This will be my last week working for Canonical Ltd.
I joined the company almost seven years ago, right at its inception. I was contracting at the time and a member of the Debian project maintaining the dpkg package manager, when I received an e-mail out of the blue that led to a phone call with a South African I’d never heard of who wanted to offer me a dream job working on a Debian-based Linux distribution. Sadly I never kept that original e-mail, but I tried to replicate it from memory for Canonical’s 5th birthday:
How are you and your family hope fine?
I am Mark SHUTTLEWORTH, from the great country of SOUTH AFRICA.
Due to good fortune mine in business, I have come into money of the sum $575,000,000 (US).
I would like to with you discuss BUSINESS OPPORTUNITY, and solicit your confidentiality in this transaction.
Pleased to discuss by phone at your earliest convenience.
Ok, Mark wasn’t really a Nigerian 419 scammer, but some people did discard his e-mail as spam! The job sounded interesting, and I was largely waiting for him to stop talking on the phone so I could say yes. Even better, he was going to pay me up front for the first couple of months because the company hadn’t been formed yet let alone contracts signed and such. No, I didn’t have to send him any money first to make the transaction happen