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I knew I wanted to be an entrepreneur from the time I was in High School. I originally was going to go into science and received a degree in Physics from college. Back in High School I won several New York City Science Fairs as well as created many different inventions. All of the projects and ideas came from my own studies and interests. I am a voracious reader of science, technology, mathematics, and software books and stay on top of industry trends and cutting edge technologies. I know I have a knack for seeing combinations of technologies to provide never before seen services and capabilities that others do not see. I have prototyped many products and services as much as 15 years before the concepts became mainstream (such as the Internet of Things or work I did in timesharing which became cloud computing).
But, reality set in also along the path to entrepreneurship. Marriage, family, assurance of a steady paycheck, were among the real world issues that had me working for others. But there is always consulting and your own time to put into other projects. I formed a company for part time consulting, inventing products for others to use or sell, and meeting people who wanted to market things I would create on my own time. It allowed me to start accumulating the cash to enable me to take the first full time step to being a full time entrepreneur. I bid on many good size projects for people who I knew or knew of me, looking for one significant enough to warrant going into it full time. As part of that project, I was able to build the core of a product that could do so much more than the project at hand. In other words, I set out a 5 year plan and used the startup project to move me forward along the path.
That company grew to many state-of-the-art products most of which had never been done before. And over many years the company grew to over 400 people with systems all around the world. I eventually sold the company so I could go on to new inventions to work on. I have now started 8 startup companies and have fun every day working on leading edge products.