Thursday, November 19, 2009

Saying Goodbye to Prinergy

The news came in a 9:00 mandatory meeting. You are no longer needed. Thank you very much. Bye-bye.

After 15 years of living and thinking about print and prepress workflows, it's over. Kodak is moving the software development to Israel. There will be a transition period. I'm not on the transition team.

After driving through the well-known early stages of grieving, anger and denial, I'm moving into acceptance, but not without a deep sense of sadness, and of loss, for Prinergy. I know Prinergy like I know my own kids - in fact they have spent their entire lives living with me envisioning, talking, travelling, selling, presenting, architecting, and tweaking Prinergy. It is part of our lives. It has been a singular focus since the fabled train trip in 1995 where I set out with Amos and Tim the top ten things it would have to do to change the prepress world.

While I am often referred to as the father of it, I never really liked the name Prinergy. Even the Creo CEO kept calling it "Printergy". Maybe I never let go of its original code-name, Araxi, which still adorns the code in various places. Even so, Prinergy has been the most significant project of my career (so far!) and I'm very proud to know that it has enhanced the lives of hundreds, if not thousands, of prepress operators and managers, and generated over $1B of revenue for Creo and Kodak over its lifetime.

For me, there will be many things lost. I am sad to lose the contact with the many customers I listened to, and sometimes argued with, but whose time and energy resulted in new features and priority of bug fixes, educating us as to their business problems. I'm sad to lose the breadth of knowledge I have gathered with my colleagues here in Burnaby, that we have built up. I am sad that I won't see the completion of what we expected to be a renewed Prinergy 6 vision at Ipex in 2010 - one that brings high speed digital and offset workflows together. And I will be sad to not come into the office each day with my second family: developers, engineers, testers and subject-matter experts who I have worked with for many years, meeting and sometimes exceeding our customers' expectations.

I'm not sure what the next thing to do will be, but as my Dad says, each time the universe closes one door, another opens.

My gratitude to our thousands of customers worldwide. My life is better for our partnership, I hope you can say the same.