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Silicon Graphics founder and chairman Dr. James H. Clark is leaving SGI to form a multimedia software firm. "I believe there are major entrepreneurial opportunities in applications software for interactive television." [HPCwire, 2/3/94.]

Game company Electronic Arts (San Mateo) is acquiring educational software publisher Broderbund (Novato, CA). They will form the 9th largest company in Silicon Valley history. Revenues last year were $298M and $96M. [Tom Schmitz, SJM, 2/10/94.]

AT&T's new "VoiceSpan" technology will let kids play linked computer games and talk to each other at the same time, over analog phone lines. Or remote friends and family can shop together over the net. Or educators and consultants can give graphic instruction over the net. Investment groups might meet to discuss stock performance. AT&T also has an Edge-16 modem that turns home videogames into network terminals. [Robert Kavner, 1/6/94. HOTT, 1/26/94.]

Microsoft will pay $130M for Softimage Inc. (Montreal), the software company behind Jurassic Park. [WSJ, 2/15/94. EDUPAGE.] Gates predicts that 50% of Microsoft's revenues will come from home sales by the end of the decade. [Fortune, 2/21/94. EDUPAGE.]

("Luckily, Microsoft is working on an operating system for home television that will help users select their shows. Every program will have to have a descriptive, eight-character title, and viewers will gain extensive control as they learn to configure their TV.INI files." -- Lincoln Spector, Gigglebytes, CC, 12/5/94.)

Gates has always answered his own email, including up to 250 internal messages per day. He's fallen 5,000 messages behind since The New Yorker published his net address. [BW, 2/21/94.]

As CEOs try to add service orientation to product businesses, they're discovering that customers want to deal directly with top management. With relationship marketing, customers are being asked to invest in the company. Dealing with salespeople just doesn't do it for them. [George Gendron, Inc., 10/91.]

John Sculley has left Spectrum Information Technologies, and is suing the former president for $10M over alleged fraud and questionable accounting practices. Spectrum is counter-suing for $300M, claiming non-performance and breech of Sculley's 5-year contract. (I believe the shareholders are also suing Sculley for failure to represent the company to potential customers.) Sculley has other job offers, but his reputation is damaged. [BW, 2/21/94.] Business columnist James J. Mitchell ridiculed Sculley's lack of investigative diligence. He also notes that the CEO of a startup can't be solely concerned with vision and alliances; he must "run meetings, write business plans, recruit, interview," etc. [SJM, 2/13/94.]

Symbolics has had a major layoff. Its Education Services may reform as a Lisp Solutions company, but Symbolics will honor its Lisp training commitments if it can satisfy creditors. CLIM chief architect Scott McKay has moved to Harlequin, a symbolic processing/electronic publishing vendor; Gary Palter has joined him. [Ted Gustowski ( et al., SLUG, 2/4/94. John Krieger (, 2/14/94.]

For a "riveting inside account" of a biotech startup, get Barry Werth's "The Billion Dollar Molecule." Werth spent four years studying the dynamics of the company and its many egos. After reverses, "they have screaming matches, fling chairs at the wall, and get rip-roaring drunk." Founder, CEO, and chief scientist Joshua Borger spent his time soothing the scientists and plotting competitive strategy. It's a compelling thriller about the "blood sport of big-time science." [Geoffrey Smith, BW, 2/14/94.]

Techno-MBAs with computer and engineering skills are "hot," with phenomenal placement rates (e.g., 3-5 offers at $50K). Leading schools are MIT, Purdue, CMU, RPI, and Lehigh, but others are moving up. MIT and Sloan are offering a mid-career course taught mainly via interactive video. Techie schools are trying to give engineers the "soft" skills needed to rise to the top. "Technologists suffer from stage fright. We would like them to take a leadership position." One new class is Business Drama, including plays, comedy, and improvisation. [Stephen Baker, BW, 1/31/94.]