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Preamble to the Noah Glass story….

I have hung out with entrepreneurial types – for over 30 years.  I pride myself in inspiring, motivating, pushing and encouraging entrepreneurs – of all ages, sizes and complexions.  This is why I hate Venture Capital so much – as they shit on people like us and offer us money only when we don’t need it.

One of my past mentees is someone named Noah Glass.  Apparently Noah was ripped off by Evan Williams.  That doesn’t surprise me. What surprises me – is that it has taken so long for the truth to come out.

Noah Glass (and his then wife) Sonja Scharrer were close friends of mine – back in the day (1998-2000) – and in fact were roommates at my home on Potrero Hill – for a year.  While there, Sonja gave up her dreams of being an architect and decided to become a “software architect.”  She’s now a  bigshot at some SF web production company.

Noah meanwhile was this wild designer, Rave party boy who grew up in front of our eyes, got divorced from Sonja and went on to found Odeo and invented the name – Twitter.

Incredible investigative journalism by Nic Carlson (thanks Nic!) and someone named Dylan Love is responsible for uncovering the REAL history of Twitter.  They even tracked down Noah – who has apparently recently moved BACK to SF and got an exclusive interview with him.

This is  a story of passion, of what it takes to invent, develop and launch products.  This is what VCs don’t know how to do, how people like Ev Williams only dream of being able to do – and what people like Noah and myself – do.

You can always tell the difference between people who claim the credit and run things versus the people who understand how software effects people’s lives and who are lucky to get ANY stock in their own inventions.  In the case of Twitter Noah partnered with Jack Dorsey.  It looks like Jack brought “status updates” to Noah – who grokked ‘groups’ and ‘people’.  I like to think I influenced Noah in some way.  And that’s why I’m writing this preamble.

Here are some shots of Noah and Sonja – back in the day.

This shot shows me, Sonja, Noah and someone named Ariel McNichol - who went on to found and run mEgo.com.

I met Noah and Sonja in 1998 and hung out with them “on the scene” in the go go years.  When I returned from Trieste and we started Broadband Mechanics, Noah and Sonja were some of our first hires – and they moved into my home (as I was a ‘lonely divorcee’ back in those days.)  We built out our team and posse with some of their friends and we all worked on two projects together – DigiScents and NOW.com.

Here are some user interfaces that Noah did for the NOW.com project we were working on for PCCW (Pacific Century Cyberworks) – out of Hong Kong.

NOW.com was one of the first IPTV services – which was a hybrid television and web portal.  Thus the term ‘Vortal’.  The project was produced in London, narrowcast in Hong Kong and the authoring system and production code was written in SF.  Noah was one of the designers on the project.

Here are some more shots of Noah and Sonja – in happier times.

This one is from my 42nd birthday dinner.

For all of your SFers, this was held at Three Brothers #2 - on Geary.  Great Korean BBQ.  Steve Goodman, Eva Eisenberg (and her husband – name?) and my three sons – Aryeh, Aron and Jacob – are also pictured.

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Here’s one of Noah and Allie Rowe – of Harvest & Rowe - on 2nd – between Market and Mission.

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Here’s one of Noah jamming in our basement – during a party.  Notice a very happy Sonja standing nearby.

We used to throw these parties at my crib on Potrero Hill (where Noah and Sonja lived for a year.)  They were blowouts.  The old hippies would come from 8-12, then the alcoholic, swinger types would drink 12-16 cases of Skyy Vodka from 12-2 and then the tweakers would come and RAVE from 2-4.  Then the cops would come and kick everyone out.

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Here’s a shot of me and Noah.  Broadband Mechanics Ver. #1 – was the brand.  We were building something that’s now called Ajax – back in ’99.

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And here’s a shot of Noah and the other ‘founders’ of Twitter.  He doesn’t look too happy.  And he deserves credit and I hope this latest publicity gets that for him.

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I always liked Noah and I hope that my idealistic, product vision idealism and energy rubbed off on him – in some ways.  The sad story of how Noah got ripped out by Evan Williams and ignored by the world – parallel my own story.

Ever hear of MacroMind and VideoWorks?

:-)

Here are some more shots of Noah – taken at one of the early Standford/MIT VLab events.

Noah with danah boyd

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Noah with Brad DeGraf, Rebecca Eisenberg, and two folks who’s name escapes me now.

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Me and Noah

Date: Wednesday, April 13th, 2011 | Time: 8:12 pm
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