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2/9/2006
11:01 PM
Bob Evans
Bob Evans
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Business Technology: After 10 Years And 500 Columns, It's Time To Go

Bob Evans turns to online projects full time, taking with him fond memories of the business-technology community.

With all due respect to the immortal Lou Gehrig, I must beg to differ with him over one important detail. On July 4, 1939, when Lou retired from the New York Yankees, he said, "Today I consider myself the luckiest man on the face of the earth." But folks, I have to tell you, neither Lou Gehrig nor or anyone else could be blessed with more good fortune than I, because for the past 10 years I've had the greatest job in the world: working among and serving all of you extraordinary business-technology leaders.

To understand my sassiness in trying to nudge Lou Gehrig aside for just a moment, just take a look at what I've had to do during that time: talk to smart and interesting people about the innovative things they were doing, and then, each week, come up with one--just one!--even mildly interesting idea from all of those conversations and ruminations. And then write about it for a while. And then go talk to more smart people who were changing the way the world works and lives and learns and plays and communicates, and come up with one more decent idea every seven days.

That's it--that's all I had to do. So I went out among you as frequently as I could and kept my eyes and ears open and my mouth shut. You did all the heavy lifting: providing the original ideas, the insights and the innovation, and even the cuffs about the ears when I got out of line or was just plain wrong. And I was lucky enough to get to share my reflections with all of you more than 500 times.

On top of that, my brilliant, industrious, and often-saintly colleagues made my job simpler still by providing me with endless inspiration, context, advice, and counsel. They caught as many of my egregious errors as is humanly possible, they somehow managed to polish the dross I delivered to them, and they hid from all of you some truly awful stuff that I thought was just peachy. No one could have had a more dedicated, caring, and professional network of deeply conscientious and high-achieving colleagues; I shall miss them terribly.

But nothing stays the same, and after two years of splitting my time between InformationWeek and online projects around our parent company, it's time for me to turn my full attention toward these online pursuits. I take a lot of comfort in knowing that once InformationWeek gets in your blood it never really goes away, so I'll retain some collaborative connections with InformationWeek and will remain on top of what's going on in your wonderful world of business technology.

And as if getting rid of me isn't good enough, the person who'll be taking over this back-page space starting Feb. 20 is an outstanding and deeply respected colleague, Rob Preston, who will no doubt instantly set new standards for clarity of thought and relevance of content. For the past few years, Rob has been editor-in-chief of InformationWeek's sibling, Network Computing, and before that he was a high-level editorial manager at InformationWeek. See what I mean about what happens once InformationWeek gets into your system? (P.S.: For those of you who like poker, be very careful if you get into a game with Mr. Preston.)

While many, many people deserve my thanks for this glorious, decade-long ride, I'd like to mention a few insiders: outgoing editor-in-chief Stephanie Stahl, who made all things not only possible but indeed excellent, and whose intelligence and grace will continue to be part of InformationWeek in her new role of expanding our streaming-media content companywide; top editors John Foley, Chris Murphy, Stacey Peterson, and Brian Gillooly, whose leadership has been bold and innovative; John Soat, who inspired us all first at InformationWeek and now at "The News Show"; our copy and design teams, whose commitment to excellence has always humbled me; and all the reporters and editors whose tenacity and talent demonstrate passionately each day that we are here to serve you.

And externally, my undying thanks to C.K. Prahalad and M.S. Krishnan for their inspiring genius; to Randy Mott for his softly stated but profound wisdom; to Rob Carter for his priceless commitment and deep insights; to Jim Cash for his vision and breakthrough leadership; and to all of you for letting me wander among and listen to and learn from you, and for making me, over these past 10 years, the luckiest man on the face of the earth.

Keep changing the world, folks--it's a better place because of what you do. I'll see you around.


To discuss this column with other readers, please visit Bob Evans' forum.

To find out more about Bob Evans, please visit his page.

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