adrianbyloicsans_181012_850One of the things I’ve come to realise is how much of people’s time work demands. And how much of themselves they put into it.

So it felt important last week to be around in Amsterdam when Adrian Collier had his last few days working at Akvo. Adrian started working in the Amsterdam team just over three years ago, and within three months had taken on the job of product manager for Akvo RSR. His legacy is everywhere, as is the shuddering memory of some of his terrifying jokes. We both went to the same university, Aston, ten or so years apart. But his tutors definitely came from a scarier place than mine did.

Adrian is by no means the first person to leave Akvo – we’ve also just said goodbye to Carl Crowder, our super-smart Berlin-based development operations engineer, and recently Kendra Terry who has been supporting our team on the US East Coast.

In fact, as I switched Adrian and Carl’s Twitter names over from the Akvo staff list to the Akvo alumni, I realised the alumni one is now getting quite long, at 14 people. But I guess that eight years in, a Twitter alumni list of 14 isn’t too bad when the staff Twitter list numbers 53.

But still, every departure matters, because you lose personalities and institutional knowledge. You lose the ability to add any more of a particular ingredient, than what has been created. Which I guess means we need to understand and respect what was added.

So it was nice that myself and Alvaro got the chance to do a video interview with Adrian on Thursday afternoon, a day before he left. You can see it here.

Adrian is moving on to another venture at a time when we’re expanding our team substantially, particularly development and technical roles, as we expand a number of product teams. So maybe I can draw comfort in the knowledge that we’ll end up getting to discover new people who, like him, will put some of the time of their lives into working with us.

Mark Charmer is a co-founder of Akvo, and director of communications. Photo: Adrian Collier, London, 18 October 2012. By Loïc Sans.