quadrotech.

Coming into a new company as CEO and co-founder of an acquisition is never an easy task. There are countless sleepless nights wondering if you’ve made the right choice bringing your team into a new company, a team who were instrumental in getting you to that point. Many start-up founders fantasize about selling their company and walking away to retire on a beach somewhere.  However, when faced with the situation in real life, they quickly learn that it’s very difficult to walk away from your people and you’re left with what I imagine to be a similar anxiety to what parents feel when they send their child off to their first day of school.

My story with Quadrotech was different to the other stories I’d read about acquisitions.  Over the past 18 months, the team and products we brought into Quadrotech were welcomed into the Quadro-family as smoothly as I could have wished for, with many Cogmotive employees going on to bigger and better roles within the larger organisation.

At the same time, the rapid growth and expansion of Quadrotech meant that it was becoming increasingly difficult to manage the portfolio of existing and upcoming products.  In early 2017 our CEO, Thomas Madsen, asked me to step in and build a formal Product Management team to tackle this problem, which is where I have been focusing my energy ever since.

Throughout 2017 my Product team has taken Quadrotech’s strong set of individual Office 365 Migration, Reporting and Management tools and rolled them into a cohesive symphony of complementary products that provide far more value to customers together than they did individually.  If you came by our giant booth at Microsoft Ignite in Orlando last year, you would have seen the fruits of this work on display as we showcased our enhanced product vision alongside our suite of offerings.

This has been an amazing and rewarding journey for me personally.  I am incredibly proud of what my team has produced against the backdrop of an ever-moving Microsoft target and market in general.  More than that, I’m proud of the whole company who drove to make 2017 the most successful year in the company’s history, despite many challenges and setbacks.

I firmly believe that Quadrotech’s best years are ahead of it, that under the stewardship of Thomas Madsen, CEO and Paul Robichaux, CTO there will be many record-breaking years to come. I like to think that I played some small part in building a foundation that will allow it to grow faster, stronger and better than ever before. But with Cogmotive successfully adopted as part of the larger Quadrotech group, and a skilled and highly performing Product Management team running successfully and building market-leading products, the time has come for me to move on to my next challenge.

The hardest part about deciding to move on is leaving the people I work with every day.  Wherever I have worked in the past, I’ve always found a small group of people who made the jump from “colleague” to “friend” during my tenure.

Quadrotech is different.

Every day is like going to work with a group of friends, friends that work hard together and play hard together. I am extremely sad that I will not get to work with them anymore, but I have no doubt that I will be crossing paths and having beers with most of them again sometime in the future.  Although I am not going to be involved with Quadrotech on a daily basis, I will be loudly cheering for them from the sidelines.

I really want to say a heartfelt thank you to everyone at Cogmotive, Quadrotech, our customers, our partners and the Microsoft MVP community who have helped me out along this journey.  I couldn’t have done it without you and I owe you all a large debt of gratitude.

However, it’s now time for me to go off to try something totally new. I have decided that it’s time to leave the Microsoft world and take on something completely different at a software company that specialises in financial software.  If you want to keep in touch please do so via Twitter or LinkedIn.