From the Director of Microsoft's Azure Services Platform Ecosystem

Brandon Watson

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Gratitude Week 4

Just one for this week, as it’s pretty important.

  • Functioning Marriages – I have been fortunate to be married to the same woman for just about 15 years. We’ve been together for 17. We can, and do, talk about anything. We don’t have any secrets. The vast majority of divorces are tied back to money issues. We put a stopper in that one very early on in our marriage with a simple two-spouse-approval rule. Any purchase over $500 required both of us to agree. Due to our ongoing conversations about each of our concerns, interests, fears, etc, my wife understands how much I need this time to decompress. And she has been 100% supportive. It’s pretty amazing that she let me leave for our family vacation a week early to get some mountain biking in, as well as take my 5 days of silence in the woods. This years edition is British Columbia, Canada. It will be me, my bike, my kindle, and my computer (strictly for coding, no internet access for facebook or email) for 5 days. Human interaction will be kept to a minimum. I will be engaged in a silence retreat (no use of my own voice) during that time. She gets me, and she allows me this time. I would do the same for her. Our mutual understanding of, and respect for, each other allows this. I can’t imagine being with anyone else. Life is hard enough to get through when you don’t have a functioning marriage, and I know that I am incredibly lucky to have one.

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Brandon Watson is Director for Windows Phone 7. He specifically focuses on developers and the developer platform. He rejoined Microsoft in 2008 after nearly a decade on Wall Street and running successful start-ups. He has both an engineering degree and an economics degree from the University of Pennsylvania, as well as an MBA from The Wharton School of Business, and blogs at