Originally Posted by Gregg Thurman
Like nearly all "journalists" this guy has no experience or financial education.
Gregg, that's a nice generalization. According to Linkdin, his education was at univ of texas austin, and at harvard ( couldn't find his field of study). His experience is as follows, according to a google search (Journalists--yeah, I'm one--do some research before stating "facts"). Assuming (an un-journalistic thing to do) that this is the same Ezra Gottheil...
Corporate Alumni Inc.
Ezra Gottheil was at Lotus for almost twelve years, from 1981 to 1993. In fact, the company he joined in 1981 was not even called Lotus; it was Micro Finance Systems, a company Mitch Kapor had formed to market his first software product, Tiny Troll. Ezra met Mitch in high school, and they formed a close friendship at what he calls "nerd camp," a summer science program in the hills north of Los Angeles.
"For years," Ezra recalls, "Mitch was an entrepreneur in search of a medium. He had a background in computing, among other things, but the mainframes and minis involved too much centralization, too much politics. Mitch embraced the personal computer as if he immediately recognized his true calling." Meanwhile, Ezra had developed some computer expertise working as a programmer to put himself through graduate school in Psychology.
Mitch was starting what was to become Lotus at the same time that Ezra was concluding his internship at The Cambridge Hospital. Mitch offered a loosely defined part-time position at the start-up, and Ezra grabbed it. Offices were in a basement in Central Square. Janet Axelrod, later VP of HR, was office manager, and Ezra became employee number three. Ezra says that for a while, he did some programming and prototyping, but it became apparent that there were some real professionals out there, and he looked for other ways to contribute. Finally, he joined the 1-2-3 documentation team, and authored approximately one-fourth of the first user manual.
For the rest of his Lotus career, Ezra played a large number of roles, principally in software design, but also in product management and product planning. He worked on several versions of 1-2-3 for DOS, Symphony, Manuscript, Notes in the very early days, Signal, Metro, Bluefish, and HAL. He was the product manager for HAL, and remembers it as one of his favorite projects. "HAL was an old-fashioned make-it-up-as-you-go-along crunch. I never worked harder or had more fun. Bluefish reignited my passion for software, and Symphony 2.0 was a dream of a project."
Ezra left Lotus in 1993 and joined Delphi Internet Services, one of the first national ISPs. "It was like personal computer software in the early eighties. We didn’t know what we couldn’t do, so we did it. I‘ve been incredibly lucky to be in at the beginnings of both the personal computer and Internet revolutions." Ezra found himself on the editorial side of Delphi, running their community- and content-development team. Delphi was acquired by Rupert Murdoch’s News Corporation, and Ezra found himself in the media business. "I was having the time of my life until they moved to New York."
After a stint as an independent consultant, Ezra joined Hurwitz Group, a small industry analysis firm, where he covered Internet software. "Being an analyst is the opposite of being a product manager. A product manager knows everything about one small thing, the product. An analyst knows very little about a vast number of things. Viewing the world at 50,000 feet certainly gives you great perspective, but little contact with reality."
Leaving Hurwitz in 1998, Ezra again worked as an independent consultant in the Internet software world, until he met up with Glenn Kaufman, President and Founder of Corporate Alumni Inc., the company which hosts Axle and other company alumni communities. Ezra’s business card reads "Community Guru." "The Corporate Alumni mission, reuniting real communities using technology, is exactly what I like to do. I enjoy technology, but only in the service of real people."
July 31, 2000