Since this is the first time most of you will have run into me, I guess I should introduce myself. I’m currently retired, by choice. After retirement, I advised some venture-funded startups, including. Aerohive Networks and Agito Networks which has been acquired by Shoretel. I also volunteered my time to the Jazz Archive project at KCSM-FM, digitizing the third largest jazz LP collection in the world. I served on the board of San Jose Jazz, a service organization that provides music education programs and presents the San Jose Jazz Festival. Currently, I provide consulting services as an expert witness in areas related to WLAN patents and standardization processes.
I had the good fortune to meet up with three brilliant colleagues in 2001 to start a wireless LAN system company, Airespace. We built the company from a pretty rocky start to about 200 wonderful people and nearly $100M in annual sales. It was some of the hardest work and the most fun I have ever had. Cisco came around in 2005 and paid us (and our investors) very well for the company, folding it into their Wireless Networks Business Unit. The Airespace products quickly expanded to account for more than 65% of the sales for the business unit.
I stayed at Cisco for nearly three years after the acquisition. My assignments included leading some work in standards development (802.11/Wi-Fi and IETF), continuing the work with our WLAN system, and working to develop new products in the WLAN space. When friends asked how I liked it at Cisco, I tell them it was a lot like trying to teach an elephant to dance. I finally decided that being at a large company was not the thing for me. While the elephant got the waltz and the nightclub two-step, it was never going to do the samba, cha-cha, or salsa. It was just not an up-tempo kind of place.
Before Airespace I spent five years as a successful consultant. I helped companies to develop standards and to understand the strategy involved with standardization. Standards are a very important part of success in technology. That’s a topic for a different blog, though.
Before Airespace and consulting, I spent 12 and a half years at AMD, where I was introduced to wireless LANs and 802.11. I managed the product planning and applications group in the High Speed Networks Division. Unfortunately, AMD was a place where there was a tremendous amount of talent and very little management foresight. Essentially, if it wasn’t attached to making the processor beat Intel that quarter, it wasn’t important.
Back in the mists of prehistory I was also a jazz musician and cut a record (yeah, the vinyl kind). I worked in the aerospace industry as a defense contractor designing the precursor to the USB thumb drive. I got an engineering degree and told a professor I didn’t need an MSEE bad enough to let him get away with changing my thesis topic after he had my first draft in his hands. Finally, I saw much of a top secret project I worked on described in Tom Clancy’s “Hunt For Red October”.
So, that’s me. If you choose to leave a comment below, I hope you will introduce yourself, as well.