Archive for October, 2010

A little retro fun

October 25, 2010

When I was at my last company, we had a hard time in the early days explaining what we did to our potential partners at the wireless operators.  We would commonly say that we were doing stuff at the intersection of mobile blogging and social networking.  That would generally result in quizzical expressions and  the simple statement of, “Huh?”  Over time, as social networking became something that people understood, we could say things like, “It’s like Myspace.”  and then people would get it.

When I told some of my friends and relatives about chumby, I would be met with the same curious look from those days long ago.  Sometimes I would ask them if they heard of Dash and then they would say, “Oh, I get it, they have some of your stuff inside.”  Yeah.  Other times they would smile still and not really know what I was talking about.  The obvious big barrier in that case is that people need to see a piece of hardware from us, or Sony or Best Buy to have that visceral moment of understanding.

Today we released a fun piece of software to help people understand what a chumby looks like without having to have the hardware.  If you want to see what a Windows PC would look like as a chumby, you can look at this post here to get the details.  While this is meant to be mostly fun, I think it is also a good foreshadowing of some of the things we will be releasing in the coming months that help people understand what chumby means as a software platform and not just a hardware platform.

For those hardware fans who like things like chumby being converted to a robot, please don’t fear as we have a couple of new hardware things up our sleeve as well that we hope to share with you soon.

In the meantime, if you were ever a fan of flying toasters or other novel ways to protect your PC from “screen burn in”, feel free to put the chumby screen saver on your computer and give it a try.

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I have always been a fan of gadgets…

October 21, 2010

It was probably inevitable that I ended up being the CEO of a company like chumby industries.  Certainly being an entrepreneur is a requirement for a job like this, but I think a simple survey of my house and office are pretty telling about what I do with my free time.  In my living room I have a 42″ Plasma HDTV that I bought before LCD was as inexpensive as it is today.  In the cabinets underneath the television are an assortment of devices.  First there is a Direct TV HD DVR.  Right on top of the DVR is a Roku box that my kids use to stream Netflix to their heart’s content.  In the cabinet next to the DVR and the Roku is my 1st generation Apple TV box that we use to buy first run movies and we also turn on my Flickr photostream when company is over to run a background of family photos.

In the kitchen I currently have a Sony Dash that I like to check out in the morning when I am making coffee or on the weekend when I am cooking.  Next to the Dash is my Sonos S5.  I love the Sonos and use it to play my big media collection but also to stream Pandora and Sirius XM.  Across the room on the other television is my PS3, which is used by my kids for Rockband and for me to play Madden and NCAA football.  On top of the TV area is an old school TV and a DVD player.

In my garage I have the main control center for technology which includes my Slingbox, a Time Capsule router, a Sonos router, a Vonage ATA and an assortment of hard drives and a first generation Mac mini that acts as the main sys admin computer (that would be me).

In my office I am currently looking at my iPad which is charging in its dock.  On the shelf behind me is my Acer Aspire One and an XO Laptop (I love that industrial design).  Scattered on the ledge in front of me are the Nokia N770, the N800 and a first generation Mylo.  They are mostly reminders of the past.  Around the rest of my workspace are a couple of chumby devices and a Infocast DPF.

So without going through any of my other rooms I think you can probably gather at this point that A. I am an early adopter and B . I really love technology in all its various incarnations.  With that said, I hope that you can appreciate how excited I am to be here at chumby to move into the next phase of the company.

As for me personally, I have been blogging sporadically since 2004 and you can find my mostly current blog here.  I was a very early user of Twitter (@Derrick).  I am an active and avid user of a number of social sites like Facebook, Flickr, Foursquare and I am always excited to see the new products and technologies people are bringing to the web and to mobile devices.

As far as what I have done professionally, I have pretty much been an executive in technology related companies since the late 90s.  This includes being the COO at MP3.com, President at Vivendi Universal’s Internet Music Group (Mp3.com, Rollingstone.com, emusic, GetMusic), founder and President at Intercasting Corporation and Senior Vice President at Good Technology for the last year after the acquisition of Intercasting by Good.  My experience runs across digital music, advertising, wireless, social media and enterprise mobile software.

Rather than run on and talk about where I see things headed with chumby industries, which I will do in a later post, I just mostly wanted to say hello, and look forward to bringing some great new products to market and making our existing products better for our current users.  I look forward to the fun times ahead.  Feel free to email me any comments or suggestions anytime at derrick@chumby.com .