In February of 2008, Tom Hopcroft, Heather Johnson, James Gesweiler and I started working on a new conference design focused on helping early stage entrepreneurs find people who can help them grow, and help them create great businesses.
1. Early on, when I was 19, I was building a mechanical, relay-based "whistle" system to help my hospital roommate, Tom Wade, who was a quadriplegic, control his phone, lights, TV, etc even though he couldn't move his arms or legs. Later I was introduced to a man named John Beall, who knew how to use digital logic chips, and insisted that I learn it, immediately. He showed me how, and that changed my career, yielded a working Whistle System (and a 1980 patent) and led to my transfer to MIT. (I wrote an article about John Beall in Mass High Tech)
2. Later, when I came up with the idea for the Avid editing system, I was able to get my initial idea vetted by people who understood the problem and could help create the system. Eric Peters, who later became Avid's CTO, is a key example.
3. Just a month after starting the company, I presented to the MIT Startup Forum dinner meeting. This group convinced me that I should not bootstrap the business and should get venture capital.
4. In February of 1988, Bill Kaiser of Greylock was the first and only VC we talked to, and he later invested.
I made this little video for Gunnar Edelstein, my wife's brother. Gunnar was a Navy carrier pilot in 1972 on the USS Kittyhawk. I figured that a little Internet searching would give me some good imagery, and it did. Gunnar, here's to you. Anyone who lands an airplane on a carrier in the middle of the ocean, in the fog, at night ... is the kind of crazy guy I want to be friends with. Here's to sixteen years of knowing you, and to 60 years and still going strong.
Note: If anyone watching this video should fly American Airlines out of LaGuardia to the Caribbean, listen carefully when the pilot comes on and announces his name. It could well be Captain Gunnar Edelstein.
Paul English and some friends put together a fun and music-filled barbeque by the pond in Arlington. The centerpiece of the event was a giant slip-n-slide assembled from huge amounts of commonly available materials, such as enough plastic tarp to cover an 18-wheeler truck (maybe two), and copious amounts of dish soap and sprayed water to make the downhill run plenty fast. Now there's engineering put to good use.
This music video is backed by Paul's house band and shows the action, especially on the slip-n-slide.
Now, just how did we get those moving shots on the slip-n-slide? Two ways. First were some brave sliders who just held the camera as they slid down together. (And that worked remarkably well) And second, as you'll see here, was the helmut-cam. He went down head first to mimic the motion of the little girl in the video who also went head first. There's a brief cutaway to the helmut-cam during her slide.
Thanks Paul and friends for a great party. And thanks to the band for a great song!
This thing really works and it only cost $40 for the kit! I took it to an outing to the Tall Ships and Quincy Market in Boston. It gave me all kinds of shots I couldn't otherwise get. Doesn't remove all the jitter, but still, its pretty amazing. Check it out!
The town of Barnstable, MA has a lovely, classic parade each year. This video shows some of the classic and antique cars from the parade, with some interviews from the owners and a little music from the Beach Boys.
TechStars Boston is getting ramped up in its Central Square, Cambridge digs. Here, Andy Payne on of our Boston Mentors, gives a talk about customer acquisition in the Internet era.
A brief snippet of Andy's talk.