2022-06-30 - Kopano: past and present

This post clears up the past and the present: As known to one or the other reader, I was employed for a long time at Kopano and formerly at Zarafa. I still value this period of my professional career as a very enjoyable time. The challenges, the team and the acquaintances and friends I made left their mark on me. After my time at Millenux, I was looking for new challenges that would allow me to "move something bigger again". The time at Millenux was great, sadly Millenux and the Topalis parent had some restructurings with the economic crisis in 2008/2009. These unfortunately changed the DNA of the company a lot at that time. At a certain point, I could no longer identify with the values of Millenux and was therefore looking for the opportunity to not only use my competencies, but also to expand them. After "announcing" my intention to change, I was overwhelmed by the opportunities offered: Google, SUSE and Intel offered me more in just a few weeks than I ever dared to dream at the time. Shortly before I had made up my mind, however, Zarafa (unexpectedly) approached me.

I knew many of the people at Zarafa through my work at Millenux (Millenux's partner at the time). I had always gotten along very well with them, in short: Zarafa was "the cool dude company". While I also had very good relationships with others at Google, SUSE and Intel back then, Zarafa was always something special. This serious "David vs. Goliath" battle with a product that was still in its infancy but had tremendous potential. I remember then, as I remember yesterday, at a Zarafa event, one of Zarafa's bosses, wearing a Che Guevara t-shirt and shorts, was being slightly sarcastic, saying that the belief in open source was not communism, but that a revolution was in order. I just thought: these are guys I look up to. I was given the opportunity to work with Zarafa on something special.

No sooner said than done: I joined Zarafa. And what a brilliant time it was. I have never regretted the decision to go to Zarafa, even though it was sometimes the most challenging time of my life. No one can say I didn't put in the work: regular 12+ hour days, weekends after weekends, dedication to the point of fatigue, prioritizing Zarafa over family. No regrets, I probably would do it again today (being younger again ;)). The journey continued. With the realignment by Kopano to "web-first", the work didn't get less, but definitely different. However, over time the "blind romanticism" lost its luster here, so that at some point I looked for new tasks. I found this at Deutsche Telekom, among others, and have been very happy ever since. You may say what you want, but Deutsche Telekom is and remains a great company. Without going into details, I can say that my work has influenced at least millions of people in Germany and certainly a few internationally, at least a tiny bit. And of course there is NETitwork. Many will ask themselves: Where did that come from? While on paper I am the managing partner, at NETitwork I am just a nerd and together with my colleagues I take care of "real" problems, and, *uhn-tiss*, one of the customers is Deutsche Telekom.

Why this post now? Only for one purpose: clarification. Unfortunately, I had to learn that untruths about me have been spread into the world, about which I now finally also have legal power. Now it gets difficult and probably annoying for the reader: For legal reasons, I cannot go into details, neither publicly nor in private conversations, but I can and may say the following: Don't believe the bullshit that is served up about me. I have never harmed a former employer or anyone else I've worked with, nor have I ever pulled any of the drama-like stories that are being attributed to me.

Unfortunately, the allegations are not new to me: I was accused already quite some time ago, but I clearly denied the alleged misconduct in public and even refuted it, although I am not obliged to do so. When I learned that these allegations are still being spread even quite recently, I was shocked. And now and here is the end. And in spite of this punishable behavior by law I today have offered you again my hand which was knocked out immediately. These people now want to blame me for clearly failed developments on their side. To put me as scapegoat with outrageous claims and lies.

The disappointing thing is that I am talking about people who, despite my work, I would have called my friends not so long ago. And even just a few months ago, I offered my help for a project. Really, I tried. Not even worth a callback. So thanks, but I'm done. No wonder that literally almost all people I knew seem to have quit the company in the meanwhile. Great job, guys. And good luck, you're gonna need it.