MessageOne – 2007

An old friend of mine sent me an email:

Subject: Ever hear of MessageOne?

I’m talking with them re: a QA job in Austin.

My boss at Lombardi had worked there, along with some others. So I told him that I had. He seemed dismayed that so many people had left MessageOne. I was impressed that they seemed to have a some openings.

A couple of months later, I got a LinkedIn message from a recruiter, recruiting for Engineering Manager:

I hope this email finds you well. In an office just across 183 from you guys is a dev team in search of a strong manager. Any interest in discussing?

MessageOne made their money providing emergencies notifications for companies. One example: There was a bridge that collapsed in Minneapolis, and they notified thousands of employees for one of their customers information related to it.

From there, we set up some kind of phone screen, where I talked a good talk. I interviewed onsite with the VP of Engineering. He was a big, loud, man. We talked about managing people and managing software process. The subject of baseball came up, and he said, “If we hire you, I will take you to my box at Yankee Stadium for the All-Star game!” Sounded like an interesting signing bonus!

I could have been there!

I then went through another round of interviews. Honestly, I think I was already stressed for how much trouble I was having at Lombardi, and I think it bled through in these interviews. I felt insecure, and nervous.

After a few weeks, the original recruiter sent this to me:

After some long deliberation, we’ve decided to look at some other
candidates. The feeling was that you definitely could rework and drive
process, but there’s a slight culture mismatch.
Thanks again for meeting with us- I know our interview process isn’t the best.
Let me know if I can help you out in the future or if we need to chat further.
Thanks and enjoy your holidays.

I discussed this with my family, and my father had this cogent observation:

I suspect that it’s what you’re experiencing in your present situation.  It never feels like it, but if it doesn’t feel right to them, they did you a favor.

I think it’s a good point.

As for MessageOne, a few months later, Dell bought them. Most of their business was based on Blackberry servers, and of course, Blackberry fell on hard times. I imagine they had to rebuild everything based on push notifications for iOS and Android. Sometime in 2015, they renamed themselves to Aurea. They are still going, but I can’t figure out if they are still owned by Dell or not. I think that it would have been really hard to manage a software team through the tsunami of Blackberry crumbling and iOS and Android emerging, and despite the troubles I had at Lombardi, it was good I did not end up there.

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