June 1999 Troubleshooting Professional Magazine: More Heroes, and a Trip to Linux Expo

Copyright (C) 1999 by Steve Litt. All rights reserved. Materials from guest authors copyrighted by them and licensed for perpetual use to Troubleshooting Professional Magazine. All rights reserved to the copyright holder, except for items specifically marked otherwise (certain free software source code, GNU/GPL, etc.). All material herein provided "As-Is". User assumes all risk and responsibility for any outcome.

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By Steve Litt
One of the friendliest guys at the conference was Victor Goodman, so we soon became acquainted. And what a story Victor had to tell.

When most of us think of making money, we think "how can I get a job" or "how can I get a contract". Victor thinks "what business can I start. After getting his PHD from the School of Information Studies at UCLA., he kicked around for a few months, and then formed Hamack's Records Management in 1982. His company did document management for corporations. In 1996 he decided to market the software he had created to manage all those records, and his new company, Filetron, was born.

Victor's not the type of guy to simply hang around and make money. He's continuously thinking up new ideas, trying them out, and trying to sell them to customers and to the venture capitalists. And in February of 1999, he got **THE IDEA**.

So here's Victor, thinking at 2AM on a February Sunday (he thinks of it as late Saturday night), and he gets this idea. The ultimate Linux jumpsite. The ultimate Linux starting point. He emails his programmer buddy Garry Dolley with the idea.

Garry and Victor had met several months before, when Garry's brother worked for Victor. Garry and Victor saw eye to eye. At least on most things. But according to Victor, when Garry got that email (Garry was also up at 2AM), he thought it absurd. Two hours later, however,  it seemed like a good idea to Garry. By Monday morning Garry had created a framework and design of what was to become LinuxStart.Com. A month later LinuxStart.Com went live.

The same thing happened with Victor's venture capitalist. While going over some details of one of Victor's other businesses, Victor showed the venture capitalist LinuxStart.Com. The reaction: quit wasting your time on that website and get back to work. But a week later the venture capitalist had a change of heart, asking Victor to put the other projects on hold and go full speed ahead on LinuxStart.Com.

LinuxStart.Com is a very nice Linux oriented searchable directory, complete with news items. Back in early April I used it to find some (at that time) hard to find XML/Python interface information. LinuxStart.Com gets better daily. Victor, you just keep on thinking.

Steve Litt can be reached at Steve Litt's email address.