I randomly got a message one day on LinkedIn:
Want to re-join Apple 🙂 ?
We have some awesome challenges ahead in Apple Maps and I’m looking for key talent to join my organization – when I went through my connections on LinkedIn I found your profile – and you look like a potentially great fit.
Maps is a big data problem that is dynamically changing underneath a service and client architecture delivered across multiple platforms. Its a fantastic challenge. My team is looking for great engineering leaders who are interested in building intelligent automated systems to help streamline the content delivery process.
The organization is growing rapidly so there is a lot of opportunity for growth and a chance to play with all sorts of interesting technology with the smartest people on the planet.
If you are interested please shoot me an email and we can set some time up to talk and I will rope in my recruiting team.
Apple Maps had had a very rough introduction. Somebody who I worked with on the Mac OS X Program Team had been promoted to VP of Software, and he was let go after Maps had so many problems. That was 2-3 years earlier, but I had heard through the podcasts I listened to about the industry that Apple was doing a lot of hiring in this area.
So when, this Apple manager reached out to me, I listened. I still missed Apple. I did not miss California, but this opportunity sounded fantastic.
It just so happened that I was going to be a work trip to CA the next week anyway. After some back and forth, we setup a time to talk.
And I had a blast talking to him. We talked about front-end challenges (app vs. browser; ios vs. android), and we talked about the large amount of backend hardware necessary. We talked about getting map data from a vendor vs. collecting it organically. We both left the meeting amped up, and I was looking forward to hearing from him.
And the day after, I did:
Thanks a lot for your time and your insights – very appreciated. I was excited, but unfortunately we have decided to go a different direction with this position.
Initially, I thought that perhaps he had talked to somebody on campus about me and heard something he did not like, but that’s my own paranoia and imposter syndrome showing.
“We have decided to go a different direction” is code for “we were going to hire a manager from outside, but my bosses decided to re-org the department instead”. It looks like they decided to buy some tech to cover the gaps soon after I talked to this guy. So I was right; they no longer needed another manager because they bought a company.