Last month, my wife’s uncle died in a tragic accident in LA when the bicycle he was using to get lunch was hit by a truck. At the memorial service his daughter relayed a very touching story.
She said her dad (who was her best friend) called every day to talk. But instead of opening the call with the customary “How are you” or “What’s going on”, her dad always opened the conversation with “And then?” Her father viewed each conversation as a continuation of the last, and what pained her the most was that there were to be no more “and thens”. I cried.
Since then I’ve thought a lot about how similar this is to our life’s endeavors. We pour our heart and soul into our work and it becomes something we love and cherish. But even the challenges we work on today will one day become “and thens” as we move on to the next.
Today I’m announcing my departure from Google after almost 8 years.
I have been incredibly fortunate to work with the amazing people of Google. I don’t believe there is a more talented and passionate collection of people anywhere else. And I’m overwhelmed when I think about the leadership of +Larry Page and what he empowered me to do while at Google. From starting Google I/O, to being responsible for all mobile applications, to creating Google+, none of this would have happened without Larry’s encouragement and support.
I’m also forever in debt to the Google+ team. This is a group of people who built social at Google against the skepticism of so many. The growth of active users is staggering, and speaks to the work of this team. But it doesn’t tell you what kind of people they are. They are invincible dreamers. I love them. And I will miss them dearly.
Finally, thank you to all those who I’ve met on Google+. The community here has been so supportive that I don’t even know how to say thank you. You all make Google+. Without you, this social network wouldn’t exist. Your support for Google+, and for me personally is something I will never forget.
But, now is the time for a new journey. A continuation. An “and then”. I am excited about what’s next. But this isn’t the day to talk about that. This is a day to celebrate the past 8 years. To cry. And smile. And to look forward to the journey yet to come.