I was born to do this – and I often joke that if you wanted to breed a web guy you might pick out my parents.
My father was a design engineer on the IBM 360 (one of the last great mainframes) and he holds 27 patents, mostly for medical devices and arcade games. His father before him was the founder of Parade Magazine and he was featured in the August 18, 1941 issue of Time Magazine for his consulting accomplishments. His father before him has an elementary school named after him in Colorado.
If you are thinking “oh, he is from one of those intellectual accomplishment families” – you are exactly right.
And then there was my amazing mother.
Roberta was in the first class of women to graduate from the Harvard Business School. She joined General Foods in 1960, by 1970 she was the financial director of General Foods Europe. She then went on to be the controller of SmithKline Beckman, and she was the CFO of NutriSystem when they did their LBO. Then Mom came out and moved to Provincetown, MA – where she was a successful entrepreneur and a light in her church. Mom was a whiz with numbers, she could make a spreadsheet dance. I learned basic math from her. Mom went to the next world in 2003 – lung cancer. Her mother before her, aka my Grandma Hilda, was from Portuguese Catholic New Bedford Massachusetts – where she went all the way to the 7th grade before she had to quit school to go to work.
If you are thinking “oh, he is from one of those ethnic success struggle families” – you are exactly right.
I was admitted to Mensa at age 4 and had a childhood to match.
I wasn’t quite a teenager when I had my first “real” job – writing encryption algorithms for RSA. They found me useful because I could translate hexadecimal to binary numbers in my head and I had a wonderful summer in 1985. The only way to get the full backstory on this is to buy me a beer – or two – but most folks guess correctly.
I had many forms and variants of Lasley Computer Consulting but my next real gig was for NCR – writing machine language for cash registers. That is a special kind of hell but it paid very well and I was interested in impressing girls, so it worked out well.
I largely ignored academic achievement and am now old enough to state the simple truth: it was my way of pissing my parents off. I suspect that was my core motivation for many actions in my teenage years. I spent a few years learning about hippie culture at Bates college in the Theater department before I dropped out to run my own business – a common tale in tech world.
In 1995 I founded KISS Computing, a website design and development company in Massachusetts.
Created Numerous Cutting Edge Systems
Governor’s Entrepreneurial Spirit Award
I was at the right place at the right time – I ran a web development company for the opening decade. When I started people said you couldn’t make a living doing that and when I finished it was the “hot” profession.
We ran ads in the New York Times selling complete websites for $349, a few years later we demanded huge project minimums and ended up with a 12 month long waiting list. It was crazy, insane, and lots of fun.
I sold KISS Computing in 2005 – primarily as component pieces but the retainer business went to an employee who continued to run KISS for several years.
I moved to Maine in 2005 in an attempt to “retire”.
I bought a huge spread, a gaggle of critters (Horses, etc), had a giant house and barn – and tried my hand at being a farmer. I have cut down a tree, raised my own food, and I even know how to “process” a chicken. I failed at being a farmer, badly – but in hindsight many of the stories are humorous today.
It was an “idylic” life, but I was very unhappy. I found Buddhism at this time. It helped.
In late 2007 I founded The Internet Educator, I needed a purpose.
In 2010 I moved to the suburbs of Augusta where I live now. I love it here.
They say everything happens for a reason and in 2011 I met the love of my life. She is just the most amazing woman and life is grand. I never expected this to be my path but just because you didn’t plan, that doesn’t mean it isn’t exactly where you are supposed to be.
We got married.
On July 24th, 2012 my world shifted again – my daughter Emma was born.
I love “my girls” so very much, life is grand.
We have 5 dogs and a breeding herd of redfoot tortoises.
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