I was inspired to write this entry while reading Agent M’s post about his new endeavours in starting his own company in Germany together with Bernd.
It’s a post about the past, basically about how M and K met, worked together and about the company we used to work for.
I’ve started doing CF in the late 90s and at some point in early 2001 ended up working as a Software Architect for a company called msg at.net in Germany. At the time I’ve joined, the company was pretty young, rather small and focussed on web development with HTML and ColdFusion 4.x and 5 (our core database system was DB2 at that time, brrrr :). There was the odd Flash animation and a bit of web design as well.
M joined a bit later (I think in early 2002 if I remember correctly) but we knew each other before from some mailing lists, forums etc. BTW: He’s probably one of the top-three persons in Europe when it comes to Allaire/Macromedia/Adobe Spectra knowledge 🙂
Looking back, msg at.net was a very good place to work at that time. When Flash became an application platform, we were there. Macromedia came out with Flex 1 and 1.5 and msg at.net was one of the first movers in Germany etc. We had a lot of freedom to investigate new possibilities, did a lot of cool projects with customers all over Europe etc.
Msg at.net was subsidiary of a larger corporate (msg systems ag) – and that’s where the problems started. Msg systems decided to include msg at.net in the company as a department (msg websolutions) in late 2005. That happened at the same time I was preparing to leave the company and move to NZ anyway. The problem with msg systems is that they never understood the values and benefits of Macromedia and Adobe technology. They haven’t when it was msg at.net and they haven’t when it became msg websolutions – their corporate thinking just allowed streamlining everything to .NET, Java and SAP.
Fair enough, but if you pull back a team of specialists for CF and RIA technologies in your company you wouldn’t expect them to be happy when they suddenly are supposed to code VBA macros for Excel, right? And if the old-fashioned corporate highly-paid “decision makers” do not even consider listening to people who have ideas and the knowledge about RIAs (such as to the former directors of msg at.net, who became heads of department at msg systems) etc. it’s doomed to fail.
That’s what has happened as a consequence. Msg websolutions is more or less destroyed, most of the former msg at.net team have left to work for other companies, to start their own business or just wait for the appropriate moment to leave.
It’s really a bit sad when I’m looking back. I’m extremely happy with what I’ve got, running my own company, living in the most wonderful country of the world – all very good. But it’s sad to see an era ending like that and I really hope that everyone of the former msg at.net team who left will be happy with their new job and that the ones who are looking will find a cool place soon. And don’t get me wrong, this is not bitching about msg systems, their business, their decisions. But I’m allowed to express my light sadness, am I? 🙂