Recent Articles By John Martellaro [RSS]

Former Apple Director of Federal Sales David Sobotta - TMO Background Mode Interview

· · Background Mode Podcast

David Sobotta on Background Mode.

David Sobotta joined Apple in 1984. His career there lasted until July 2004. During that time David went from being an entry-level sales representative based in Halifax, Nova Scotia covering Atlantic Canada to the Reston, Virginia, based director of Apple’s federal sales group. He has gained an intimate knowledge of Apple, its culture and the leadership of Steve Jobs.

David tells a story that started with the Apple II, learning the technology, going to work for a mini computer shop in Canada, growing the business so much that he got to know the Apple rep and then the serious attention of Apple. David evolved through business and then education, working with resellers, and eventually rose to the position of Apple Director of Federal Sales. We also chatted about Apple’s brief foray into selling supercomputers in 2004.

Tech Columnist and Author Mike Elgan - TMO Background Mode Interview

· · Background Mode Podcast

Mike Elgan on Background Mode.

Mike Elgan writes a popular weekly column for Computerworld, contributes news analysis pieces for Fast Company and SecurityIntelligence and also writes special features, columns, and think pieces for a variety of publications.

Mike tells a career story that started in newspaper publishing with QuarkXPress. Soon, he realized that what he loved was not covering local politics but rather the technology of the Mac, networking and printing. That launched his career writing about computer tech. In the 2nd segment we chatted about some of our favorite topics: dealing with information overload, Apple’s amazing U1 chip, Augmented Reality glasses replacing iPhones, and cars that sense driver emotions. Mike has an amazing vision of our tech future. Join us.

TMO Contributor Kelly Guimont (#8) - TMO Background Mode Interview

· · Background Mode Podcast

Kelly Guimont on Background Mode.

Kelly Guimont is a long-time podcaster, Contributing Editor for The Mac Observer, the host of the Mac Observer’s Daily Observations podcast, a tech support guru, and a Founding Volunteer of App Camp for Girls.

Kelly first appeared here in December, 2015 to tell her career story and has returned many times for interesting discussions. In her 8th appearance, we chat about our favorite TV shows of late. Kelly: Fleabag (Amazon), The Politician (Netflix), and Billions (Showtime). John: Madam Secretary (CBS), Toy Story 4 (Pixar) and Victoria S3 (PBS). Join us as we explore together what’s great about these shows.

GRUBBRR CEO Bhavin Asher - TMO Background Mode Interview

· · Background Mode Podcast

Bhavin Asher pn Background Mode.

Bhavin Asher is a technologist and entrepreneur. After graduating college with a computer science degree, he went to work for IBM. Later, Bhavin transitioned to a position at Deloitte as a CRM Strategy Consultant. Deloitte provided a learning environment to understand how successful businesses leverage technology to scale and grow. Most recently, he was a Director and Solutions Architect at Salesforce. Today, Bhavin is the founder and CEO of GRUBBRR.

Bhavin tells a career story that well prepared him to launch his own business. GRUBBRR is a full-service kiosk order and sales system for, to name a few, restaurants, fast-casual restaurants, cafes, bars, coffee shops, and bakeries. If you’ve ever waited an eternity for your food order or check, you’ll want to hear how GRUBBRR has re-engineered the whole process for the digital age—including great GUI displays, AI and Apple Watch support. Welcome to tomorrow.

Former Apple Engineering Director Don Melton - TMO Background Mode Interview

· · Background Mode Podcast

Don Melton on Background Mode

Don Melton is probably best known as the person who started the Safari and WebKit projects at Apple and his rise to Apple Engineering Director of Internet Technologies. These days he’s an aspiring writer, podcaster and recovering programmer.

Don walks us through his early career starting with his aspiration to become a comic strip or comic book artist. His artistic talent led to a newspaper job which led to information graphics which led to work with Macs. His tinkering with the Mac revealed that he had a special talent for programming, and that ultimately led to his job at Netscape developing the Navigator browser. Later, a relationship with Andy Hertzfeld and Bud Tribble led to his job at Apple in 2001, chartered by Scott Forstall, to write a web browser. Don tells a fascinating story about the development of Safari for Mac OS X and the race to replace Microsoft’s Internet Explorer.

Productivity Coach Brittany Smith - TMO Background Mode Interview

· · Background Mode Podcast

Brittany Smith on Background Mode.

Brittany Smith is a productivity coach who provides a variety of consulting services through her business, Devise and Conquer, that includes ADD/ADHD coaching, technology coaching, productivity consulting, and more. She is a self-designated “well-rounded geek.” She holds an M.S. degree in Cognitive Neuroscience.

In our chat, Brittany told me about her adventures with homemade videos, with a PC, as a youth. Her father was a podiatrist and her mother was a programmer, so there were always computers in the house. But the Vista version of Windows drove her into the arms of the Mac. In the second half of the show we delved into just what cognitive neuroscience is, her productivity and Apple tech coaching. Along the way we chatted about the influence of Star Trek (and Disneyland) on her career. Brittany sparkles in this interview.