Date view Thread view Subject view Author view

From: Gregory Alan Bolcer (
Date: Wed Aug 16 2000 - 10:09:27 PDT

So, Dot.Orange is really dot-dot-orange, right?
The Orange County Register had a series of articles on
the state of the union of the Orange County high tech business community.
Comments on the ones I know (or know about).

The Inventor: Roy Fielding, Chief Scientist, eBuilt Inc.
[former UCI cohort who's picture belies his guilt for not
 having finished his dissertation yet...8-)]

> Which leads us to ask ... "The next big change is going to be small.
> Involving wireless devices. Things that allow you to keep in
> contact, but not be a slave to a terminal. Simple, small devices that
> just do e-mail because they don't have to do anything more.
> "What I'm working on right now is a protocol for the next
> generation of devices ... something that sends a lot of information,
> opens up a larger window. The protocol itself, we're going to offer
> to the world free. What we do is build things here. What we're
> going to do is build interesting applications upon that."

The Money Man: Luis Villalobos, founder Tech Coast Angels and GazelleLab
[There's also a story about meeting Bill Gates, not quite the same
 as Adam's adventure, but those guys definitely have to relax...]

> Regrets? He's got a few ... Not along the lines of "I wish I'd
> invested in Microsoft in 1985" or "I wish I'd listened to those
> smart-assed Stanford kids when they were going on about the
> Internet." But tellingly, Villalobos wishes he'd been a little more
> open with one of his own patents, a software algorithm that
> could've helped graphic designers draw better curves on their
> computers. Instead, he worried about losing control and losing
> value for his own shareholders. And other software became the
> standard. So today, whenever he uses computer graphics, he has
> to grit his teeth a little when he draws a curve, at just how elegant it
> could have been.
> "We might have been like Microsoft, and chosen to give it away for
> a while, but only with graphic design, instead," he says. "I made the
> wrong bet."
> He's not a guy who lives in the past. But still, it bugs him a little.

The Writer: Chris Avallone, Sr. Designer Black Isle Studios
[Little do people know, Orange County is the gaming capital of the
 world--not Hollywood, Not Multimedia Gulch--and we have the string
 of best selling games and companies to prove it.]

> "I wasted so much of my youth playing games like Dungeons &
> Dragons and computer games my mom said I'd never amount to
> anything," he says. "My mom's a totally cool person, but she saw
> my grades go down every time I did this game stuff, and she
> thought I'd never amount to anything."
> Ah, but Mom was wrong. Avellone, 28, received the game
> industry's equivalent of the Oscar for his work on "Planescape:
> Torment," a role-playing game developed by Black Isle Studios, a
> division of the game developer Interplay Entertainment Corp. in
> Irvine. It won the Best Game of the Year, Best Story of the Year
> and Best Role-Playing Game of 1999.

The Turnaround Guru, Lee Roberts, CEO FileNET
[Hot idea three decades late danger of becoming
 irrelevant....Duh, we had only been talking to them since 1993
 telling them to pull their head out.]

> Why we care: Until the past 18 months or so, you didn't. Prior to
> that, FileNET was doing what it had done since 1982, selling and
> maintaining huge machines used by huge companies with a huge
> need to store huge piles of documents. The company had morphed
> several times over the years, getting into software and then pushing
> into Internet-based services. But its basic reason to exist -- to
> provide a "paperless office" -- was pretty much intact. Boring?
> Well, it was a hot idea ... three decades ago.
> By late 1998, Costa Mesa-based FileNET was in danger of
> becoming irrelevant. The Internet, not to mention intranets and
> extranets and maybe even a few hairnets, were gobbling up much
> of the document storage and, more importantly, document retrieval
> functions that FileNET's huge machines (and software) handled.
> Sales and earnings were stagnant. The stock slipped toward the
> netherworld of $5 a share.
> Enter Lee Roberts.

The Dealmaker, Bruce Hallett, partner, Brobeck, Phleger & Harrison LLP
[I've had to deal with Brobeck before when we were trying to get funding.
 Good firm, good connections.]

> "The problem is there's a lot of technology here -- there's a huge
> amount of engineering talent, because of the companies that are
> here and schools like UCI, UCLA and USC. But we haven't had
> that many major success stories, so that the new companies can
> model themselves after the success stories, and people who have
> driven the success stories being willing to reinvest in future of the
> community ... not just with their money again, but with what they've
> learned.
> "It's starting to happen. In terms of maturity of the community and
> the infrastructure, we're where Silicon Valley was in 1983."
> So, when does Orange County eclipse Silicon Valley? "I think
> that's still five or 10 years away."

Gregory Alan Bolcer        |    | work: 949.833.2800
Chief Technology Officer   | | cell: 714.928.5476
Endeavors Technology, Inc. | efax: 603.994.0516     | wap:  949.278.2805

Date view Thread view Subject view Author view

This archive was generated by hypermail 2b29 : Wed Aug 16 2000 - 10:09:35 PDT