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All Good Things…

June 18, 2009

Are you one of those people who jumps in the pool without dipping a toe in first?  Me too.  I also like to rip off my band-aids real quick.  Suffice to say, I’m not a “take things slow” kind of guy.  Want some proof?

I’m leaving Mzinga.  [ d r a m a t i c   p a u s e ]

Yeah, it’s still a bit surreal to me too.  I’ve had a pretty amazing run.  I’ll be forever be grateful for the opportunities that Mzinga and its predecessors have provided in developing my professional skills and my career.

When I started here more than a decade ago, I was an online help expert with an interest in creating computer-based training (no web-based training back then).  In year one, I helped develop dozens of hours of courseware for clients.  In the years since, I’ve overseen the development of EPSS engines, social knowledge portals (way back in 2001!), software simulation technology (the award-wining Firefly tool), and most recently, the Mzinga Social Learning Suite – the first deep integration of social media and LMS technology.  I’ve overseen development teams, patent processes, OEM partnerships, even reseller and channel sales partners.  I’ve been fortunate enough to be published on multiple occasions and have spoken at dozens of industry conferences.

It’s been a good run, and I have been fortunate to be surrounded by colleagues whom I respect and admire, and in many cases love like family.  It’s going to be tough to leave, but I’m confident in Mzinga’s continued success and the company’s future direction.  It is my sincere hope that Mzinga becomes the stuff of legend.  To the extent that I can, I will always be a friend to the company and its team.  I wish my friends at Mzinga nothing but continued success in the future.

I’ll let you know on Monday where I’ve landed.  For now, feel free to speculate and start wild rumors…  It’s part of what makes the intertubes so much fun.  ; )

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35 Comments leave one →
  1. June 18, 2009 3:36 pm

    Wow, Dave… Big news! I know Mzinga will miss you terribly, but I’m sure you’re moving on to something really, really cool. But I’ll go ahead and get some rumors started anyway. 😉

    Best of luck in your new adventures,
    -B.J.

    • dwilkinsnh permalink*
      June 18, 2009 3:58 pm

      The crazier the rumor the better. Like “Dave has decided to be a sherpa in Nepal.” Or “Dave started a dive company in Aruba.” Or “Dave has really been moonlighting at the Ambassador to Canada and needs some time off.”

      Thanks for the well wishes. It will take me a little while to make an impact where I’m going, but when I do, it’s going to be epic… ; )

  2. June 18, 2009 4:08 pm

    It must have been a hard decision and your future employer is lucky and we’re all richer during your career at Mzinga. Of course, coaching a girls soccer team can be quite challenging. I’ll send a box of scrunchies.

    • dwilkinsnh permalink*
      June 18, 2009 7:40 pm

      Please make that two boxes. My kid will lose the first box within a week, maybe less… ; ) Yes, a hard decision for sure. But the new place is a good fit too and offers both new challenges and new opportunities. As sad as I am to leave, I’m more jazzed to begin (if that makes sense…)

      I’ll start dropping some real hints tomorrow… We all need a little intrigue and mystery in our lives now and then, right?

  3. stevehoward999 permalink
    June 18, 2009 4:10 pm

    Hmm – I know: AT&T to do some lessons on using copy/paste and video recording … 🙂

    • dwilkinsnh permalink*
      June 18, 2009 7:42 pm

      Steve, you know me too well. I can’t wait to begin my new career recording video. Ironically, there were a couple folks in upper management at Mzinga that saw this as my role, which played a significant part in my decision to leave. I think maybe you’re psychic or something…

  4. June 18, 2009 4:13 pm

    Hey Dave:

    Just saw your tweet. Best of luck with the new gig.

    And, if you open a dive company in Aruba, give me a call. I will work cheap.

    Mark

    • dwilkinsnh permalink*
      June 18, 2009 7:55 pm

      Mark, if you and I ran a dive company together, our customers would think that they were dropped into a live skit of Hanz and Franz from Saturday Night Live. Seriously though, wouldn’t that be the most awesome of gigs. Mike Merriman is working toward his captain’s license and is already a certified Master Diver. Maybe we can be his crew someday… ; )

  5. dan pontefract permalink
    June 18, 2009 4:25 pm

    have a great time in the new gig dave – mzinga’s loss is the gain of your new company ‘child friendly limousine service’ … although I’m not entirely certain where your talents of social learning / e2.0 will surface with your new employer

    • dwilkinsnh permalink*
      June 18, 2009 7:57 pm

      Dan, I plan to use my web 2.0 savvy to market to the 20 and 30 somethings who want a night out with their kids. Facebook ads, YouTube video, Twitter updates – I got it covered man. If I only I could figure out how to fit the changing table next to the wet bar… : )

  6. June 18, 2009 8:50 pm

    Congrats Dave. It was amazing getting to know you through the Shared Insights/Knowledge Planet merger and then grow our friendship as colleagues (and next door neighbors) at Mzinga. We had some pretty crazy discussions about the future of social media and learning… some of my favorite brainstorming sessions of my career.

    I’m pleased that you’ve decided to pursue your adult film career full time. Your work on “Larger Than Life” and “Tub Full of Fun” were epic and only hinted at your true potential. I’m sure you’ll have a long, prosperous career.

    Best – Jim

  7. June 18, 2009 9:12 pm

    Congrats Dave –

    You were so much of social learning at Mzinga I know it must have been hard to leave but I hope that adult film career works out for you 🙂

    In all seriousness, I loved some of our conversations and you expanded my view of learning/education/social media and I really appreciate that – and am assuming I can continue to glean that insight from you.

    Cheers –

    Rachel

    • dwilkinsnh permalink*
      June 18, 2009 11:02 pm

      One of the more interesting things about this transition is that so much more of my network is here and in Twitter and in Facebook. As much as I’m going to miss my daily interactions with folks at Mzinga, a significant part of my network – you, Jim, Aaron, my #lrnchat and @slqotd crew – just carries on as-is. And my Mzinga connections just move into that extended network. It’s sort of anti-climatic.

      I miss our conversations too, though I’m really interested to see what you and Jim have working with the Community Roundtable. Cool stuff. I’ll still be blogging and tweeting so whatever insight you can take from my ramblings is yours… ; )

      As to the adult film career, it’s been a long time coming…

  8. dwilkinsnh permalink*
    June 18, 2009 9:31 pm

    I think you know I still miss working with you. And Rachel. And Gary. And Mike. And Rusty. And Virgina. And the other Jim. And Rob. You get the idea. It was like the first time they allowed NBA players in the Olympics and we fielded Larry Bird, Magic Johnson, Micheal Jordan, and every other awesome player who ever lived. You are Larry Bird in this analogy, by the way.

    It’s a bit of scary transition doing the adult film thing full-time, but I’m looking forward to it. My next two films are “He’s ALL That!” and “Big Boys Do Cry.” The latter has me a bit nervous but the director is a real softie. I know how much you like my work so I’ll be sure to let you know when they are released.

    Warm regards – Dave

  9. June 18, 2009 10:26 pm

    Oh, no! Massachusetts has lost another rockstar to the Obama Gov 2.0 team! I’m sure your social learning background will make fed. government more efficient.

    • dwilkinsnh permalink*
      June 18, 2009 11:04 pm

      You almost got it Sarah. I’m a die-hard libertarian. So I’m actually working on Ron Paul for 2012, running his social media campaign and message. It’s going to be a lot of work, but I’m really looking forward to it.

  10. June 19, 2009 3:33 am

    Hey Dave, I fondly recall our discussions and hope that you would continue to keep in touch. In the meantime, I do hope that your mission to find a suitable real estate on Mars for starting a bio-genetic business is successful. Do send me a ticket to visit your Mars offices sometime :). I will miss meeting you in Boston though or may be we could meet at another location.

    • dwilkinsnh permalink*
      June 20, 2009 10:45 pm

      Hey Amit,

      Let’s definitely stay in touch. The Mars thing might consume some cycles, but last week, some of our astronauts were tweeting from space so it should work… ; )

  11. June 19, 2009 8:44 am

    Dave –
    So happy for you with your new role as the weather guy on the news (seriously can you bring us some good weather)? All kidding aside, I will really miss you at Mzinga – you have been a great colleague and friend. Good luck & stay in touch!

    -Meredith

    • dwilkinsnh permalink*
      June 19, 2009 11:07 am

      We do need a new weather guy. How many days of rain now? 72? 58? My seasonal affective disorder is starting to flare up…

      The beauty of all this social stuff is that staying in touch has gotten a lot easier. My commitment to social media and social networking isn’t going anywhere which means I’ll be out on the social web for the rest of forever. I’ll see you there.

  12. June 19, 2009 9:21 am

    Hello,

    I look forward to where you land, and I am excited about what opportunities it will produce for you and the social learning community and “movement” (<– Can I call it that?). Hopefully, this new venture will give you a bigger and better platform to open the eyes of the blind.

    Cheers!

    TS

    • dwilkinsnh permalink*
      June 19, 2009 11:05 am

      Travis,

      I love the thought that we have created a “movement.” How cool is that? Here’s a hint: one possibility at the new gig might be social talent management. Not entirely sure that will be the direction, but there are some intriguing possibilities.

      Dave

  13. June 19, 2009 9:31 am

    Hey Dave.

    Wow, big news! You are so much a part of Mzinga social learning, it’s hard to imagine you not there. Mzinga’s loss is your new company’s gain. I thoroughly enjoyed our time working together and plotting the future of strategy and professional services to support social learning. And, I’d like to thank you for providing this then neophyte of social learning a deeper understanding of the business.

    BTW: If you start to shine at your new endeavor, just have the director call “cut!”, and get the makeup folks apply a little more powder…

  14. dwilkinsnh permalink*
    June 19, 2009 11:03 am

    Hey Steve,

    I enjoyed working with you too. You had a real handle on the consulting side of all this social stuff, whether it was learning or media or marketing. I learned a lot from the way you framed issues and described solutions. My best memory was when you showed me your normal social media / community consulting plan and we both realized we didn’t have to change a thing for the social learning business. Good times.

    I do tend to get all shiny so I have a side business called Wilkins Body Powder. It’s mostly marketed to fashion magazines, but Micheal Phelps is a sponsor too – he used it to dry off after meets.

    Dave

  15. June 19, 2009 11:47 am

    Dave!

    Congratulations on your move! Can’t wait to hear what’s in store for you next.

    It was great to have your energy across the hall in the short time we shared that little corner in the marketing department. Your enthusiasm for the social learning space is unparalleled. Thanks for always keeping your door open and sharing your knowledge/insight.

    Definitely keep in touch and best of luck!

    Cheers,
    Alexa

    • dwilkinsnh permalink*
      June 20, 2009 10:47 pm

      Thanks Alexa. I always found you to be ball of energy and enthusiasm yourself, which was all the more remarkable considering some of the work we tossed your way… ; ) Let’s definitely stay in touch. Twitter, Facebook, Skype – dwilkinsnh – everywhere and anywhere.

  16. irusty permalink
    June 19, 2009 2:23 pm

    Congrats on your new pursuits. It’s just like you to keep people guessing. You’ll be missed on the Mzinga team but I’m sure you’ll continue your colorful ways in your new gig.

    I think the speculation about the adult film career is off, but not too far off. I think you’re headed to Russia to train for the world powerlifting championship. After transforming all of those redish-blue protein shakes into muscle mass you’re ready to take on the world. The adult film career will be a follow-on pursuit after all of the Russian women see you in your speedo lifting outfit.

    Seriously, I really enjoyed the time that we worked together at Mzinga. You’re still the master of the anecdote. Whenever I get in a jam I turn to your tried-and-true story about fixing your Roomba with a Bic pen. Good stuff. Fun stuff.

    Looking forward to learning about your next move.

    Rusty

    • dwilkinsnh permalink*
      June 20, 2009 10:54 pm

      Hey Rusty,

      You know, in another life, I think maybe powerlifting would have worked. I was squatting 505 lbs on Sunday. And deadlifted 550 lbs the week before. If only I started when I was actually in some kind of shape…

      I still miss you. The exodus of so much talent over the past year, yourself included, played a big role in my decision. At some point, it just became too much — too many good people lost, too many missed opportunities.

      If I was the master of the anecdote, you were the master of the “right question.” It still amazes me that the recommendations that we made over 18 months ago are now the same ones the company is finally pursuing. If only…

      Dave

  17. June 19, 2009 3:25 pm

    Congratulations, Dave! I’m always impressed with the breadth of your knowledge in so many areas. So it doesn’t surprise me that you’ve decided to shift gears and dive into the field of underarm deodorant testing. I truly hope you enjoy your new career sticking your nose into the depths of sweaty, hairy armpits. I look forward to many tweets describing the various bouquet of odors that you will encounter in in your new position as Director of Antiperspirant Odor.

    Best wishes Dave and I look forward to staying connected with you.

    • dwilkinsnh permalink*
      June 20, 2009 10:55 pm

      Rusty called me “master of the anecdote.” You are calling me “master of the stink.” Guess who gets a Christmas card? : )

  18. June 19, 2009 10:23 pm

    It makes me happy that I could help steer the comments to such wonderful heights (depths?).

    • dwilkinsnh permalink*
      June 20, 2009 10:55 pm

      Thanks. Well done sir. Imagine if we had started this comment thread over some beers at your lake house…

  19. June 22, 2009 1:44 pm

    Congrats, Dave. I’m sure it was a well-thought through decision and one that is going to allow you to move onto to some great things. I enjoyed working with you in our time at Mzinga and am sure we’ve got a lot more collaboration to come. Do stay in touch and let’s plan on rocking together soon!

    -Gary

  20. mikepascucci permalink
    June 22, 2009 5:46 pm

    Dave,

    Oh my, I am stunned. All the best man, please ping me somehow to let me know what is going on and where you are landing. Another huge loss for Mzinga.
    mjpascucci@gmail(dot)com

    Mike P

  21. July 5, 2009 3:16 am

    Congratulations on your move! Can’t wait to hear what’s in store for you next. Yes, a hard decision for sure. But the new place is a good fit too and offers both new challenges and new opportunities.

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