My work on SchoolTool is blissfully, deliriously free of bureaucracy. It is the ed tech equivalent of being a mechanic hired by Neil Young to restore part of his car collection. I send Mark a brief report and .zip of invoices at the end of each month and a longer report/proposal at the end of the year, and that's it.
Occasionally, the lack of a larger structure trips us up though, for example, I didn't know this year that Mark was going to be announcing a major life change in December, right when I'd usually start asking his assistant to remind him about the SchoolTool proposal. So, nothing happened until after Mark's holiday break, which, if you're a self-made billionaire, can be as long as you want.
I know Mark well enough to think it highly unlikely he was pulling a Kafka Romance Dissolver on us, but I started to get a queasy feeling on Monday after getting the news that the school I'd spent the first half of the decade working on was going to be intensively intervened upon and probably closed. Mark would be getting back to work Tuesday (London time), and there was a small chance that within a span of less than 24 hours, pretty much my entire professional body of work could be nullified.
However, that didn't happen. :D
SchoolTool will go on -- with exciting plans brewing for our first multi-school deployments in the developing world. More about that soon... In the meantime, here's the public version of the SchoolTool 2009 report and 2010 plan.