You and I have been together for almost seven years. We have been many places together; local government buildings, soft drink distributors, beer distributors, small town banks, surgical tool manufacturing facilities, resorts, retirement communities, many private and public schools (too many to count), and Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello (Remember TJ’s attic?). We have had ups and downs but to be honest it has been mostly a positive relationship. I will admit, there was a time when I didn’t want to talk much about you and I, afraid of what others would think, but I eventually professed my affection for you publicly. Many out there were launching arrows at you and it became too difficult to stand by and watch you take hit after hit. You would get criticism, some just, but mostly un-just, from people that barely knew you or didn’t know you at all. I tried to jump in and take bullets on your behalf. People kept firing…
It has been nearly three years since we reached a milestone in our relationship. Some milestones are good, some not so good. I’m not sure which one is a good reflection of us yet. Some people probably wonder why I care so much about you. My answer would be that after you have been with something for so long, it becomes part of you. I feel like I have so much invested in you. You have been great for me and my career! There are many more fish in the sea and sometimes I think I might be better off somewhere else, but I always find my way back to you. You have been there since I decided to really focus my attention on wireless technologies. You have been there as my career blossomed and you have even give me opportunities that I may have not had otherwise.
My questions for you at this point in our relationship are this; where do you see us going? Do you think we have a future together? Not necessarily where everyone else is going (MCA), but with something that our relationship has a FOUNDATION on (SCA\Virtual Cell)? All those other choices out there seem so much alike. Some are built in the cloud, offer similar features, and solid reputations, but you… you are different! You have something special. You have something that others have tried but have failed at. That cute little thing you do (SCA\Virtual Cell) “may” be getting a little stale, but there are so many advantages and unrealized potential. I was hoping so badly that the milestone I spoke of above would bring a revitalized fire, and I hope that it still might! There have been GREAT improvements since that milestone but I just don’t see where you want to be yet. I am concerned for you. Do you want to be like everyone else or do you want to be unique and build on something great? How would Dr. Bharghavan, Srinath Sarang, Joseph Epstein, and Sung-Wook Han feel about the direction you are taking? I know you might not care what they think anymore, but they are the ones who brought you into this world.
People ask me about you all the time. They ask how you are doing and what you are going to do with your future. I can’t answer those questions. YOU HAVE TO ANSWER THOSE QUESTIONS!
I was present recently when you talked about some things that you have been going through. There were a lot of people around (Wireless LAN Professionals Conference 2018) and I was so excited to see you stand up and start talking. I thought you were getting ready to have a breakthrough and let everyone know how awesome you can be… but then I was let down just as quickly as it started. I’ll be honest, I was a little embarrassed. People around me noticed how excited I got when I saw you and then they noticed how quickly I was let down. You did a great job talking and the presentation was fine, but I couldn’t help but think it was a little fake. It wasn’t who you really are. I felt like you were just saying things you thought others wanted to hear. People told me afterwards that they would have rather heard you talk about WHO YOU REALLY ARE, but instead you were “like all the rest of them.” Love you or hate you, people just want you to BE YOU!
I’ve been places and heard those other fish in the sea speak about themselves with confidence. They keep wanting so badly to improve themselves, make themselves look good, and be accepted. I can’t help but notice that it seems like you don’t care about everything that makes you who you are. It seems you don’t remember where you came from, almost like you are trying to be someone else. The world doesn’t need followers. They (the others) all look the same to me. I love you for who you were, who you are, and for the potential that you have. Please don’t fall into the same line all of the others are in. You were about being different. Don’t lose sight of that!
There are so many people out there that know your potential. I know they might not always outwardly express their feelings, but they tell me. They tell me to fight for you and tell me to be patient… and I will, but I can’t do it by myself. I need your help. I need you to be confident in yourself. I need you to help me. It can’t be a one way road like it has been. Help me help you!
I can’t speak for the future and what others feel, but I can speak for myself. If I don’t see effort in this relationship, I don’t know that I can continue on. I will still work beside you and be your friend, but I can’t guarantee that I will have the fight in me anymore.
No matter what happens, I will always care about you. I just hope that you can figure out who you really are. You might already know but just haven’t told anyone yet, and that is ok, but just know that you are not helping anyone, including yourself.
I am writing this letter to you, not because I want to break up, but because I care about you and your future. I know you have great potential even though I don’t know exactly what the future looks like. There are so many people pulling for you, I promise. I hope my future has you in it.
(Hopefully) Yours always,