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Saturday, October 8, 2011

Farewell, Jim Glass

With Jim’s recent announcement of his retirement from Microsoft, I thought I’d make a little space here to immortalize my thoughts of a man I never got to meet in person, but dearly wished to.

There’s something to be said about the Dynamics CRM community: chiefly that it is the most vibrant and active product community around any single Microsoft product.  Why? Two reasons:

  1. As I have long believed and been rewarded for such faith, it is simply the best product Microsoft has ever brought to market (that isn’t an Operating System); and
  2. Fantastic community leadership, fostering an open, engaging dialog between the users of the product and the experts that know it.

Jim Glass is directly responsible for both.  There’s no objective way for me to quantify that, however, so take that declaration as the biased opinion of one happy CRM MVP.

I’ve never known a CRM world without Jim, and long before I entered the MVP space, I met Jim on the battlegrounds we call the public CRM forums.  Jim was always watching, carefully moderating and steering the forum to productive ends.  He encouraged the MVPs, on a regular basis, to contribute and participate with the community at large—and the forums were just that.

There is no mistaking the emptiness that I feel now that I know he’s gone, and I wait patiently for his successor to fill his space as best as possible (daunting though that may be).  Since I never had the opportunity to pay my respects and give my appreciation to Jim in person, I find myself obligated by duty to honor his legacy by applying myself to the forums in a way I know he would wish.

Those who knew Jim understand the impact and the gravity his absence will generate.  Those who didn’t, may never understand what he did to improve their experience with CRM, the product or the community.  In some small way, I wish I could impart that feeling; but I doubt I have the raw ability to put in words what Jim has done, for me—for us.  I will miss him, and follow his social publications with great interest.

Farewell, Jim. To have known you from afar, is better than to never have known you at all.

“To leave, or not to leave--that is the question.
Whether ‘tis nobler in the mind to suffer
The pings and queries of MVP misfortune
Or to take charms against a sea of blogs
And by composing, mend them. To pry, to seek—
No more—and by seek to say we end
The madness, and the thousand natural questions
An MVP is heir to.”