Dan Burcaw is a former Apple Senior Manager and founder of several notable businesses. In 1999, Dan was the co-founder and CTO of Terra Soft Solutions, developers of the legendary Yellow Dog Linux. That Linux, running on PowerPC was well received by the U.S. Government, businesses and the U.S. Navy. Later, after graduating from college, he worked for Apple as a Senior Manager in retail. In 2008, he founded Double Encore in Denver, a company that specialized in producing iOS apps for clients such as The PGA Tour and Turner Broadcasting. Most recently, Dan was a Senior Director, Product Management at Oracle where he led efforts to build a mobile app marketing capability. Dan is currently working on his next big, secret project. Come listen as Dan describes his fascinating career arc.
Tim DeBenedictis is the co-developer of the astronomy sky charting app SkySafari. He’s now the Director of Mobile Application Development at Simulation Curriculum Corp. Tim was first inspired by the sky as a youth going on camping trips and being able to see the stars at night, something city dwellers seldom see. His dad was an avid bird watcher and always had a birding scope on the trips. One night, they pointed the scope at Jupiter and its moons. Tim described it as captivating and launched his interest in amateur astronomy. Later, that led to being a planetary science major at M.I.T. where he developed an extensive C++ code base for celestial mechanics. Years later, with that expertise, he co-developed SkySafari for the Mac, iOS and Android. Come take a grand celestial tour with us.
Ken Ray is the host and producer of several notable podcasts, including the Mac OS Ken shows. It’s not surprising that Ken started out in radio broadcasting. Early on, he was a behind the scenes person at a small radio station in Boston. There, he became operations director and learned a lot about radio tech without the on-air disc jockey pressure. He learned the station’s digital editing suite, and that led to producing some commercials and radio shows. Later, at ZDTV radio, he had the opportunity to interview some high-profile people: Jesse Jackson and Ray Kurzweil. It’s not hard to see how, after he fell into the world of Apple, he brought all his skills to bear into a whole suite of modern-day podcasts, including work with Rod Roddenberry, Gene’s son.
Paul Kafasis is the co-founder and CEO of Rogue Amoeba Software. His company specializes in stellar audio products for the Mac such as Audio Hijack, Loopback, Piezo and more. His early work with colleagues (2001) was with MacAmp, an MP3 player. That led to the founding of Rogue Amoeba in 2002 and Audio Hijack 1.0. Paul and his co-founders realized that audio was emerging as an important niche where his team had special talent. Paul starts off with the story about how they chose such a memorable name for the company and then explains the evolution of Audio Hijack, then the pro version, and now Audio Hijack 3. We chat about challenges for the Mac developer and why an app like this, and its siblings, are not found in the Mac App Store.
James Thomson is the founder of TLA Systems, famous for the apps Drag Thing and PCalc. He tells the story of growing up in the 1980s in Scotland when the personal computer was on the rise. The 1982 movie Tron captured his imagination and inspired him to buy a Commodore 64. At age 12, his school got its first PC, but no one knew what to do with it! James and just three other students became the “Guardians of the Computer.” Later, his first Mac was at the university in 1990, and he spent a year learning it inside out. The original PCalc, written in Pascal, launched his career as a Mac programmer. Later James worked for Apple in Cork, Ireland. James chats about his development as an indie Apple developer with a host of charming stories.
Michael Gartenberg is currently the analyst in residence for iMore.com. However, before that, he spent three years as Apple’s Senior Director of Product Marketing, reporting directly to SVP Phil Schiller. Michael tells the story about how he got his gig with Apple. After years of working at various tech industry research firms, he was always on the periphery of Apple and working with Apple executives, especially Greg “Joz” Joswiak and Phil Schiller. Then, one day in 2013, he got phone call from Joz, and it didn’t sound like it was going to be a schmooze session. Michael was alarmed. What could he have done wrong? But Joz wanted to invite Michael to Cupertino for an interview. Listen as Michael tells me how he got hired and what he did at Apple for three years.
Alex Grossman is the co-founder and president of Symply, Inc. His new company makes high-performance storage devices for content creators. I asked Alex about his start in storage technology, and it goes back to his EE degree in college and his first job with the Digital Equipment Corp (DEC). Early on, he developed a passion to build great hardware and understand how data got stored. Years later, Alex ended up at Apple focusing on the small and medium business needs for easy to manage mass storage. He tells a great story about Apple giving him the go ahead to change the world with Xserve RAID. Today, Alex carries his years of experience with elegant, easy to manage storage into his new company, Symply, Inc. Alex told me one amazing story after another.