The high profile Rod Drury will be slightly less so from today. The Xero founder has officially signed off his blog after "5 years, 1626 posts, 3 companies, 3 children and 10 kilos". (He doesn't specify if that's 10kg up or down. The mystery remains: Segway polo - a path to fitness?)
Rod (above centre, with Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak left) says in his final entry: "Most of the goals I set out when I started I've achieved, and there are not enough hours in the day to get through what I need to get through - especially with a young family and growing business."
Certainly, Rod's blog was central to publicising the work of the New Zealand Institute and it's call for a publically-owned fibre optic network - elements of which were adopted by the ever-pragmatic John Key when he announced National's broadband policy (read Rod's take here).
Xero is still finding its feet in the emerging software-as-a-service (SaaS) market. Its latest results were mixed, with more customers but less revenue than expected, and Xero shares are below their issue price. Given that, I'd say there's plenty of reason for Rod to keep putting himself and his usually switched-on opinions out there. It's good for the company image and all (he'll still be offering occassional online commentary, but now for Xero's team effort, a blunter environment that's more likely to make messages look self-serving. Your SaaS product held up by lousy broadband? Call for the government to fund a faster roll-out!). So put your blogging shoes back on, Mr Drury.
Incidentally in one of his last posts, Rod takes a typically candid pot-shot at Google Docs, noting angrily that there's no team folder function. My wife and her thesis supervisor also gave up on Google Docs last week. And here at PC World Towers, I had a stab at using it to share the Excel file we use for workflow management. I found Google Spreadsheets was fine for sharing new worksheets, but had trouble importing even simple formulas from existing Excel files (it's supposed to. Google says it's working through "known issues"). Right now, Google's not pushing Docs too hard. Perhaps because of the bug issues; maybe because it's keeping its power dry under Google Gears (which will let you create and edit documents offline) is out of beta. Either way, it's giving Microsoft a lot of time to catch up.