It was seven years ago that I zipped up the first build of the software that would become Picasa. A year later, we shipped Picasa 1.0...with the team sleeping on my floor and working on $14 card tables all over the apartment. Back then we had to test things like Printing, so there were printers and scanners and USB cables everywhere too. Tara overheard the cleaning lady call me "loquito" (which I'm told is an affectionate term for "crazy") and being amazed with how many cameras there were in one place.
After becoming part of Google a few years later, and seeing Picasa at a scale we never dreamed of back then (40 languages!), I've decided to push the reset button... and start over.
Today was my last day at Google...and it was a tough decision to make. Saying goodbye all at once is actually really hard. I'm very excited about what's been built recently and what's coming for the future. I believe in the team very much.
But I need a change, to get back to that elusive flow & creativity that makes new things. My best work at this time in my life probably isn't in being a manager, even if I love it. For now I expect I need to re-train my brain to make little things, useless things, silly things, and make a lot of them. This is the only way I know, really.
More importantly, Lorna and I are going to travel a lot, and take pictures a lot, and play with our puppy a lot.
And then, after the addiction to 500 emails a day and meetings wears off, I might relax enough to make something really interesting. I guess I'll keep you posted.