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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[…]

A child of Ole Miss.

Question: Who are you?

Jim Barksdale: My name is Jim Barksdale. I was born in Jackson, Mississippi. And after I semi-retired, I moved back there 40 years later.

I’m one of six boys.  So at a very early age, I learned the value of the word “no” – as in, “Can I have the car tonight?”  “No.  Other brothers have already spoken for it.”  But also I grew up in a time of great social turmoil in the deep South.  I was a child of the ‘40s, ‘50s and ‘60s.  I was at the University of Mississippi when James Meredith came to school there, and a riot broke out and two people were killed.  That probably had shaped . . . that shaped my life quite a bit.  I saw the enormous issues of civil rights firsthand, and I think it’s had a pronounced effect on me the rest of my life. 

When I was in college, I studied literature and was gonna be an English-Lit major until I realized that was gonna make it hard to get a job.  So I switched to the business school, and I think I pictured myself going into the world of business.  And about that time the hot new things were computers.  So I went to work for IBM when I got out of Old Miss

Recorded on: July 5, 2007