Satya and me: How our careers intesected

Satya and me: How our careers intesected
Photo by Surface on Unsplash

A couple of things happened in the first quarter of 2014: In February of 2014, Satya Nadella was named CEO at Microsoft.

One lesser thing happened the following month. I attended South by Southwest at the behest of my journalist buddy, Rob Pegoraro. That trip would lead me to be hired by TechCrunch, a move that changed my professional life.

While I was there a couple of things happened. I attended a panel and one of the participants was TechCrunch Co-Editor Alexia Tsotsis. I had known her casually online, but never interacted with her, so on a whim, I went up after the panel and introduced myself. I was kind of happy she knew who I was, and I thought that was the end of that.

At the time, I was freelancing and I had a number of balls in the air including my FierceContentManagement newsletter among several other regular gigs. At the same event, I got the opportunity to interview Dean Kamen, who is probably best known for inventing the Segway, the precursor to the electric scooter.

I didn't know it at the time, but that interview would be a pivotal one in my career. Sitting in the press room with Rob, I was lamenting that I had this great story, but it didn't fit neatly into any of my freelance buckets. I suggested maybe I should pitch Alexia. Rob readily agreed, and so I DMed her on Twitter, the only way I really knew how to get in touch with her – and didn't hear back.

As chance would have it, I would later run into her at the airport bar on my way home. She had seen my pitch and we negotiated an article right then and there in the bar, leaving me with some great advice: "Write something you want to read."

I wrote this article on the plane home.

I would write a couple of more one-off posts before Alexia and her co-Editor Matthew Panzarino suggested we do something more permanent. At that point, I started my career with TechCrunch, and the rest as they say is history.

While I was getting my feet wet at TechCrunch, Satya Nadella was settling in at Microsoft and embracing the cloud. So far it's worked out pretty well for him with his company's stock price increasing ten fold since he took over, per CNBC.

As I approach my 10th anniversary at TechCrunch, I haven't built up the share price of a major company, nor have I ever met Nadella or even interviewed him, but I have written over 3000 articles, and found great professional satisfaction.

As a professional journalist, that's about the most you could ask for.

Check out some of my recent stories on TechCrunch:
KKR to acquire VMware’s end user computing biz from Broadcom for $4B

UiPath finds firmer financial footing with pivot to general automation and AI

Snowflake CEO Frank Slootman stepping down — and Wall St hates it

Plug In South LA helps build diverse startups in a traditionally underserved area