From my earliest days in technology, I have been working with, developing and promoting products. I started selling personal computers in 1981 – the Olivetti M20, which had a Zilog Z8001 processor, the first 16 bit computer on the market. I had to order all the components, configure the machine, install the software and train the user. I was a database developer, so most of my first sales included programming a basic application like inventory or list management. In 1983, I worked for Abacus II, a computer dealer that carried Apple, IBM, HP, Epson and Compaq computers. With the introduction of the IBM PC we started to see an improvement in the quality and usability of the systems and a wider selection of applications. In 1984, with the introduction of the Macintosh, the game changed entirely. The hardware was elegant and user friendly and software improved by a magnitude.
In 1986, we moved to Denver. My first position was with Champion Software, an accounting software package built in dBase. (I had led the small business accounting team at the computer store I originally worked in and gained a level of profiency around the application and the client set.) Within several months though, I joined Connecting Point - a fledgling computer chain with about 10 stores trying to emerge from bankruptcy. I came on as a general merchandise manager due to my fairly extensive product and technical knowledge. Over the course of my tenure there, we introduced hundreds of products into our channel, working closely with each vendor to develop the value and benefit message of their products. Through our efforts, we helped launch many significant products into the marketplace.
In 1991, I became a partner in Kelly Micro Systems, a memory manufacturer based in Irvine CA. Intel had just launched a more powerful processor that could address magnitudes more memory which would have a significant impact on improving hardware and software performance. During that period we launched new lines of memory modules, PCMCIA flash cards, PCMCIA modems and processor upgrades.
While at Kelly Micro, I had developed a BBS system where a dealer could get online and determine memory upgrade configurations. I had been online with Compuserve since 1984, but the BBS system was my foray into controlling access and content. I started using Internet based email in 1992. When we sold Kelly Micro in 1994, I sought opportunities in the newly forming Internet. I landed at PSINet in Herndon, VA – the first commercial Internet Services Provider. In our lobby hung the Western Union telegram from DARPA decommissioning the research phase of the project – freeing the Internet node managers to develop commercial platforms. While I was there, we introduced many “firsts” – consumer based account sign up from a disk, a full array of business Internet access services, web hosting, and NetShark, one of the first commercial email applications. Needless to say, it was very exciting. I was working with some of the smartest engineers on the planet, and we were introducing world changing products. We had to create everything – packaging, pricing, promotion, installation, support – from scratch.
In 1996, we wanted to move back to Denver to raise our family and I became the Director of Marketing for Verio, employee #11. Our business plan was to roll-up local ISPs into a national network. I did the marketing work for the initial product set and worked with the first 25 acquisitions to package their products into the national format for consistency. I also managed the effort to create a national roaming platform for clients who traveled and needed access to their accounts from around the country.
In late 1997, I joined Colorado SuperNet (another original Internet node from the DARPA days) as the VP of Sales and Marketing. We launched DSL Internet access, providing a new level of speed and performance at prices a little more than dialup. We were acquired by Qwest - their first foray into Internet Services. We established the foundation of Internet services as they would be delivered from the national platform that Qwest could provide. Qwest acquired quite a few Internet related companies, and I was involved in the sales and marketing side of product integration with a number of the acquisitions.
In 2000, I was offered an opportunity to lead a technology company that was in the center of the newly emerging music distribution (MP3) category. MCY Entertainment had spent $11M building a content management platform that would safely manage the distribution and accounting of digital media. The Napster problem was prohibiting the embracement of this paradigm changing format. The management realized they needed to increase the potential of the technology platform they had invested in. I came on board to help broaden the purpose of the technology, we formed Netrax Technologies and expanded into content management and delivery of a variety of formats – from static content like brand elements – to video delivery. Ultimately, the platform was sold to a firm who was developing and delivering ringtones to the Chinese mobile phone market.
In early 2006, I started with Axiom Solutions, a tax services firm that did the documentation and calculation compliance work to claim R&D tax credits. We worked in partnership with CPA firms and targeted all manufacturing and engineering firms. While I had developed service offerings before, e.g., Internet access, this was a little different in that it was professional services. My early background in accounting software provided me with a basis for understanding tax services offerings. We worked closely with our CPA partners, developing a service that complemented their services in every way. We further developed a full array of specialty tax services for our channel.
Today I provide marketing consulting services. I have been working with a startup software company that has an innovative approach to documenting activities for the tax credit. I have been assisting in the packaging, messaging and program development.