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Dr. Shirley Ann Jackson,
has an incredible opportunity to R&D practical applications for
three technologies that are going to totally change the world. Google
me under: Tech Visionary, where you’ll find me credited with
starting the cell-phone and personal computer industries with my
publications. Oh, and CDs, too.
These new technologies are going to be
multi-trillion dollar industries, so there will be a good market for
practical application hardware, which could provide substantial revenue
for RPI. A few million here and there can always come in handy. Or
If you’ll check
you’ll find I started WRPI in 1947, when president of the
radio club. There may still be a record of the IQ test I took in 1946,
plus my service on the Board of Overseers, the RPI Council, and a
Patroon. Ever the entrepreneur, at home games that was my trailer out
by the main gate selling hot dogs.
Naturally I’d like RPI to have
the first crack at this opportunity. However, lacking your interest,
I’ll turn to MIT, where a billionaire friend of mine donated
$350 million for brain research.
If you get a chance, let me know.
Wayne Green '44
my letter a couple months ago I mentioned that there are three proven
new technologies which are going to totally change the world, and where
RPI, by contributing to their development, has the potential to make
Being a Patroon, a former
member of the RPI Council, and the Board of Overseers, I naturally
would prefer RPI benefit from developing these technologies.
Alas, with no response from
you (nor from any of my 20 previous letters to you),
I’Äôll turn to MIT, where a billionaire
friend if mine funded the McGovern Institute of Brain Research with a
$350 million donation.
Wayne Green, Ph.D., ’44
President Jackson, Ph.D.,
As an alum, I hope that, under your
management, RPI will take advantage of the opportunity to lead in
developing three new technologies that are going to totally change the
world. Billions could await RPI.
Am I exaggerating? Just take a moment to Google:
“Tech Visionary,” and see who pops up as #1 of the 870-some
listed…credited with starting the cell-phone and personal
computer industries, plus a major assist in getting compact discs
Wayne Green, Ph.D., ’44
President Jackson, Ph.D.
Thank you for the kind invitation to the 2011
Colloquy. Alas, not being a recipient of one of the honorary degrees, I
have work that takes precedence.
Naturally I was disappointed not to be one of the degree recipients,
considering I’ve done more to help change the world than any
other RPI alum in history. Google: “CIOTechVisionary” and
you’ll find me credited with starting the cell-phone and personal
While at RPI I founded WRPI. And 50 years ago I
founded American Mensa. I’ve also served on the RPI Board of
Overseers, the RPI Council, and am a Patroon. If you know where
ex-president Roland Schmidt is, ask him about my contributions to RPI.
My interests these days are mainly in helping the
growth of three proven technologies, each of which will totally change
the world — probably even more than have cell-phones and personal
computers have. That is, if you agree that cars which have no fuel
cost, will change things. Ditto, the non-polluting heating and electric
power for homes and businesses at about a hundredth the cost of oil. No
more power grid, nuclear power, solar, wind, hydro, coal, or drilling
holes in the Gulf floor. Two of these technologies could make good RPI
development projects — especially since the basic patents may
have run out on one of them.
The choice of Regina Benjamin is particularly
telling, since scientific discoveries that she should know about, but
obviously doesn’t, will be putting the medical industry as we
know it today, out of business. Some doctors have discovered and proven
that any illness can be cured with no drugs. Any. Indeed there’s
now a DVD showing a group of long-term diabetes patients curing
themselves in a month using this system. My 2003 book, Wayne
Green’s Secret Guide to Health, tells the whole story. Well,
that’s the third proven technology I’m busy promoting.
President Shirley Ann Jackson, ph.D.
o Your “concern is the education of tomorrow's technological
You also point out that. “the need for innovation is
tech leaders are people like Steve Jobs and Bill Gates, not the
thousands of degreed and Ph.D. engineers and programmers working for
them. Now, is the current Rensselaer curriculum aimed at producing
creative thinkers, with the tech backgrounds to both creatively see the
future and the business training to help make it happen? Are your
students being trained to be leaders or employees?
o It is interesting that neither of these two leaders are college
graduates. The college graduates are the people working for them and
not the leaders.
o Can Rensselaer change it's teaching approach in a way that will
help spark creativity and innovation in its graduates? The current
(19th century model) of lectures, followed by memory quizzes, has
failed. It does not challenge students to think, only to
very good at creating tiny crib notes.
o To quote Gerald Wheeler, executive director of the National
Science Teachers Association, “Drilling students with lectures
long list of facts just doesn't produce a thinking adult.”
o When World War II started, the Navy recognized that electronics
was going to play a key role, but where could they get the hundreds of
electronic experts they needed…and in a hurry? The training
set up turned kids who didn't know an Ohm from a Volt into electronic
experts…able to repair anything electrical or electronic because
understood how things worked… and they did this in just nine
o The Navy approach, with each lecture followed by lab work,
where teams tackled fiendishly disabled radios, transmitters, antennas,
radar, sonar, motor generators and test equipment, worked beautifully.
o But, not only technical savvy is important, but so is
leadership training. Entrepreneurialism.
o About 15 years ago, as a member of the RPI Council and the
School of Management Board of Overseers, I got President Roland
Schmidt, Dean Bob Hawkins and the Council enthused about making
entrepreneurial courses available. Since no one on the SOM faculty had
any entreprenurial experience, they vigorously fought the plan. And
won. The next thing I knew President Schmidt, Dean Hawkins and the RPI
Council were gone.
o Having changed the world more than any other person alive (it
was my foresight that made Steve Jobs and Bill Gates possible), I see
an educational revolution brewing…and I'm stirring the pot.
Wayne Green, Ph.D.,
President Shirley Ann
o How many alumni have made a significant impact on Rensselaer as a
result of things they did while students?
o Like the president of the radio club in 1947 (me), who built
the first transmitter for WRPI and got WTRY to donate microphones and a
small operating console. The station was set up in the basement of the
Hunt III dorm and operated nightly with news, music, and even presented
plays, with girls from Russell Sage helping.
oToday WRPI is the leading student activity.
President Shirley Ann
Your letter about America's need for scientists and
engineers got me to thinking.
First, our K-12 education has been worsening.
Actually, this is a situation Rensselaer could help change, and do very
well in the process. Billions.
hen, RPI could become more efficient by
eliminating activities which are not directly educating students such
as research and sports. And the curriculum could be better tailored to
President Schmidt was in the process of
implementing my plan for making RPI tuition-free when he
Since more and more large industries are
outsourcing their work, it might serve the graduates and the American
economy better if there was more of an emphasis on entrepreneurialism.
The RPI Council recommended this twenty years ago.
My Ph.D. is in Entrepreneurial Science and I
have lectured on the subject at RPI, Yale, B.U., Case Western, Babson,
Princeton, and several other colleges.
o Your announcement of Dean Gautschi's hiring didn't make it clear if
he has any personal background in entrepreneurialism.
o With large corporations moving jobs to lower cost countries it
is important for America to encourage the start-up and growth of small
businesses. So, does Dean Gautschi have a background in this field?
Will he help the Lally School be a leader in subjects key to small
business management such as advertising (magazines, newspapers, radio,
TV, direct mail), promotion, accounting, getting financing, package
design, web site design, warehousing, shipping, mailing, purchasing,
podcasting, public speaking, dressing for success, sickness care
options, insurance, site selection, environmental regulations, taxes,
business law, contracts, hardware and software computer systems and
networks, telephones and fax, newsletters, travel options, organizing
conferences and expos, hiring and firing, and…most
o Since my Ph.D. is in Entrepreneurial Science, naturally the
subject is dear to my heart.
o RPI came in 37th on the US News list in engineering, and didn't even
make the list in business with the School of Management!
o Can I kindle a spark of interest in making RPI number
just in America, but in the world? If there is…harken. But first
couple of questions. No, make that three.
(1) Which alum, through his work while a student, has left the
greatest mark on today's RPI?
(2) Which alum has done more to change the entire world than any
other living person?
(3) Which alum has given the keynote speech at a national
o To rise above the rest one must do something different. Plow
new ground. Embrace a new paradigm. Why does a Machiavelli quote come
“It must be remembered that there is nothing more difficult
take in hand, more perilous to conduct, or more uncertain in its
success, than to take the lead in the introduction of a new order of
things. Because the innovator has for enemies all those who have done
well under the old conditions, and lukewarm defenders in those who may
do well under the new. This coolness arises partly from fear of the
opponents, who have the laws on their side, and partly from the
incredulity of men, who do not readily believe in new things until they
have had a long experience of them. Thus it happens that whenever those
who are hostile have the opportunity to attack they do it like
partisans, whilst the others defend lukewarmly, so that between them he
is in great danger.”
o As Schaupenhauer put it: “All truth passes through three
stages. First, it is ridiculed. Second, it is violently opposed. Third,
it is accepted as being self-evident.”
o It is far easier to pursue a new order and win through
innovation, leaving the others behind, than fight the competition on an
even playing field. Basically, there are two types of
are open to new ideas and those whose first response is to enumerate
the reasons they could fail. Academia is not well known for an openness
to new ideas. That said, is there any interest in my proposing my
vision of 2020, and the opportunity RPI has to be the Microsoft of
The invitation to the Changing the World
announcement on September 8th made be wonder why I wasn't invited to
give the keynote talk, in that I have personally changed the world more
than any other living person, and I did it by promoting new
technologies. I'm living proof that one person can change the world.
Indeed, Governor Sununu had me give a talk on the subject at a
Northeastern Governor's Conference in Halifax.
Having given keynote addresses at computer, music,
communications, and educational national conferences, I've got the hang
I hope you'll agree that the personal communications
made possible by cell phones, with over four billion users today, has
changed the world.
It started with a few amateur radio (ham)
clubs setting up automatic relay stations (called repeaters) on
mountain tops and skyscrapers to extend the range of their mobile
stations and handy-talkies. I set one up on a nearby mountain (WR1AAB)
which made it possible for any mobile amateur anywhere in New England
to talk with any other, and to make telephone calls through my repeater
It was so much fun I started publishing articles on
repeater technology developments in my 73 Amateur Radio Today magazine.
This helped the pioneers advance the technology rapidly and attracted
more clubs to setting up repeaters. What had been a couple dozen
repeaters grew into over 8,000 here in America, and into countries all
around the world, since my magazine had subscribers in over 200
I knew they were everywhere when I was flying from
Johannesburg to Mbabane in a small plane and suddenly I was talking
through the Swaziland repeater to the hams in that country.
The amateurs working for Motorola and G.E, took my
editorials, explaining that I was now able to ski the mountains of New
Hampshire and Colorado with a handy-talkie in my pocket and make phone
calls anywhere through thelocal ham repeater, to their top brass. I
pointed out that everyone in the world would want to be able to do
And that's how the cell phone industry got started.
Now, would you say that the personal computer and the resulting
Internet have changed the world?
Well, in January 1975, a little company in
Albuquerque put a kit on the market for computer hobbyists. I put one
together and saw the future. “I think I can do it again!” A
later I'd found an editor and the first issue of Byte went to the
printer. This was the first personal computer magazine, and it
eventually became the largest magazine in America. I followed that with
Microcomputing, then 80-Micro, the first computer-specific
the Radio Shack computer, which was the best selling at the time, with
40% of the still small market. It grew to over 600 pages a month, 13
issues a year, and spun off a flurry of books and software. I added
InCider for the Apple computer, RUN for the Commodore, and so on. I
started one of the first software companies for personal computers,
with over 250 games, business and educational programs. I was the first
and largest publisher in the personal computer field. I still remember
the thrill when I saw five of my titles on a newsstand at the Singapore
When the first compact discs reached America in 1983
the audio and music magazines dismissed them. So, in 1984 I started
publishing CD Review. Within a year it became the best selling music
magazine in America. My readers were spending over $25 million a month
on CDs and I was giving keynote talks at music conferences here and in
Cell phones, personal computers and CDs would
inevitably have become industries. I just sped up their acceptance with
So, am I all done? Not by a long shot. Watch for a
simple, inexpensive electrical cure for AIDS, malaria, and any other
blood diseases. I got one of my readers to design the unit (it was
published in the May 1996 issue of my ham magazine). The FDA stopped
me, despite it's having been proven effective by several clinics. The
FDA authorization procedure costs around $800 million and takes about
ten years, so I first tried to get in touch with Bill Gates, but he is
well protected from the public.
I have three more world revolutionary projects
Since I've proven that one man can change the world,
even an RPI alum, what could be more inspirational a testimony for your
event? Yes, innovators can change the world, but they have to know
their technology and be open to new ideas. An iconoclast.
An educational revolution is coming, and it's
going to be like a tidal wave, wiping out the school system as it is
Our American educational system, including our
universities, is not in need of changes, it needs a revolution. And,
fortunately, the technology is here for it. Our universities have the
option, for a short time, to either lead the revolution or be a
casualty. Considering the cemented-in-place beliefs of university
faculties, I doubt there will be many survivors.
When kids have the option to sit in lecture
halls listening to professors, followed by a reading pages 237 to 264
in the text book, followed the next class by a memory test, which is
the current “teaching” model, vs. a DVD with a star actor,
a script by
professional writers, and illustrated with video and computer graphics
(like computer games), which will win? Further, for many subjects there
can also be virtual labs for experimentation. Think a million dollar
professional production that will be enjoyed by thousands to even
millions of students in a couple hundred countries.
How many families will opt for $20,000 to
$40,000 a year universities over a few hundred dollars worth of DVDs?
Even a couple of thousand dollars worth?
Educational DVDs (and Internet downloads) will
be available for any imaginable subject, for people of any age. This
will be a new trillion-dollar industry, and nothing can stop it.
Where can public schools and universities fit
into this paradigm? What will happen to college football, basketball or
hockey? Gee, what a terrible loss! What can schools offer that can't be
delivered cheaper and far, far better via DVD?
Kids love to learn. They start learning as
soon as they can breath and it isn't until the dictatorial rigidity of
the average school classroom is imposed on them by government law that
their interest in learning crumbles. The concept of freedom, which we
preach so loudly as an American heritage, is unknown in the classroom.
And, along with the excitement which learning can provide, creativity
is also stifled.
I remember even in the fifth grade, being
angry at the huge waste of my time most school was, and feeling like a
slave because I was forced to do this by law.
In high school, if I hoped to get into a
college, I had to take a second language. I chose French, and the whole
experience was a four year nightmare. I hated every minute of it. Every
time I'd sit down to memorize vocabulary I'd fall asleep. My parents
even brought in a tutor to help me, but that didn't do much good.
Also, there was no book like my Secret Guide
to Wealth available then, so I didn't know there was any real
alternative to college. You needed to have a college education if you
were ever going to make anything of yourself. They're still
brainwashing kids with that mantra. What a crock!
The Sudbury Valley School in Framingham (MA)
has helped shatter the government-run school system approach. Here's a
private school with no curriculum, where kids from four to twenty learn
what they want, when they want, and because they want. No tests. No
grades. And their SATs are fabulous. Many help teach each other. And
the school costs less than hlf that of nearby public schools to run.
Well, there are at least eight books about the school, and it's being
cloned around the country, so read about it.
In 1975, when I started publishing the first
computer magazine (Byte), I predicted we'd be seeing ads for computers
on television. What a razzing I got from the computer experts of the
time. Well, we're going to be seeing lots of TV ads for educational
Well, there's the future and, as I did with
cell phones, personal computers and compact discs, I'll be leading the
parade with a dedicated publication (and, of course, a web site).
Will Rensselaer help lead the revolution, or
be a victim?
When I was leading the personal computer
revolution I sat down with An Wang and tried to convince him to change
from making minicomputers to microcomputers. He said I was wrong. It
was the same story with DeCarlo of Data General, Olson of DEC, and the
management at Centronics and Prime.
When a new technology provides a better product at
less than a tenth the cost of an existing product, the result is always
By the way, when I was president of the radio
club I started WRPI, with studios in Hunt III, and equipment donated by
WTRY, plus the transmitter I built.
October 2006 (Four letters)
BusinessWeek says, “Entrepreneurship is
becoming the hottest ticket on campus.” With the major
moving their factories and much of their office work to Asia, small
business is the big future in America. With nearly 500 schools offering
entrepreneurship concentrations or degrees, how soon will RPI offer
Small businesses are hurting for qualified
workers. Meanwhile, big business shed 1.7 million jobs in the last
year. With the popularity of the Rich Dad, Poor Dad books, there's a
fast-growing interest in entrepreneurialism.
By a coincidence, I have a Ph.D. in
Entrepreneurial Science, in case you're open to ideas on how RPI could
take a major lead in the field.
About 400,000 graduate and undergraduate
students took at least one entrepreneurial course in this past academic
year, compared with about 24,000 ten years ago. What has Rensselaer to
offer in this fast growing field?
Having lectured on entrepreneurialism at
Princeton, Yale, Boston University, Babson College, Case-Western
University, and many other colleges, I know how much student interest
there is. Having started dozens of successful businesses, I know the
I started my first business with $1,000
borrowed on my car. Within two years I had four factories in the East
making my product and three in California.
WRPI, which, as president of the radio club, I
started in the basement of Hunt III in 1947, is still going strong.
Will Rensselaer, under your leadership, take a
strong lead in entrepreneurship, or wait and try to play catch-up
There are a number of things an entrepreneur needs
to know to launch and run a successful business…things that are
being taught in many schools. For instance, when I started my first
major business my first move was to take a course in advertising put on
by the New York Advertising Club. That was one of my best decisions.
What I learned was (and is) invaluable.
Then there's promotion. I've produced a video
which explains how companies can generate an extra million dollars in
sales just with promotion.
Finding products to sell or manufacturers for
your products is another phase. For almost ten years I led groups of up
to 250 electronics industry people to the electronics shows every
October in Japan, Korea, Taiwan and Hong Kong…with excursions
Entrepreneurs have to know about business
plans, selling, accounting, financing, issuing stock, organizing and
managing reps, ditto a sales team, exhibiting at trade shows, and so
on. It's no wonder 90% of small businesses fail in the first five years.
But, if youngsters ever want to make much
money or have much freedom, they have to have their own business, as
espoused in the Kowasaki Rich Dad, Poor Dad books. Technology is
great…if the marketing skills are there to get it to the public.
I was a pioneer in repeater technology, but it
was my magazines and books that grew it into today's cell phone
industry, with over four billion users. And the same with personal
computers, where my nine magazines, several software companies, a chain
of stores coast to coast, and I forget how many books, took them from a
hobbyist curiosity to one of the largest industries in the world.
Will Rensselaer be graduating well-rounded
If you had a class in the basics of advertising, a
critically important subject for entrepreneurs, the recent Rensselaer
“One Word” ad would have been totally different. And, far
Yes, Rensselaer students can change the world.
I'm living proof, since I have helped change the world more than any
other living person. But, is that potential something a 17-year old can
I suspect a survey of high school seniors
would show their interests are more toward having fun, getting laid,
and having a good job prospect than in becoming a lab super-nerd. Has
your School of Management done any surveys of high school seniors to
find out their goals and what they're looking for in a college? These
are your prospective customers.
Your ads want to reach your potential
customers and motivate those you would prefer recruiting. What
magazines are they most likely to read? And then, most important, what
are the benefits to the youngster in going to Rensselaer?
When I graduated from high school, though I'd
been building radio and electronic equipment for over four years, it
never occurred to me to pursue it as a career. It was a hobby. The
school brought in career advisors. After a battery of tests, they said
I should go into electrical engineering. So I did, going to Rensselaer.
But very few schools offer such a service, so most kids are on their
It's marketers who change the world, not the
lab nerds. It was my publishing hundreds of articles by the pioneers in
repeater technology that brought the world cell phones. The articles
helped the pioneers develop the technology, attracted newcomers to the
field, and made it possible for entrepreneurs to start selling products
to the early adopters.
Just weeks after the first computer kit for
hobbyists hit the market I saw the potential and started the first
computer magazine, Byte. I followed that with eight more computer
publications, a bunch of books, a couple of software companies, and a
chain of 58 stores, coast to coast. I still remember, while attending a
computer show in Singapore, seeing five of my magazines on the
newsstand at the Singapore airport.
Yes, we need lab guys, but we also need the
entrepreneurs to bring the lab products to the public. Technicians and
engineers seldom have a clue when it comes to marketing. Look at
Ovshinski and his ovonics.
There are three new technologies which will
change the world that will be blossoming in the next few
trillion dollar industries. Do you have a clue as to what they are
going to be? Will Rensselaer be a leader in these fields? With my help
it could. I've proven I can see the future and help make it
cell phones, personal computers and compact discs.
November 13, 2006
Every now and then your 2005 President's
Report comes to the top on my desk. I've been unable to file it away
because it is such an outstanding example of really bad graphic design.
White type on silver. Light gray type on
silver (p.2-3). San-serif type throughout. No one involved could ever
have studied type readability.
This is my 11th letter to you, with no answers
so far. Since I hate to see my ideas be wasted, I'll post the letters
on my web site so others can get the benefit.
Roland Schmitt, your predecessor, liked my
ideas so much he started two new schools to implement them. One was
funded by Harlan Anderson, who served with me on the board of directors
of the multi-billion dollar IDG publishing empire, and on the RPI Board
November 24, 2006
When I emerged from the RPI cocoon, after four years
of memorizing stuff for exams (called studying), having worked one
summer for G.E. in Schenectady, I knew I never again wanted to work for
a large corporation. So I went to work in radio, and then a TV producer
and director in Dallas and Cleveland.
It took a while, but I finally wised up,
borrowed $1,000 on my car, and started my first business. Within two
years I had seven factories making my product. Since then I've started
a number of successful publications, got into music and produced over a
hundred CDs, and so on. Oh, and I have a Ph.D. in Entrepreneurial
Twenty years ago, as a member of the RPI
School of Management Board of Overseers and a member of the RPI
Council, I interested these groups, Dean Hawkins of the SOM, and
President Roland Schmidt in helping Rensselaer provide a more
entrepreneurially oriented education. If you'd like to see my
twenty-year old proposals, I'll send copies. My ideas are even more
relevant today. I was also named the first Executive on Campus and gave
several lectures on entrepreneurialism. I've also lectured at
Princeton, Yale, B.U, Case Western. Babson, and many other colleges on
President Schmidt and Dean Hawkins loved my
ideas, but they found the faculty unfamiliar with entrepreneurialism
and, not surprisingly, implacably resistant to change. I suspect this
contributed to the elimination of the Board of Overseers and the RPI
Council. Rensselaer, in some ways is still stuck in the 19th century
and not coming to grips with the 20th, much less the 21st.
I can help, if there's any interest.
In your Energy paper you cited the problem, and in
the “Need for Technological Innovation” you suggested some
areas for research.
My approach to problems is to look for new
technlogies to develop. And never has the time been riper than with
energy today. We don't need better ways of dealing with manure on our
city streets, we need to invent the automobile.
As a radio ham since I was 16, I've always
been drawn to new technologies. As president of the radio club in 1947
I set up WRPI as a carrier-current broadcasting system, which was the
new technology of the time. I helped pioneer narrow-band FM, which is
now the standard for VHF communications. Then
single-sideband-suppressed-carrier (SSB), which became the standard for
amateur short wave communications.
My work with digital communications in the
1950s got me into publishing. When a few ham groups began extending
their VHF range with automatic relay stations atop tall buildings and
mountains I published hundreds of articles on the subject, plus a
Repeater Journal. This sped up the technology's development, and soon
there were over 8,000 of them around the country, and in over a hundred
My editorials explaining that I could ski the
mountains of New Hampshire, Colorado and Utah and make phone calls
anywhere in the world with my little handy-talkie through the nearest
ham repeater was something everyone in the world would like to be able
to do were called to the attention of the top people at Motorola and
G.E., and that's how the cell phone industry got started.
In January 1975 a little company in
Albuquerque put a kit on the market for computer hobbyists. I got one,
put it together, and saw the future. The only information available was
from a couple of computer club newsletters and college texts on
computers. A magazine was needed to help the pioneers develop the
technology, to attract newcomers to the field, and to provide a medium
for entrepreneurs to provide products and reach their potential
I wanted a short computer word for the title.
I picked Byte. I called the authors of computer-oriented articles I'd
published in my ham magazine to get articles for the new magazine. I
called the manufacturers of anything computer related, asking for the
names and addresses of anyone who'd written to them asking for
information. As these came in I sent them letters about the new
magazine. The response was amazing, instead of the usual one or two
percent, over twenty percent immediately subscribed.
Five weeks after I started work on Byte the
first issue went to the printers.
The need for information was unquenchable, so
I followed up with Microcomputing for the tech experts, then the first
computer-specific magazine, 80-Micro for the Radio Shack computer,
which had 40% of the market. By 1982 this was the third largest
magazine in the country, with Byte the largest, and Vogue edging me out
for second place.
I did InCider for the Apple computer, RUN for
the Commodore, and Coco for the Color Computer. I also started the
first mass distributed software with my Instant Software. Until then
software had always been custom designed for the mini-computers. I
fielded over 250 programs for games, business and education. I also had
sales offices in Ireland and Germany.
To help computer stores keep up with the
technlogy I published Selling Micros monthly for them.
And that's how new technologies can be
developed and grown into industries.
Shirley Ann Jackson, Ph.D., President,
Your March 21st “Energy Security and Global
and your April 23rd “Innovation and Energy Security: A Leadership
Odyssey” addresses, which Mr. Ian Farrell sent me, covered the
energy situation quite well.
We only have to go back about a hundred years
to discover the beginnings of electric power, with Edison's light bulbs
and Tesla's alternating current generators, motors, transformers, and
transmission lines. We had Scientific American claiming Edison was a
fraud and Edison fighting Tesla to promote his direct current
generators. Nuclear power hadn't even been thought of.
My grandparents house in Brooklyn had gas
lights when it was built in 1909. No telephone, either.
So, does innovation today just mean better coal, oil, or natural
gas power generation? Or better nuclear power? Or will something
totally new come along? Or, has it already come along and been covered
You've heard about cold fusion, but have you
ever read an issue of the Cold Fusion Journal so you'd know what's
really been going on in the field? Have you looked into Dr. James
Patterson's patents? Did you watch his demonstration on “Good
America” while using radioactive material for fuel to generate
decontaminating the radioactive fuel in the process? This is the new
field of solid-state physics.
Researchers are also investigating zero-point
energy, plus there are some other fields which present good potentials.
Do we need to research more efficient solar
cells, better windmills, and more efficient coal-fired generators, or
should innovation be expanded to include newer technologies?
History has shown us endlessly the blindness
and denial of new technologies by the establishments. In 1975, when I
started promoting microcomputers with Byte, the first publication in
the field , I found that even though minicomputers had virtually
destroyed the mainframe business, the minicomputer leaders were blind
to the microcomputer threat. While having lunch with An Wang I tried to
convince him to adopt microcomputer technology. He said I was wrong,
they were just toys. And it was the same with DeCarlo, the president of
Data General and Olson of DEC. Ditto Prime Computer. When I met with
the top people at Centronics, then the largest maker of computer
printers, they too refused to listen.
But I saw the future. I went on to start
magazines for the Apple, Radio Shack, Commodore, Color, and laptop
computers, one of the first software companies for personal computers,
a coast-to-coast chain of Software Centers, and so on. Now
minicomputers are extinct.
Cold fusion has the potential of producing
non-polluting energy at less than a tenth the cost of oil, and
eliminating the need for nuclear or hydro power or the power
not depleting our natural resources. In 2107 what will they write about
the establishment mindset of 2007 on energy?
It is gratifying to see Rennselaer promoting
entrepreneurialism. When I was a member of the RPI Council I got the
members excited about this and the next thing I knew the Council had
Having lectured on entrepreneurialism at
Rensselaer, Princeton, Yale, Boston University, Case Western, Babson
and a bunch more colleges, and having an honorary Ph.D. in
Entrepreneurial Science, this is a subject in which I've some
expertise. At RPI one time I shared the podium with Al Demming, when we
both gave talks.
Even while at RPI I was an entrepreneur. It
was this spirit that got me to found WRPI in 1947, with the studio in
the basement of Hunt III. As the president of the radio club this
activity grew the membership from about a dozen to over two hundred.
I also started a sandwich business, enlisting
the Phi Epsilon Phi cook to make the sandwiches and several freshmen to
sell them in the freshman and upper class dorms. I still have the meat
slicer as a memento of that business. This grew to where I also had a
trailer to sell hot dogs at home baseball and football games. I also
organized a laundry service which collected student laundry and took it
to a downtown Laundromat. At that time most students had been sending
their laundry home via Railway Express to be washed.
For a couple years after RPI I worked as a
radio engineer, a TV director, an electronic engineer at Airborne
Instrument Laboratories, and on a color organ project on a Guggenheim
Grant. Then I borrowed $1,000 on my car and started my first business.
Within two years I had seven factories making my product…four in
East and three in California, and with sales of over $2 million. That's
about $45 million in today's dollarettes.
Since then I've lost track of how many new businesses I've
My book, The Secret Guide to Wealth, is all
about entrepreneurialism and how to be successful at it. I love the
letters thanking me for changing the writer's lives.
It would be nice to see Rensselaer, under your
guidance, adding entrepreneurial courses in advertising, promotion,
salesmanship, public speaking, personnel management, and so on.
Congratulations on being appointed to the
President's Council of Advisors on Science and Technology.
With the biggest scientific news being the
confirmation of cold fusion as a non-polluting energy source which may
well eliminate our need for oil, coal, natural gas, and even nuclear
power plants, how up to date are you on the published scientific papers
and patents in this new field of solid-state physics? Hopefully the RPI
library has issues of my Cold Fusion Journal, in which physicists
explain how and why cold fusion works, plus there are reprints of the
patents so far issued.
Since this could easily cut our energy costs
by 90% or better, plus enormously reducing carbon emissions, it should
have a high priority for PCAST.
As a result of the renewed interest in cold
fusion, I wonder if, under your leadership, Rensselaer has yet started
R&D work in this field?
This is in response to your article in Scientific
American Earth 3.0, about energy. If you'd read my June 2007 letter
your article could have more reflected current energy technology.
Can you name a technology field where RPI is
the acknowledged leader? As an RPI alum and Patroon, plus having served
on the Board of Overseers and the RPI Council, I've been credited with
starting the cell phone and personal computer industries with my
publications…industries which have changed the world. Has any
alum, past or present changed the world like that?
I've also published the peer-reviewed Cold
Fusion Journal, which published the solid state physics explanations
for how and why cold fusion works. Also, I reprinted the patents so far
granted in the field to Dr. James Patterson. He's the man who
demonstrated a cold fusion cell the size of a coffee mug with one watt
of electricity going in and a thousand watts of heat generated for the
length of an energy conference. He also demonstrated a cell on Good
Morning America which used radioactive waste material as fuel to
generate heat, and resulted in making it no longer radioactive. That
sure beats burying it in an Nevada mountain.
Perhaps the RPI Library has copies of my
Journal to help you come up to speed in this new field…which I
to soon put oil out of business. And nuclear power.
I've a few more world-changing technologies
I'm working on, if you're interested.
Your undergraduate cancer researchers, I just read
about, would do well to visit my web site, where they would learn that
any cancer can be cured with no drugs, and without fail. In fact, there
are NO incurable illnesses.
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