With a farewell quote from the greatest American writer of all time, my friend, neighbor, and idea-mate, Alex Barnett has announced that he is leaving Microsoft and Redmond to join a startup in Utah: Bungee Labs. [Lump_in_throat]. If they had any idea of the potential that Microsoft is losing, with Alex's departure, Steve would be ranting, Bill would be knocking on Alex and Katia's door, this evening, and Mary Jo would be working overtime.

Alex who? Alex Barnett is one of the most brilliant "practitioners" of social software, on Earth. Alex lives in the future; he reads, blogs, and tags prolifically in the present; and he routinely conceives of BIG ideas that have or will soon change the way WE discover resources, connect, interact, and collaborate, on the World Wide Web. Alex is the only [other;-)] blogger whose RSS feed I have recommended to every member of my team, Microsoft.com Communities Technologies, and do to practically everyone else I work with with, inside and outside MSFT.

Although Alex and I didn't really connect until about a year ago (a fact which we both find odd given the proximity of our interests, jobs, and homes) Alex has fast become my singular idea mate. Recently, upon learning that I had yet to read The Singularity is Near, Alex purchased me a copy and delivered it to my doorstep. He's just that kind of guy.

Alex, you are a true friend and gentlemen. It has been my great, great honor to count you among my closest friends and colleagues. Whereas your physical presence, in Redmond will be missed, I'm sure we will remain close, by other means. Good luck and godspeed, in your future endeavors. If I start my own company, someday, you are hereby invited to be employee #3...#2 if my friend and mentor, Jonathan Gordon, turns down his offer.

Speaking of start ups...

If you, dear reader, are in the venture capital (VC) business and on the prowl for promising Web 2.0 assets (or Web 3.0, LOL) with a focus on platforms and tools, here are two, multi-million dollar tips that you would be an unwise to ignore:

  1. Get in on the third round of Bungee Labs. History shows that one brilliant mind is the difference between bomb and bonanza and Alex is all o' that. For the record and in the spirit of full disclosure, I have no interests in or other ties to Bungee Labs...yet.
  2. Subscribe to Alex's Blog (RSS). Corante did.