Jim Clark is a true entrepreneur. He didn’t get lucky with one company – he’s founded and been involved in a number of successful businesses, a few of which you may even have heard of …..
Jim founded Silicon Graphics based on his pioneering work in computer graphics at Stanford University. After growing Silicon Graphics into a heavyweight that ruled the graphics and effects market, he went on to join Netscape.
The San Jose Mercury News have managed to score an interview with him, and I highly recommend you give it a read. There are very few tech visionaries who can repeat their success, but above and beyond that Jim is a very clever chap with a solid background in engineering.
The vision of Silicon Graphics was certainly mine. I taught the seven other founders computer graphics. The so-called Graphics Library, which now (as the OpenGL) is in practically every computing product on the planet, was the outgrowth of my teaching computer graphics for almost 10 years.
An interesting thing is that Jim is equally candid about what he did wrong as well as what he did right – a good lesson for any of us running our own businesses.
Microsoft was founded the same year as SGI, and they both went public in 1986. I had the experience of my own foolhardy opinion of the PC in those days — that it was a “toy” unworthy of the attention of real computer scientists.