Why did I leave Microsoft?
I came to Microsoft in Summer of 1994, after being recruited from Harvard College. I had worked in Excel group for the six years that I have been there up until August 2000.
From there, I did my MBA program in UCLA Anderson School of Business, because it was California, it has a entrepreneurship program that's been ranked first or second, it is technology-oriented, and because for the practical reasons that I had a full scholarship and I didn't get into Stanford.
I studied hi-tech entrepreneurship, because I wanted to started a innovative, revolutionary software company. During my studies, I was looking for the software ideas, trying to methodically determine what the next breakthrough application. Most ex-developers that leave Microsoft or other companies build developer tools which does not have a large market, but could be a comfortable life-style business. Me! I wanted to build a never-before-seen breakthrough application that everyone would use; as much as I hate software patents, I do plan to patent the idea to avoid direct competition. I went through some business plan competitions.
I had a mission, to build an innovative software company that pushes the frontiers of knowledge and significantly improves society. I had put that on my MBA application essay, and I have repeated it numerous times during the business program.
After Microsoft, I started working on my new company, SoftPerson, which is supposed to build AI-based desktop applications, because existing commercial applications are far too stupid, generally focused on layout and formatting and not on natural language content.
I have been writing software full-time for several months, but decided to contract with Microsoft for a year as a developer to learn what new technologies are brewing from Microsoft and meet my old co-workers.
I have been exposed to Avalon, Longhorn and Whidbey; it'll help me to some degree get a headstart on the new technologies and opportunities available two years from now. I'll go back to finishing developing of my product when my contract is through.
My reasons for leaving is that I felt that I didn't see myself advancing in the company quickly enough (my communication skills aren't great and I am very eccentric), my options vested, and I felt that I had a good chance to be successful if I strike it out on my own.
Supposedly, I have a high IQ--perfect or near-perfect scores on each test I take. Obviously, I familiar with proven software development and testing processes and techniques. I went to a good school, studied computer science and math, read tons of books on various technologies. I also have a business degree now to cover my bases. I have as good a shot as anybody to build a software company.
It is a lot of work, though.