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Jim Barksdale

James Love Barksdale offers living proof that all Silicon Valley entrepreneurs aren't cocky young upstarts faking their way to success. This consummate Southern gentleman, known for his folksy sayings and[…]

Barksdale had long been using web precursors.

Question: What did you see in Netscape when it was just a start-up?

Jim Barksdale: Well it’s interesting.  I was reading one . . .  I had been using the precursors of the Internet for some years.  We’d installed it at Federal Express, you know, communications systems.  Networking had always been an interest of mine, and I was familiar with a lot of the problems of networking computer systems and online systems for many years.  And I had read an article in Fortune magazine about “Hot 25 Companies”.  This little company that had gone in business the month prior called Mosaic Communications.  And I remember commenting to my wife at the time, “This is a great idea.”  And on their picture were Jim Clark, and Marc _____ and the early development team.  There were about a dozen people there.  And as luck would have it, not a week went by and I got a phone call from John Doer with Kleiner Perkins and Jim Clark, and asked me if I would come down and be the Chief Executive Officer.  And I figured, “This looks like a real idea.”  And by that time I had made plenty of money and I could have retired.  In fact that’s what I was thinking about doing was retiring.  But I went down there and I was just overtaken with the joy, the excitement, the fact we were doing something significant, and the people.  They were just some of the wonderful, brightest young people I had ever been around

Recorded on: 7/5/07

 

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