Not wishing to name drop but it was an absolute pleasure to do the demo for Jeff on stage at our customer launch event. Jeff is one of the three presidents in Microsoft and reports in to Steve Ballmer and Bill. I am a tiny flea in his org basically. It was interesting to get an insight into the man known as “one take Raikes” – owing to his ability to record interviews to camera first time without mistakes.
Back stage, Jeff was asking me if there was anything he could emphasise in his speech that would help set up my demo. “Hang on! You are the president of the business division and I’m here to support you” I thought. “Well there is a link in the middle about business insight which would be good if you had mentioned”, I stammered. “No problem”, smooths Jeff, “I’ll make sure I emphasise that”. Then he walks on stage, nails the speech and drives home how important business insight is so my link was “As Jeff was saying earlier..”. I think it says a lot that a guy that powerful in the company, nevermind a mulit-billionaire doesn’t have a big ego to match.
On his previous trip to see us, he was transported from one part of London by helicopter. As the chopper took off, flying over London, the door flew open as they banked on a turn. Jeff calmly leans over and out of the door, grabs the handle and slams it shut as if this kind of thing happens all the time (maybe it does).
So we are all big fans of Jeff – an IT legend and as it turns out, a pretty normal bloke too – well as normal as it can be when you own half of Texas or whatever… 🙂
Jack Schofield, another veteran of IT, interviewed him at the launch. Here is a full transcript of this interesting interview.