Yesterday afternoon while out photowalking with Robert Scoble he mentioned to me that he was leaving FastCompany.tv. He mentioned it in confidence, but the news is out now over at TechCrunch and Scoble’s own blog so I’m sure it’s fair to write about it.
I first met Robert Scoble back in September of 2004 at a geek dinner (as they were called back then) that he hosted at Barney’s in Noe Valley. My blog was brand new and he was still at Microsoft. I was very interested in Microsoft’s Media Center Technology at the time and he had Michael Creasy with him who was with the Media Center team (and is now over at Apple). It was a great dinner and a good start to a friendship that’s lasted many years.
Since that first dinner I’ve spent a lot of time with Robert. We’ve worked on the Photowalking Video series together, traveled together (we had a great time this past year up in Yosemite interviewing Ansel Adams’ son Michael Adams) and Robert has pretty much been the guy I look to most to learn about cutting edge new technology on the web. He had a first rate video editor in Rocky Barbanica who I hope ends up with Scoble some place else in the future as well.
Robert Scoble is the quintessential early adopter’s early adopter. His was one of the first blogs I ever read. I first learned about Techmeme from Robert. I first learned about Twitter from Robert. I first learned about FriendFeed from Robert. When Robert was still at Microsoft he told them that they should have bought Flickr (before Yahoo had purchased them) — he was right.
Robert is hoping to make an announcement about what his next project will be at the upcoming SXSW music and media conference. What I will say about what’s next for Robert, is that wherever he ends up or whatever he ends up doing, anyone working with him will be lucky to have him. Passion ultimately is what makes Robert Scoble one of the most unique characters on the web. He is also one of the hardest working and most dedicated people I’ve ever met.
Robert doesn’t just work 9-5. He is always working. If he’s not sleeping, he’s working — and he doesn’t seem to sleep much at all. Robert’s always online, even when he’s working offline. He is everywhere. He does more in 24 hours than most people do in two weeks. Of course what Robert does best is share what he is most passionate about with others. That’s why personally I’d love to see him end up at a company like FriendFeed or somewhere where his passion and his employer are best aligned.
The other thing about Robert is that he’s human and he’s honest. That’s really what made him the most well known blogger at Microsoft back when he was there. He, more than anyone at Microsoft, was responsible for putting a human face on Microsoft at a time when they needed it the most. I think Microsoft learned a lot from Scoble and today is far more human through their blogging efforts than most companies on the web. He admits when he screws up and he lets his emotions out sometimes, even if it’s not always the best thing to do. He doesn’t just share with you what he knows. He shares with you what he feels as well and that’s pretty rare.
Good luck to you Scoble in your next venture. It was fun hanging out with you and shooting around San Francisco yesterday and I’m looking forward to many photowalks in the months and years ahead.
I’ve put together a set of images of Robert on Flickr here.