MVP Value

El Reg has a somewhat shocking story about an MVP that works for Google that was told not to renew his award.

The comments are somewhat amusing, less so since they updated the article to remove/correct the bit about MVPs being MS evangelists.

I’m not an MVP, never have been, probably never will (but I will be presenting alongside a bunch of them next week). I think the work they (and some non MVPs) do on the newsgroups and in the community/ecosystem in general is really valuable, to users and to Microsoft. It seems reasonable then that MS acknowledge and reward their contribution.

I understand the concerns about a conflict of interest, access to NDA stuff – I have that as part of the MSO Advisory Council. And I understand that Google and MS compete in many areas. But I still don’t see why the guy has been advised not to seek renewal. His MVP was probably part of the reason he got recruited to ‘the chocolate factory’ in the first place. Maybe they are trying to make him less attractive to other employers so they can shaft him on rate?

I’m not an employee, not since 1996, and I doubt I ever will be, but if my employer recommended I give up an award I had earnt with hard work in my own time, I can only think I would tell them to fark right off. Maybe thats why I’m self employed?

What about you?



17 Responses to “MVP Value”

  1. Rob Bruce Says:

    I’ve often wondered why you aren’t an MVP, Simon. I can name at least one Excel MVP who’s technical knowledge is nowhere near MVP standard, but who seemed to get the award for product evangelism. Maybe you’ve been a little too mouthy on certain subjects?

  2. Simon Says:

    Any subject in particular Rob? ha ha ha!

  3. Simon Says:

    btw, I don’t want to get into that who is/isnt, should/shouldn’t, how/why stuff. I assume I am (and others are) not an MVP because I(we/they) havent done the things you need to do to be one, which is fine.

  4. Bob Phillips Says:

    Simon, this topic has been discussed elsewhere, and the best explantion that I have heard is that Google were concerned that if they produced some product that could be interpreted, however lossely, as having benefitted from their employees inside knowldge, there was a potential of a lawsuit. However unlikley this might seem, in the litigous atmospher of the present, might not be such a bad decision. Let’s be honest, Jon must have foreseen a problem otherwise he wouldn’t have enquired about it.

    As to MVP, how about asking why Rob Bruce isn’t?

  5. Simon Says:

    But Bob, my question is would you renounce your MVP at the behest of your employer? or would you tell them where to go?

  6. Jon Peltier Says:

    The two employers I worked for while I was also an MVP had no clue what it was all about, but they were not related to software. They didn’t think it was a distraction, as I did the MVP stuff on my own time.

    I work for myself now, and the MVP has probably helped at least get me started. So my current employer will no way ask me to decline the award.

    I can’t say I know why some are awarded and others are not. I also don’t know why, with all of my pointed criticism in the past two or three years (when did 2007 come out?), I’ve been renewed. My criticism is offered as a way to try to show how their products can be improved, and I always back up what I say with discrete examples (never just whining), so at least I think I’m fair. But you never know.

  7. Dick Kusleika Says:

    I can’t imaging anyone resisting an employer who wanted them to resign the award. That is to say, I can’t image me doing it, so I assume everyone else is like me. The award is nice, but it’s not nearly as nice as that paycheck I get every couple of weeks.

  8. Rob Bruce Says:

    Ha ha! I did look like I was fishing a little bit, Bob.
    But seriously, no. Maybe a decade ago when I was spending hours a day on the newsgroups, but my interests have broadened since then and I don’t think I qualify for guru status any longer.
    Anyway, to answer the question, Google probably acted a little heavy-handedly, but they will have their reasons and, like Dick says, having an MVP award is no substitute for having a great job.

  9. Bob Phillips Says:

    @Simon, well I am in a position where it doesn’t apply like yourself, but I think I agree with Dick in that I would, a well paid, interesting job is more important that being an MVP. And as I said, Jon must have had an inkling, as he raised it with Google.

    @Rob, well I’ll bite some more . You may not qualify with whatever criteria MS apply, but you certainly qualify as a guru, and your braodening of interests only make your contributions more valuable (after all, how many VLOOKUP solutions doesn’t anyone want to give?).

  10. Dennis Wallentin Says:

    Simon et al,

    1) When money talks You walk.
    2) The following seems to still be valid:
    3) Too many of the MVPs are simple afraid of MSFT and that they will loose their status as MVPs.
    4) As long as You don’t hurt people’s feeling at Redmont and at the same time can turn on the macro recorder in Excel you certainly qualify for the MVP program.

    Kind regards,

  11. Rob Bruce Says:

    Cheque’s in the post, Bob!

  12. Simon Says:

    I’m not sure many people can turn on the macro recorder in 2007 without upsetting feelings in Redmond, especially if you are trying to record chart or shape interactions!

  13. Bob Phillips Says:

    Ouch Dennis!

    I re-read that old thread, it always cheers me up when I do. I especially like the very last comment.

  14. Dennis Wallentin Says:


    That’s the challenge we all face; either be loyal to what we think or to be polite against MSFT.

    Nice to read that the blogpost is still a source for inspiration and joy! After all, it turned out to be expensive so I want the highest ROI as possible.

    Kind regards,

  15. Simon Says:

    Did you all know you can now nominate yourself, your mates, your pets* or your heros for the MVP here:
    (*I have a post about pet qualifications coming up)

  16. Simon Says:

    Bob – I had to go back and read it again to see that last comment – pure class.

  17. Simon Says:

    He got his MVP back

    smart move from Google – its great being restrictive and ‘safe’, but you have to be seen to be proportionate too – something our illustrious leaders might do well to recognise.

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