Today is my last day at Google. I have enjoyed an incredible year there, during which I’ve had the privilege to work with some of the smartest engineers on the planet. Working at Google taught me how much impact a handful of dedicated people can have on the lives of billions of users. Not that long ago, I compared Google to McDonald’s. Having spent time on the inside, I can attest that Google is a marvel of scale orchestration. Moreover, the Google New York office represents an impressive concentration of Google’s talent in the greatest city of the world.
But I am leaving Google to pursue the opportunity of a lifetime. On Monday, I will start a new chapter of my life. I am joining the data scientist team at LinkedIn, where I’ll be working with DJ Patil and his world-class team to build products and discover insights from a data collection that I have coveted for years. I’ll get to work with folks like Pete Skomoroch and Monica Rogati. And I’ll get to tackle challenges in my favorite areas of computer science: information extraction, matching, recommendation, social network analysis, and network visualization. Not to mention working with one of the largest faceted search deployments on the web!
It was an agonizing decision to leave Google and New York City. But, when LinkedIn reached out to me a couple of months ago, I was reminded of a fateful email from Steve Papa in July 1999 that led me to pack a bag two months later and begin the adventure that is now Endeca. LinkedIn is hardly a startup — it has over 600 employees and over 80 million members. But I see boundless opportunities to create new value from the great data and talent that LinkedIn has assembled. So, when I received that note from LinkedIn, I didn’t really have a choice.
This Monday, I begin a new adventure. Data, here I come!