I have a personal announcement to make: I’m leaving Symbian.
I’m pleased by how much how has been accomplished in a short space of time. The transition to full open source is well and truly on the way. The extended Symbian community will shortly be gathering to exchange news and views of progress and opportunities at this year’s SEE09 event in Earls Court, London. It will be a very busy event, full of insight and announcements, with (no doubt) important new ideas being hatched and reviewed.
On a personal note, I’m proud of the results of my own work on the Symbian blog, and in building and extending Symbian engagement in China, culminating in the recent press release marking a shared commitment by China Mobile and Symbian. I’m also honoured to have been at the core of a dynamic and energetic leadership team, providing advice and support behind the scenes.
In many ways, my time in the Symbian Foundation has been a natural extension of a 20 year career with what we now call Symbian platform software (and its 16-bit predecessor): 10 years with PDA manufacturer Psion followed by 10 years on the Leadership Team of Symbian Ltd, prior to the launch of the Symbian Foundation. In summary, I’ve spent 21 hectic years envisioning, architecting, implementing, supporting, and avidly using smart mobile devices. It’s been a fantastic experience.
However, there’s more to life than smart mobile devices. For a number of years, I’ve been nursing a growing desire to explore alternative career options and future scenarios. The milestone of my 50th birthday a few months back has helped to intensify this desire.
Anyone who has dipped into my personal blog or followed my tweets will have noticed my deep interest in topics such as: the future of energy, accelerated climate change, accelerated artificial intelligence, looming demographic changes and the longevity dividend, life extension and the future of medicine, nanotechnology, smart robotics, abundance vs. scarcity, and the forthcoming dramatic societal and personal impacts of all of these transformations. In short, I am fascinated and concerned about the breakthrough future of technology, as well as by the breakthrough future of smartphones.
It’s time for me to spend a few months investigating if I can beneficially deploy my personal skills in advocacy, analysis, coordination, envisioning, facilitation, and troubleshooting (that is, my skills as a “catalyst and futurist”) in the context of some of these other “future of technology” topics.
I’m keeping an open mind to the outcome of my investigation. I do believe that I need to step back from employment with the Symbian Foundation in order to give that investigation a proper chance to succeed. I need to open up time for wide-ranging discussions with numerous interesting individuals and companies, both inside and outside the smartphone industry. I look forward to finding a new way to balance my passionate support for Symbian and smartphones with my concern for the future of technology.
Over the next few days, I’ll be handing over my current Symbian Foundation responsibilities to colleagues and partners. I’ll become less active on Symbian blogs, forums, and emails. For those who wish to bid me “bon voyage”, I’ll be happy to chat over a drink at SEE09 – by which time I will have ceased to be an employee with the Symbian Foundation, and will simply be an enthusiastic supporter and well-wisher.
After I leave Symbian, I’ll still be speaking at conferences from time to time – but no longer as a representative of Symbian. The good news is that Symbian now possesses a strong range of talented spokespeople who will do a fine job of continuing the open dialog with the wider community.
Many thanks are due to my Symbian Foundation colleagues, especially Executive Director Lee Williams and HR Director Steve Warner, for making this transition as smooth as possible. It’s been a great privilege to work with this extended team!
To reach me in the future, you can use my new email address, davidw AT deltawisdom DOT com. My mobile phone number will remain the same as before.