My Combo

Thanks to everyone for taking the time to send such warm birthday wishes my way yesterday!

I have always felt fortunate to have my birthday basically tethered to the start of each new year as it allows me to align my yearly goals with my life ones. And if you know me at all then you know that aligning goals is, like, my second favorite thing.

For this year, I am wishing & resolving to have a great start to my new life and career in NYC, to make new friends, to enjoy being close to my family, and to absolutely stay close to our friends and family in Seattle.

I hope everyone has a great 2014! Thanks again!

MiAffron v2.0 – my Microsoft goodbye email

This was the goodbye email I shared inside the company in October 2013.

I’ve never been shy when it comes to sharing and talking about the passions in my life that bring me happiness.  Oversharing does have its benefits, right?  Each day it’s easy for all my friends to see crucial updates about our life: the different places our cats like to nap, that I am still the mayor of my own house, or that I successfully made another paleo frittata for my wife and I.  😉

Aside from keeping track of the various food and feline details in my life, the moments that I’ve captured, blogged, tweeted, instagramed, or posted over the last nine years at Microsoft make a few things abundantly clear: I’ve loved every minute of my job, my life here in Seattle, and the amazing relationships I’ve made with so many of you.  It’s often hard to tell where the professional and personal parts of my days separate; work is not quite “work” when you’ve been fortunate to enjoy it as much I have. 

This makes change even harder, especially when you are leaving a company that you love and saying goodbye to those colleagues who have become your best friends and family. 

So, after some intense personal soul-searching, talking with my wife Amy, and the consumption of approximately 1.75 liters of single-malt scotch, I have decided to begin a new chapter in my life and career and will be leaving Microsoft to join an early-stage startup in New York City.  My last day at Microsoft will be Friday, October 18th.  

As some of you know, almost all of my family is in New York and we have always been extremely close (think the family in “My Big Fat Greek Wedding”, only the Italian version).  When the opportunity came up to work in a space I’m passionate about, help start a company, and most importantly be closer to our family, Amy and I decided it was the right thing for us (and the cats) to take the plunge and move to NYC. 

I cannot write or say enough to fully share my gratitude for the wonderful achievements, challenges, mentoring, friendships, and fun I’ve experienced with you all over the last nine years.  I have grown so much, as a professional and as a person, because of the fortunate opportunity I’ve had to work with all of you.  

Please keep in touch, and if you’re ever in NYC let me know and I’ll take you by my family’s store for a sandwich.  

You can find me on all the various internets via my site, www.michaelaffronti.com.  My personal email is m@michaelaffronti.com.  

Thank you, friends, for everything.

-m

#neato v2.0 – live from NYC

I’ve always been a big news junkie and an advocate of keeping myself and my team informed of what’s happening with our tech space, our competitors, and the industries we care about.

I also like routines and love scheduling things on my calendar :), so every morning for the last ten years I’ve spent the first 30min of the day reading, saving, and sharing tech news I find cool and relevant.

I started sending daily email newsletters to my team shortly after joining Microsoft in 2004. They were a quick summary of the articles I’d found that morning along with my perspectives on how we should think about them as a team and business. The emails often got forwarded around and I had some amazing conversations with folks from around the company, including many that I never worked with or even met in person. 

Along the way the daily emails transitioned into posts on an internal social networking site built by the OfficeLabs team (pre-Yammer), then eventually to actual Yammer posts once we had them up and running inside the company. I adopted the #neato hashtag from an internal OfficeLabs discussion list and have been using it ever since.

I recently left Microsoft in November 2013 to start a new phase in my life and career by moving to NYC with my wife Amy and joining an amazing startup,www.contactive.com, as Director of Business Development. 

I’m continuing the #neato routine and am excited to be doing it as a public-facing site. I hope to share my perspectives on tech news and trends, but also some of my experience leaving a 100,000-person company to join a 10-person one. 🙂

Follow along, share your perspectives, or just leave a note to say hi.  

Thanks!

-m