The Don Dodge "Ambassador From Microsoft" Exit Interview

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Last week Microsoft’s “Ambassador to Startups” Don Dodge was laid off from Microsoft as part of a broad reduction in staff.

We, along with countless others, lamented the decision. Dodge was the face of Microsoft for many, many people. And the comments to our post and other blog coverage attested to this.

We had a chance to sit down with Dodge for a few minutes today in our office and give him a proper exit interview (these are always fascinating).

For the first few minutes of the video Dodge talks about his job at Microsoft evangelizing their tools and platforms to developers. The BizSpark program is a big part of the conversation.

At around the 5:30 mark Dodge talks about his view of startups. “It’s easy to criticize startups” he says, “but it’s much harder to create one.” He also uses a quote that I once grabbed off of a sticker“Those who say it cannot be done shouldn’t interrupt the people doing it” (see The Man In The Arena for more of this type of thinking).

“When Google was three months old, you would have laughed at them too, you would not have been impressed,” he says.

At around 7:05 Dodge talks about what’s next for him (make sure to watch this and you’ll see my not-so-subtle suggestion for his next job).

At 8:45, Dodge talks about the companies that he believes are innovating, and he implies that these are some of the companies he’d like to work for: Apple, Google, Facebook, Twitter. Each of them would be lucky to get him.

And of course we have a few choice “off record” comments at the end while I tried to convince Dodge that the camera was no longer rolling. He’s known me too long to fall for that trick. That part starts at 10:28 and runs for just a few seconds, but it’s good stuff.

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