Yesterday, Jeff Nolan announced his decision to leave SAP Ventures. Anyone that's been involved in the software community knows Jeff's influence. Jeff had the unique position of being a person of influence at SAP, the dominant (and getting stronger) provider of enterprise applications while at the same time keeping his finger on the pulse of the venture world.
Jeff doesn't know me personally, but I suspect I'm not alone in saying he's had a profound impact on my career and understanding of technology. Luckily for SAP, Jeff is remaining but embarking on a new role.
I was presented with an opportunity to lead a team working with people I really admire and respect on a set of challenges that are of preeminent importance to SAP. In short, the more I looked at this the more I found myself thinking in the role, I was hooked big time. I talked with a good friend, Jason Yotopoulos who was formerly with Technology Partners and is now a big wheel here at SAP about how it felt to leave venture capital for an ops role and he said to me the funniest thing, "Jeff, you realize that a central part of your job will no longer include sitting around bullshitting with your buddies." I'll miss that, I admit.
That's it really, as of 10/15 I was no longer a part of SAP Ventures. I really enjoyed my partners and consider all of them friends as much as colleagues. Lisa, Paul, Martina, and Jen will continue on and replace me, after all everyone is replaceable and I really do hope that by regenerating and refreshing the partnership that they will come out stronger. I'll post another day on what my new role is, but if you have noticed my sharper edge on commentary about Oracle you will not be surprised to learn about it, and some of the other downstream things that result from this change, such as what I'm going to do my blog now that I'm not a VC anymore (will continue but with a new sense of direction).
In addition to his role at SAP Ventures, Jeff was one of the earliest bloggers of consequence. He is among a short list of folks in our industry that is a must read...if you're blogging about software I guarantee he's on your blogroll. Jeff insists that his new direction won't keep him from blogging, but building a new team within SAP and maintaining full operational control is going to constrain his time, so I would imagine the blogosphere may have to deal with less frequent commentary on his part. Our loss for sure...
Best of luck Jeff