[Images above: India 2011, Dubai 2012, China 2014, Kyrgyzstan 2014, Burma 2015, Spain 2015, France 2012.]
I am writing this blog for high school and college students (but all readers are welcome).
- Given my career success and my experience with higher education, young people approach me regularly for advice on how to prepare for their future.
- I predicted the rise of the Internet and the decline of Windows in my May, 1995, memo The Web is the Next Platform.
- In my March, 2003, memo Connecting Students to Northwestern Forever, I described a college social networking site 10 months before Mark Zuckerberg started www.thefacebook.com in January, 2004.
- I started and led the Internet Explorer team at Microsoft Corporation through the release of IE 3.0 (1994-1996). [I joined ~800-person Microsoft in 6/1985, and it grew to +30K people by the time I left in 8/1999.]
(Listen to this 11/2014 Internet History Podcast, to hear me discuss my experiences developing Internet Explorer.)
- I started the online educational software company DreamBox Learning in 2006 and sold it in 2010 (to Netflix CEO Reed Hastings).
- I am an active technology “angel” investor and advisor. My current investment portfolio includes AppSheet, Azuqua, Blaze Bioscience, Cyrus Biotechnology, DreamBox, and GlowForge, and I am advising Albert.io and SignalSense.
- In the past, I was an Investor in and Director of both TeachFirst (acquired by Editure) and Vizrea (acquired by Microsoft). I was also a Director of non-profit GroundSpring.org (acquired by Network for Good) and an Advisor to UIEvolution (acquired by Square Enix).
- I joined the Northwestern University board of trustees in 1998, and I spend about five weeks each year in Evanston and Chicago. I have served on the Budget/Finance, Information Technology, and Alumni Relations and Development board committees in prior years, and since 2012 I have served on the Northwestern Medicine and the Educational Properties committees. I have also served on the EECS Department advisory board (on and off since 1989) and the NUvention web entrepreneurship course advisory board (since 2010).
- My wife Lisa and I became philanthropists in early 1998 (see Wissner-Slivka Foundation) and some of our more recent grants have been focused on the life sciences, inclulding Project Violet at the Fred Hutch and the Institute for Protein Design (IPD) at the UW. I’m currently chairing the IPD Campaign Council.
- See my LinkedIn profile for more details.
You can watch my May 2014 commencement address in Kyrgyzstan to learn about the first 25 years of my life (knitting, sewing, cooking, wood shop, metal shop, typing, drafting, offset press printing, journalism, constitutional law, computer programming, model rockets, various flunky jobs, etc.)
I have visited 40 countries outside of the USA: Barbados, Belgium, Bhutan, Botswana, Burma, Cambodia, Canada, China, Costa Rica, Denmark, Ecuador, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Iceland, India, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Kazakhstan, South Korea, Kyrgyzstan, Laos, México, Netherlands, New Zealand, Panama, Portugal, Qatar, Saint Lucia, South Africa, Spain, Switzerland, Thailand, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, Vietnam, Zambia, and Zimbabwe.
[Links above are either to my travelogs on slivka.com or my videos on my YouTube channel.]