Goals and Aspirations

  • Like Gutenberg’s printing press before it, the Internet is nothing less than revolutionary. I am committed to contributing to its development and use. However I am also mindful, like Philo T. Farnsworth an early inventor of Television said, that the best thing about TV these days is the “off switch”.
  • I have been inspired by entrepreneurs such as Cyrus Field, who persevered in building the first transatlantic telegraph cable in 1858-66, and take the lesson from them that in addition to experience and ability, success is born from persistence, tolerance, and enthusiasm.
  • I would that Walt Whitmans romantic vision of the transcontinental railroad would apply to the Internet, as today it is reduced to a banal engine of profit rather than one of human progress. Whitman wrote in Leaves of Grass, A Passage to India:
          Marking through these and after all, in duplicate slender lines,
          Bridging the three or four thousand miles of land travel,
          Tying the Eastern to the Western sea,
  • And by Arthur C. Clark and his vision of telecommunications in the future: Clark Quote
  • Some say I am a good teacher. I believe in the Socratic method of teaching and persuasion, and in many of the tenants expressed in the recent “Total Quality” initiatives.
  • I have been known to beg, buy, borrow, build, “steal”, organize and do, whatever is necessary to drive a worthy project to fruition. I have been known to apologize later rather than ask permission in advance when dealing with lethargic bureaucracies….
  • I believe while positional authority might be good for an army, real loyalty and authority is earned. As a member of a hierarchical team, I hope to earn it from those I lead, and to enjoy the leadership of those above.
  • I like the statement “Uncertainty is the engine of science” (Edwards et.al.) I have little time for simpletons who want black and white answers to inherently complex questions.
  • I try to maintain competence at the nuts-and-bolts hardware and software levels in order to earn the respect of those I lead and manage, and to make informed and practical judgments that lead to success.
  • The Internet was built step-by-step and by trial and error of the best, carefully developed, ideas. There is no shortcut, and anyone who claims to have some definitive idea is suspect. I like the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) motto, “rough consensus and running code
  • I have been fortunate because of past success, such as selling I-Way to UUNet, it has given me the freedom to turn down opportunities such as being an early employee at Cisco, or CTO at Loral/Orion, in favor of other things in life.