My Story

Portrait of Bruce

Growing up just outside New York City in an education-oriented commuter town, I had the perfect balance of space and stores yet the full range of resources.  Dozens of respected colleges and universities within a short distance, good hospitals, good schools, 24-hour bowling and mini-golf places and, of course, lots of great Italian and Jewish food along with a deep sense of community.  All this while getting to run around in wooded areas and parks.

From there, I went to college in New Jersey, where I started in astrophysics, dipped into early Japanese history, detoured through comparative religion, and eventually ended up in computer science, focusing on animation, visual simulation, and computer-human interaction studies.  And then I graduated... into a recession.

But, that worked out well for me in the end, as it meant I learned a great deal about how business worked, and put me in a nearly perfect position for when the Web came along.  During the Dotcom Boom, I got the chance to experience it from inside a savvy "old-school" tech company, and see how they responded, both well and poorly, to the new challenges.  From there I had the good fortune to land myself at an up-and-coming small company, called Yahoo!  Balancing every day on the edge of potential disaster from just one real screwup or missed opportunity, I got a tremendous education into setting priorities, what really can and can't be ignored or done without, and working with fellow pride-driven peers in a high-pressure environment.

As was to be expected, it couldn't last.  The company grew from 300 when I started to over 3,000, and the culture shifted, poorly.  I moved on to helping run a true startup (I was employee number nine), which was incredibly well-run and agile.  So agile that, in the midst of the Dotcom Bust, we were able to reinvent ourselves almost overnight into a wireless services provider attractive to what is now Openwave Systems, who purchased us, making us probably one of the last successful Dotcoms.

Given the intense several years I had just been through, combined with the rapid souring of the industry, I decided to use my newly-recognized knack for working with and communicating clearly with regular (non-techie) folks and advised, consulted, and contracted for several years, helping traditional small businesses understand available technology and decide what best suited their needs.

University of Washington Quad and Cherry Trees, Oct 2007

By 2006, I had grown bored with programming and hard-core tech, and looked into re-entering the more corporate world.  I decided, with the moral support of my lovely wife and the financial assistance of my wonderful mother-in-law, to move towards the upper management path with an MBA.  And, once again, I graduated into a recession.

So, here I am, slowly networking my way back into the salaried position world...