* Anycast dates back to 1993, a year before he claims to have "invented" Hopscotch and Digital Island, both of which failed, and neither of which were as technically sophisticated as FastForward or even Akamai.
* Webcams: at least 1995.
* Enumera looks nothing like a "blade server", and it was P4-based, so I'm not seeing how he invented the Cell Processor.
* His "ECIP" protocol is not the first use of FEC codes on the Internet; you could have gotten Reed-Solomon out of the comp.compression FAQ before then. And I feel like maybe Raj Jain "invented" selective acknowledgement. Also: why do you even use SACK in an FEC protocol?
* You can find HTTP cache servers on Google Groups from 1995, a year before he claims to have invented them, and you can find discussions of them dating back to '93.
* "Streaming MP3" wasn't so much invented (streaming video and audio dates back further than the mbone and Internet Talk Radio in 1992) as it was popularized by Shoutcast. The fact that you once hooked an MP3 up to a socket does not make you the inventor of podcasting.
You all think his problem is he needed a Steve Jobs (funny, I think that's Steve Ballmer's problem right now too). Can I gingerly suggest that his problem is that he's a crackpot?
The CERN httpd did caching in 1993 or maybe even before. And the Harvest Cache (now called Squid) was started at least by 1994.
> [...] As a result, FTP and HTTP servers find themselves swamped with requests for the same popular files, like the demand for images of the Shoemaker-Levy 9 comet which saturated NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory's wide-area network links in July 1994. As a result, there has been an attempt to retrofit caches for internet information system servers like the popular CERN proxy-http cache. One recently developed cache which deserves further examination is the Harvest cache, which boasts improved performance of an order of magnitude over the CERN cache and even over popular http daemons like Netscape's Netsite and NCSA's 1.4 httpd.
Thanks. I love me some tech history, especially in rebuffing egotistical claims.
For example, he lists a CCTV DVR in 1997. There simply wasn't a market for DVRs in 1997. DVDs were just coming out then, and most people had VCRs. If you wanted to break into the video recording market, you had to unseat the VCR. Good luck with that. Then on top of that, hard drives cost many times more than they do now ($/GB), so in order to have any sort of usable hard drive space, you would effectively price yourself out of the consumer market. Now, fast forward a couple of years, and you suddenly have a lot of people without VCRs who would like to record shows and lower hard drive costs. The market was primed for a TiVo to show up (actually, I'd argue that TiVo was still a little early and just barely survived, but that's my unfounded opinion).
Of course, the other major problem that he alludes to was that a lot of his technology was designed for the adult industry, which may be somewhat difficult to put on a resume or get investors to take seriously.
Not timing per se but maybe not the stomach and/or resources for litigation.
For example, Jerome Lemelson, who was arguably the most successful American inventor (in terms of money received, not brilliance - some of his 600 patents are questionable) in decades, was a patent-holder of many key patents relating to magnetic recording. And stuff like the flexible track used by Mattel's Matchbox cars.
He spent years in court sueing the big players like Sony to pay him licensing fees. He ultimately prevailed in many cases and now his foundation helps support patent rights for inventors and helps bootstrap and reward promising inventors.
"You cannot develop a reputation for somebody who gives up. You have to be known as a fighter for your rights. Otherwise, you'll never license anything...Even Thomas Edison had a tough time supporting and protecting his patents. He spent about $1.4 million [to defend his inventions], and this was around the turn of the century, when beer was a nickel." -J. Lemelson
Mostly its carrying voice/video over ip. There isn't much to "invent" here. It happened as soon as the pipes could handle it. A CDN is an obvious concept if you understand how the internet is structured.
It's always boiled down to one thing, lack marketing
budget. Lack of money to manufacture. Lack of the "right
connections" to raise money or make large sales because I
wasn't part of the good old boys/rich kids club. There is a
class system in this country whether you believe it or not.
... As soon as Microsoft or Real Video or some other big
company with deep pockets took notice, that was the end for
The fact that two people invented Calculus at the same time (when global population was under a billion and children worked in factories) should clue him in that other people can have the same ideas he can. Calculus is a lot more novel than a CDN.
Anyway, everyone underestimates the importance of timing.
Ultimately, for a successful technology company you need both kinds of personality. Those who can schmooze AND play hardball and those who can invent brilliant things.
Just my 1.44346 cents (US)
But imagine if Wozniak had also been a hard-charging alpha dog type. We might not have an Apple, because Jobs and Wozniak would have broken up as a technology 'couple' early on in their work.
Maybe something like this contributed to the original poster's failure to hit a home run in his decades of work.
This jibes with something it's taken me a long time to learn: sometimes, "going along to get along" really is the optimal path.
Having access to resources, that mostly means funding, is a HUGE deal.
And often that access is a function of seemingly random things like your physical location and who your friends/business associates are.
What I am saying is that wealth creation is:
1. Not a technical problem.
2. Highly correlated with who you know.
In no way am I implying that it is entirely outside the realm of anyone who has not been born into wealth.
But this is obviously not because you need to know the right people to know C. It's because a programmer is born not knowing C and must struggle to learn it. In the course of her struggles, she interacts with, works with, and in other ways self-selects for many people who have shared this same struggle.
Business is the same. Its goal (at least in capitalist society) is to create wealth. No one is born knowing how to make profit. A person must struggle to learn this skill, and in doing so often associates with many others doing the same.
So you have two groups. One whose goal it is to create efficient, innovative, elegant code and another whose goal it is to create wealth. One group tends to end up with awesome software and the other tends to end up with awesome resources. It is perfectly reasonable that it should be so. And yet the developers look at the business people and say "I guess it must be who you know?" Aren't we smarter than that?
The exact specifics of the "how" are what everyone is trying to figure out, with varying degrees of success.
I think I have good executive and business sense, but I don't play with most of these social "norms" that involve constant BS and ass-kissing so it makes some parts of business hard for me. In fact, I'm in the interview process for a job right now, and I sent the company letters about why they're having trouble securing good candidates, and whether I'll get hired anyway is iffy, but only possible because of the open-mindedness of the owner; if this was corporate drone company, like another company I applied with and had to provide programmer-recruitment advice to, I would just be summarily ignored thereafter. How can people be so vacant, so self-absorbed and oblivious to basic and sensical things, like being a normal human instead of living to suck up after your boss and/or potential buyers? It's really upsetting.
This probably doesn't make much sense. My frustration has been pent-up. I have so much frustration that there's still a lot of it pent now. Thanks for the outlet though dudes, outlet appreciated.
It's like critiquing someone about their online matchmaking profile on your first date with them. It's our first date, and I'm quite a catch, but you keep talking about how my online profile is flawed? Is that really the most important thing to be discussing right now?
There is a fine line between 'sucking up' and 'being polite'.
The owner doesn't want to hire someone who is going to send him letters every week about how his company isn't doing things right. That's being judgmental and condescending.
If you get hired, bring it up the next time they are looking to hire someone. If you don't get hired, then why do you care?
If the girl in your analogy spent all of the first date talking about how guys just never seem to call her from her online profile, and then we went our separate ways, had a second date where the same laments were filed, went away again, and she made a change to a profile that was stupid, then it would be risky but sensible to politely inform her of some things that she could do to improve the appearance of her profile to prospects. That's what happened here.
It sounds like they just can't afford you. When we can't afford someone we often ask them if they would like to work 4 days a week. Sometimes they jump at the chance!
The more resigned someone is, the less reasonable being frustrated about broken philosophy or practice seems to be. The solution then becomes either forcing oneself to become numb, or finding some other outlet for the frustration that doesn't solve the problem. I don't think either of these are particularly effective. They've tended in my experience and those of the people around me to become positive feedback loops; bottling or channeling it just doesn't do enough, it comes back and often with greater intensity. In an odd way, it strikes me as being passive-aggressive with oneself.
Frustration is a sign that something is wrong, and, although it is out of fashion to do so when politically imprudent, I'm an advocate of dealing with the root cause. If something is frustrating you, either change it, or become an advocate for change if it requires more than just your effort. Just advocating for the change can be a frustration reliever; you aren't constantly trying to expend energy forcing yourself to be ok with something anymore.
As for the letter, depending on the response, take it as a sign of whether you'd want to work at that organization. I'm undecided on whether you should've sent it; it depends on your goals. If you were just looking for whatever company would hire you, the letter was a mistake. If you're looking for people who are on the lookout for people with ideas and desire to share them, it might not be such a suicidal move. Just imagining myself as a hiring manager, if you had good points, it certainly wouldn't hurt your chances.
Very valid point. Once can express one's opinion even if it is against the "consensus reality" of a company as long as it is done in a polite and non demeaning fashion. I am known as a "straight shooter" in the corporation I work for and I often find myself disagreeing with my colleagues, mostly about "soft stuff". I keep my tone polite, explain why I think they are wrong, and express a willingness to be corrected by facts and logic.
This is a learned lesson for me but I find that it serves me a lot better then the days when I used to loudly proclaim my preceived truth. Awareness of politics and playing politics are two different things (and the latter is not necessarily a bad thing). "Brown nosing" is a very small subset of human behaviour in groups or companies. There will always be a small subset of people who practice this, but they are not necessarily more effective than people who don't.
Even the smartest people in the world can be incredibly self-absorbed, vacant, and non-sensible, because they're people. People are emotional, and irrational, and that likely isn't going to change in the near future.
The Rothschilds have another maxim: "Never have anything to
do with an unlucky man or place." That is to say, never
have anything to do with a man or place which never
succeeds, because, although a man may appear to be honest and
intelligent, yet if he tries this or that thing and always
fails, it is on account of some fault or infirmity that you
may not be able to discover but nevertheless which must exist.
Never have anything to do with an unlucky place, or an
unlucky man. I have seen many clever men, very clever men,
who had not shoes to their feet. I never act with them.
Their advice sounds very well, but they cannot get on
themselves; and if they cannot do good to themselves, how
can they do good to me?
Executing an idea "almost" just invites a person with better execution and followthru tho come along and "finish" your product in a way that better suits the markets.
The rest of the article is just an example of learning the lesson about trademarks and patents over and over. If you intend to sell a product, there is a certain amount of homework that you're going to have to do establish yourself. Even if you don't outright trademark (cheap and easy) or patent (more expensive and difficult), at least take some steps to prove that you got there first. This arguably falls into the "execution" category as well.
Its also interesting to me that I've actually heard this story several times before. I think most geeks who travel well have met a "tech Forrest Gump" who's story inserts himself in some way into nearly all of the important technical developments of the last decade, always with an "if only" attached. An amusing listen for an evening at the bar.. but you don't want one for a cube-mate!
Looking through his resume it would appear he had a lot of fun, doing what he enjoyed. Yet today all he can muster up is some post blaming everyone else for his apparent failures and disappointments. I would think he's made a good living doing all this impressive work. How lucky is he that he can make a living doing what he, hopefully still, is passionate about?
If he really wants it, he'll find his "Jobs" or "Cuban" to help make it a reality, though chances are they couldn't stand to be around him. Rule number one is don't blame others, no matter how obvious or right you may be. Rule number two is avoid assholes.
My Unkle Jimmy never had another great invention. He was too bitter.
I would think that somebody who came up with that many new products could get something to market.
On the other hand, he could be one of those stereotypical tech geniuses who completely suck at business.
He seems to be in the mad scientist category. Apparently he didn't go to college. It could be that he was so far beyond normal schooling that he decided it wasn't worth the time. But as do many exceptional people, it becomes hard to communicate and appeal to normal folk.
I think that if he found himself a designer to partner with, he would have been far more successful.
Disclaimer: Yes, I know my own homepage is hideous, so I am a hypocrite. At least my blog has a standard Blogger theme and my resume is attractive (currently Facebook-style because I was considering applying last year).
Go and have a look at the website for blue sky mining companies some times. Lack of neato art hardly implies bad fundamentals (in fact many of the mining pages are so bad I half suspect it's a badge of honour).
I do feel that "access to capital" is the thing that makes or breaks most. I think this is a good part of the OP's opinion.
With modern web startups, money probably matters less, and execution, more, than in domains where you manufacture and distribute physical objects.
I never made any money on the idea, and regenerative braking is being used by most hybrids now.
Creating a technology wave, before the world is ready for it, doesn't appear to work.
It's a Slashdot comment. He's going to spellcheck it?
Either he did the stuff he says he did, or he didn't. The people reading his post can figure out what he's trying to say.
Where do you think it rates on the DH scale?
I can't see a rational reason for this type of behavior.
"I think you are reading too much into my comment, hm?"
Chances are, if this guy is unable to present himself in an articulate manner on Slashdot, he can't in front of a VC either.
Yes, this is exactly the sort of thing that can prevent success. As can dressing badly. As can being short and fat. Or ugly, if you're a woman. Fair? No. But intelligence isn't distributed fairly either.
If you want to sell yourself, then you have to fix as many of these problems as you can. There's no way around that. If you can't spell, then use Microsoft Word and its grammar checker on everything you ever write. Go on a diet. Get someone else to pick out your clothes. Etc.
That you launch into a litany of other things that have nothing to do with this guy's Slashdot comment (clothing, physical fitness, etc) suggest a major chip on your shoulder. You imply that, amongst other things, shortness and physical unattractiveness are problems that need to be fixed; how exactly do you propose people fix these problems? This comment smells of either a self-validating or apologetic cheer toward people who hyper-focus on image at the expense of all other metrics. If you believe what you write here, and aren't just resigned to thinking this is how the rest of the world works, I wonder how many people you've misjudged as a result.
If so, elaborate on that. If not, please explain why those same things should not be considered problems that ought to be addressed. Wouldn't it be advisable to treat the issue like any other and apply the full weight of your intelligence and experience to come up with a good solution?
I don't deny that any of the above traits can be barriers to success. The underlying problem I see requiring attention is different, though, than the problem you and thras suggest we need to solve. When someone encounters barriers due to their appearance and/or image, the best solution I see does not always involve individual behavioral modification. I also go looking for systemic causes. In this case, I think there is a halo effect that is not being addressed and compensated for, or is being assumed as static and unmovable. It results in people being judged on things that do matter to the end product based on things that do not matter. A Porsche is not a faster car than a Honda because the engineers dressed nicer to the factory, nor the opposite; it is tangential. This halo effect is the thing we need to be addressing, rather than attempting to rely on patching ourselves due to errors in the system. I hope my point is a little clearer now.
I find this saying particularly irksome because "execution" is a catch-all term that people use to place blame where it often doesn't belong. (The biotech company Fluidigm had to cancel its IPO recently. Did its executives "fail to execute" a plan to guard against declining economic conditions? Really now.)
There are far better ways to analyze successes and failures in business.
Sad. Copyrights were designed to protect small authors from the massive publishing houses, with whose distribution the small author could never compete. Patents were founded on the same principle. It's pretty upsetting that these are now being used by the large corporations to establish hegemony, whereas the "little guy" almost certainly doesn't have the money necessary to hold his own ground.
What should be protected is novel solutions to problems. Take a product that's in production and make it better by changing it's shape slightly so you get more leverage and that's worthy of a patent.