24 June 2009


Hello, dear (hopefully RSS-based) reader,

I just thought I'd say a bit about what I've been doing lately. (If this blog-indulgence isn't your thing, look away!)

Actuality Systems
In mid-March, in the face of some nasty financial realities, the Board asked me to become Actuality's CEO again, at which point our team was beginning to achieve important results in the field of prostate cancer treatment using machine vision (i.e. PCs helping doctors get the most out of ultrasound). We were donning scrubs and recording terabytes of data at major Boston hospitals. However, I did the math, and absent any major commercial deals, our last paid day would be April 24. That left us with savings to be a mensch about paying our vendors and maintaining our patent fortress.

"Doing the math" on a weekly rather than monthy basis is an atypical exercise, one that pits accrual accounting versus cash-based accounting. Also, the mundane details of "winding down the company" are a little tricky to get guidance on. Why? Entrepreneurs go into hiding in the final days of their startups - startups go out with a whimper, not a bang, so little is written about the process. If any entrepreneurs would find a brief lessons-learned blog post about the topic, let me know.

What's Next?

After a partial asset sale and moving the HQ to my home office, Jenn and I made some changes. She returned to work a couple of days/week, and I immersed myself in a few things:

(1) preparing our patent portfolio for sale or ongoing maintenance (we have 19+ patents that cover everything from our crystal-ball hologram-like display to various floating-image systems that previously only existed in SciFi movies);

(2) allowing myself to think about Life After Actuality, blank-slate; and in pursuit of this,

(3) many meetings ultimately involving caffeine consumption. I have been quite caffeinated lately. And happily so.

Fortunately I now have the opportunity to meet wonderfully interesting people in the Cambridge startup scene - lots of medical devices, imaging-based ventures, Web-stuff, and overall optimism. If you are looking for networking events, check here. June is New England Innovation Month. Tangentially, I am curious who is going to step in to fill the funding-vacuum between $200k and $3M, but that is a discussion of its own.

I am carving out a few hours here and there to build new skills, like continuing to work with Mathematica to explore genetic programming, something that's interested me for a while. No progress to report there yet.

More Self-Indulgent Commentary

Jenn and I are enjoying a particularly fun time with parenthood: Toby's just over three, and Gabe is nine months old. (For those of you without kids, that means we're having hysterical conversations with the elder while the younger is finally scooting happily at high speed around the house.)

There is a local firm with whom I will probably work with part-time, and when the time is rightl, I'm excited to talk about it. I'll be at What's Next In Tech tomorrow (Thurdsay) night, and hope to see some of you there. I'm listening to the Talking Heads on our stereo tonight because, with Jenn and the kids gone, it's a little too creepy to listen to Boards of Canada. (Then again, when isn't it?)

Hey, it's almost midnight, and my ice coffee isn't finished yet.

Life is good!


1 comment:

Dan said...

Ahhh, comment spam!

I am sorry we didn't get to connect this week - it has been pretty crazy, but I will fill you in soon, hopefully next week. We are in CT this weekend, but I'll be back here for a few days early next week before we go to PA for the 4th.

Any trips to CA planned in the near future?