by C.G. Lynch

Thank You,

Sep 15, 2009
Enterprise Applications's Chris (C.G.) Lynch is joining Socialtext, a Palo Alto company that builds social networking apps for enterprises.

In June 2005, on a muggy New England summer day, I began working as an intern at CIO’s headquarters in Framingham, Mass., a suburb outside Boston. I was 21, a junior in college at Northeastern University, and I had a terrible haircut that I’d gotten a day earlier for $8. While I had some decent, half-baked opinions about media, business and technology, at the end of the day, I was just a kid.

Since that time, I’ve grown in ways I never could have imagined, both professionally and intellectually. I’ve been privileged to work with the most talented colleagues, sources and readers in the world. Collectively, they have nurtured and helped develop my talents in ways that match, and at times exceeded, the incredible education that I was blessed with as a young man. In just four years here, I have gained expertise and skills that I never thought I’d come to possess, and I owe it all to them.

At CIO — first in New England and now in San Francisco — I’ve been able to interview some of the greatest luminaries and innovators in business and technology, including, among others, Craig Newmark (of Craigslist), Jack Dorsey (Twitter’s co-founder), and Jimmy Wales (Wikipedia). I’ve covered some of the most innovative companies in Google, Facebook and Twitter, as well as the plethora of start-ups that have emerged as a result of the Web 2.0 and social computing revolution. I’ve worked alongside a dynamic staff who have produced some of the industry’s most compelling and authoritative content. It’s been an amazing ride, and for me, it serves as the just the first chapter as I prepare for my next new challenge.

As I tweeted Friday, I’m joining Socialtext, a Palo Alto company that shares my belief that work should be social and collaborative. During the past few years, Socialtext observed the great innovations on the consumer Web — at first, wikis — and built elegant, easy-to-use applications for business people that mirrored those innovations. Since its inception, Socialtext has matured in what remains an immature facet of the software industry. Recently, for example, Socialtext built a microblogging tool that allows people to have private, Twitter-like conversations inside their businesses. Most significantly, it integrates its apps with other pieces of enterprise technology. Like me, Socialtext believes in the future of streaming applications, the idea that information should flow to us in real-time (like a Facebook News Feed or Twitter home page) rather than be tucked away in folders and e-mail.

As I learned from my incredible colleagues here at CIO, a company is only as good as its people, and I’m lucky to be joining such an intelligent and tight-knit group at Socialtext. My new boss is Ross Mayfield, Socialtext’s president and co-founder. Since we met a couple years ago at an industry conference, over coffee or beers, from Orlando to Boston to Silicon Valley, Ross and I have found that we share similar philosophies on business and technology. Working with him and Socialtext’s marketing team, I’ll blog, guide our relationship with media new and old, and work with Socialtext’s customers. People are doing some incredible things to make their companies more efficient by utilizing social applications, and through research and interviews, we plan to share it. Hopefully, what I find can serve as a guide for people looking to incorporate these types of technologies into their businesses. And what I learn from practitioners should help make Socialtext’s products even better in the future.

I’m currently in the process of constructing a new blog, but in the meanwhile, you can keep up with me on Twitter (@cglynch). As I sign off at CIO, it’s my hope that I will keep in touch with all of you, my readers, to whom I owe so much. For each story I wrote, all the calls, e-mails, tweets and comments where you complemented me — or, more importantly, challenged me to be better — have helped shape me into who I am today, and I appreciate it more than you know.