I have been involved with Great Plains (the product and company) since 1994 and during that time there has been one person in the Fargo Great Plains organisation who has always been there to answer my questions. I could direct any question at him and he would answer it himself or find someone who could. He has supported me personally in many of my projects and given me honest feedback (sometimes brutally honest) on my ideas.
On top of what he has done for Great Plains (Dynamics GP) development, he has a not-so-secret super power. He is the best conference host you could ever hope for (unless you want a live demo). So who is this amazing person?
He is none other than The Fabulous Matt G.
Well, today I found out that Matt Gustafson will be leaving Microsoft (his decision) to “get back to his roots” in a smaller company. So with permission from the man himself, below is his good bye email (the names have been changed to protect the innocent):
When I was in 8th grade, one of the wisest teachers I ever knew, was giving us her standard speech about how learning is a continuous process, and how we should fall in love with learning because the marketplace would demand it as we made our way into the workforce. One of the predictions she read to us was that grads of my generation should expect to change careers multiple times in our lifetime, and move from company to company at least a dozen times. (In the spirit of full-disclosure, my teacher also argued that by now, we’d be exclusively using the metric system worldwide, we’d be riding around in flying cars, and Japanese would be the “language of all business around the world”… so she wasn’t perfect.) On a recent trip to my hometown, I ran into my teacher and it got me to thinking: “Holy Crap! If I’m going to switch companies that many times, I better get started! If I don’t start making some changes, I’ll have to work until I’m 140.” So in an effort to not disappoint my 8th grade teacher, I’m moving on to a new gig outside of Microsoft as the Director of Development at a kick-ass software shop based in Fargo.
I’ve been a member of the Great Plains/Microsoft family for 18+ years. During that time, I’ve had the privilege of working on teams that have delivered dozens of great product releases (OK… not ALL of them were great…some were a little weaker than others.) But the VAST majority improved Customers and Partners lives, so I’m proud of that. Over the years, I’ve traveled the world with many of you, spreading the word about our MBS products and services. That was fun, too; mostly because it’s easy to brag about products you believe in, and we’ve got plenty of that around here (so we should all be proud of that.) And over that time, I’ve made a LOT more friends than enemies, and I’m proud of that, too.
Some days were good… others great.
Some days were bad… others horrible.
Some days were painful… some downright hilarious.
It’s been a great ride, boys and girls. Thanks to everyone who shared the front seat of this roller-coaster with me. I’m lucky to have crossed paths with each of you, and I hope our paths will continue to cross in the future. I’ll be on-the-job here until my birthday (Feb-6,) so if you owe me money, stop by my office and pay up (you know who you are!)
Thanks for the memories, gang.
P.S. My teacher also wrote the following message on my 8th grade report card. Anyone who has sat next to me in a meeting while I did email would find it very prophetic: “In class, Matt has the ability to talk and do work at the same time, which is great for him, but can be distracting to other students.” How true it is!
Thanks Matt for the friendship and support over the years. I wish you the best of luck with your future endeavours and hope to catch up again someday soon.
PS: See Mark Polino’s post: End of an Era, The Fabulous Matt G Moves On
PPS: If you would like to wish Matt good luck or just say ‘hello”, please write a comment on this post and I will make sure Matt see them.