Call anytime… seriously.


Often times I get asked what it is that I do as an evangelist. Today, at Google Developer Day, I got asked an even more interesting question : "what can you do for me as a Microsoft evangelist?" The answer is, a lot of things. And it depends.


Recently, Zooomr has been in the news quite a bit because of an issue they faced, which caused their service to be taken offline for an extended period of time. The issue got a lot more visibility through Scoble's blog. He encouraged certain companies (like Microsoft) to help Zooomr out. I first heard about the Zooomr issue at roughly 9.30pm on 5/29 through my friend Greg, on chat. Anyhow, long story short, I spent a good part of the following 24 hours or so trying to get a hold of Kris Tate and Thomas Lewis of Zooomr to see how we can help. But Zooomr had already found a nice home by then.


In the end, all worked out for Zooomr, so that's fantastic. I met with Scoble today, and in speaking with him, I gathered that Kris and Thomas are pretty stoked about bringing Zooomr back up. But, I started to wonder - this wouldn't have been an issue if Kris or Thomas would've known how to get a hold of me. And this is, like, my job. And I'm pretty damned good at what I do. Or so I thought. So...



If you have any questions or concerns that are Microsoft related, or not, call me. If you're just in the city, and feel like getting some coffee or a drink or food or whatever, call me. If you need relationship advice, well, call your counselor first (if you have one), but also call me, because I have an opinion about nearly everything, and I'm mostly wrong, but you'll instantly feel better about yourself and you'll at least know what not to do.


My number is 415-972-6526. My email address is anand dot iyer at microsoft dot com. Consider me your local Microsoft technology resource. If I can't get you the answer to something, I will find you someone who can [get you the answer to that something].


Your friendly MS-neighborhood,


"ai"


Comments (21)

  1. Candy Bouquets says:

    The zooomr downtime was a disappointment. I am glad the problem has resolved.

  2. JaneO says:

    And I thought I was special that the ai had given me his number…

  3. Thomas says:

    I posted yesterday about the goodwill that <a href="http://scissormonkey.wordpress.com/2007/05/30/positive-press-for-zoho-and-sun-microsystems/&quot; target="_blank">Zoho and Sun had received concerning the help they have given Zooomr</a>.</p>

    I am sorry to hear that we missed this opportunity, but there will be additional opportunities in the future.

    I appreciate this collaborative environment, I know we are competitors, but we have similar goals in trying to move forward.

  4. Tom Newman says:

    Thanks for the offer to support Zooomr and Kris Tate and Thomas Hawk. There are a number us Zooomr users who have been following the live "launch" for over a week and it was a major setback when the server crashed 20 minutes after launch. It’s great to see the Internet community come together and help. I’m sure Zooomr will be back ASAP with all the great support they are receiving.

  5. Dave Cohen says:

    Hi Anand, just came her via Scoble.  I’m curious to hear how you would have helped out the Zooomr guys.  Could you elaborate?

  6. ai says:

    Hi Thomas,

    I am sorry to hear that we missed this

    opportunity, but there will be additional

    opportunities in the future.

    Definitely. Good luck!

    ai

  7. ai says:

    Hi Tom,

    It’s great to see the Internet community come

    together and help.

    Agreed. Its a great service and it deserves the attention its getting.

    I wish them well.

  8. ai says:

    Hi Dave,

    I’m curious to hear how you would have

    helped out the Zooomr guys.  Could you

    elaborate?

    That’s a great question. It goes back to my post about how I got asked today as to what I can do for someone as an evangelist.

    It would honestly depend on what Zoho would’ve needed. All I knew was that they had a server go down, and a few of us within my team spoke about how we could loan them a server. We were exploring options about possibly hosting it at a datacenter (we have interesting topologies as you can probably imagine), but it was getting quite hard to anticipate their needs, and we decided to wait to hear back.

    All said and done, things seemed to have worked out for them fabulously.

    ta,

    ai

  9. Thomas says:

    Anand – I was referring our (Microsoft) missed opportunity with Zooomr – I think you are referring to other opportunities – that I hope are still open for discussion.

    I was reading your posts on Scoble, and I think you did a great job. You get real insight as you read what people write – and some people come across as very bitter and jaded.

    I think addressing this issue head on, and posting your information out there was a great idea.

  10. Isaac says:

    Nice job ai,

    So, what EXACTLY does a MS evangelist do besides loaning servers to startup? ๐Ÿ˜›

    And… in exactly what ways does/will MSFT provide help to numerous startups in the Valley?  From time to time MS software has become so expensive (and complex and inflexible) that there’s no alternative but to OSS/Linux.  What has your team done to mitigate the trend?

  11. ai,

       Met you at Lunch 2.0 at MSFT.  I work for IdentityMine (www.identitymine.com) which is based in Tacoma but I am based in the Bay Area.  We’re really heavily focused on WPF/Silverlight/Surface and it’s good to know I have a local contact when I can’t reach out to the Redmond group.  As we go our Dev/Designer presence in Northern California I may call on you for assistance.  Thanks for being so approachable.

    Kurt

  12. Pinal Dave says:

    Hello Anand,

    Thank you very much for this information. I am great fan of MS product and SQL Server. Thanks for sharing your information. If needed I will sure send you email first and see if you can guide me.

    Kind Regards,

    Pinal

  13. ai says:

    Hey Kurt,

    Good to hear from you. YES – please call me or email me if you have any questions. I heart silverlight ๐Ÿ™‚

    Good luck!

    ai

  14. ai says:

    Hey Pinal,

    If needed I will sure send you email first and

    see if you can guide me.

    Absolutely! Good luck,

    ai

  15. ai says:

    Hi Isaac,

    First, thanks for your comment. I have a whole post in the works on what we have to offer to startups. But for now, see below…

    So, what EXACTLY does a MS evangelist do

    besides loaning servers to startup? ๐Ÿ˜›

    I should probably figure that one out… ๐Ÿ™‚ The sooner the better, I suppose. I do travel a lot.

    From time to time MS software has become so

    expensive (and complex and inflexible) that

    there’s no alternative but to OSS/Linux.  

    1. Visit http://microsoftstartupzone.com
    2. Have a go at this post by John Nogrady on "Free Software from Microsoft" – http://microsoftstartupzone.com/blogs/john_nogrady/archive/2007/05/10/free-software-from-microsoft.aspx

    3. If you’re further along with your company, check out the ISV Empower Program – https://partner.microsoft.com/global/program/programoverview/40011351

    So, bottom line, the reality is all you’re really shelling out is for a computer with a license of Windows. You can essentially build your product using our free product offerings. You can’t beat free ๐Ÿ™‚

    And I’d love to know if you still feel our stack is still too expensive to develop on. Besides, I think we shouldn’t underestimate how awesome the Express family of products really is.

    Keep me posted… Thanks,

    ai

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