Not since the age of dinosaurs have I had so sad a morning such as this.
s an active member of Keiretsu Forum and Entrepreneur in residence at Founder Institute, he has mentored, performed due diligence on and invested in numerous early stage companies. Hundreds of these early stage companies have described Russell’s insights and advice as the most useful thing in the history of their companies. He has always had an inborn ability to find more valuable uses of new ideas and faster ways to achieve results.
He has been awarded and successfully monetized seven US patents.
Russell has started three successful companies, one of which helped agencies of the federal government become very early adopters of open source software, long before that term was coined. His first project saved The American taxpayer 250 million dollars. In his work within federal agency, he was often called, “the arbiter of truth,” facilitating historically hostile groups and factions to effectively work together towards common goals. Often he quickly found ways to apply simple mathematics to solve long standing problems. He was said to sell arithmetic, but not how to count, but rather what to count. He developed mentorship, leadership and critical thinking programs that catapulted rank and files workers into engineers, supervisors and executive positions.
Before beginning his own companies, he was the senior scientist for Reasoning Systems Inc. which had been tasked by DARPA to make artificial intelligence aid software engineering commercially available. His work led to a cover story of the leading computer science journal Communications of the ACM and to National Science Foundation grants. In one case, in a single day, he improved the performance of a system by seven orders of magnitude. Systems developed by his team in the 1990’s continue to be crucial for public safety, national defense, the continued operation of critical infrastructure and our space program.
Prior to joining Reasoning Systems, he was a member of the prestigious Computer Research at the Department of Energy’s flagship Lawrence Livermore National Labs. There he improved efficiency of numerous supercomputing systems allowing completion of critical nuclear weapons research, caught several computer criminals, and advised the National Security Agency and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization on computer security. He was among the first to identify and initiate counter measures to the first Internet computer worm (the “Morris” worm). His fast action saved the lab and ultimately the American taxpayer millions of dollars and was the subject of a General Accounting Office study. Following that he lectured, taught and was lent to consult to many government agencies. He published several unclassified conference articles on supercomputing, computer security and mass storage. His insights continue to advance several fields.
He is the first author of the Amazon best seller “Turning Ideas Into Impact: Insights from 16 Silicon Valley Consultants.” In this book he explains how consulting practices can apply to their own pricing the same methods that he has successfully used for maximizing corporate valuation. In the first weeks after his publication, many successful, experienced consulting groups have said that for the first time people are able to understand the true value of their work.
Russell received his graduate degree from the University of California, Berkeley. His research group produced the widely used Postgres database system. He made early introductions of computer hackers to national defense individuals. That collaboration led to the first systematic cataloging of computer vulnerabilities. In addition to his work in computer science, he also studied molecular anthropology and industrial microbiology.
He received his undergraduate degree from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. There he was among the youngest members of the DARPA supported Laboratory for Computer Science. He was an active member of the Alpha Phi Omega and Technology Community Association service organizations, an officer in the Eta Kappa Nu honor society and active member of the Tau Beta Pi honor society. He was among the youngest journal reviewers for IEEE’s Potentials journal and published an critically influential letter in IEEE’s Social Implications of Technology.
One of the social groups he created called First Tuesdays was described on the front page of the Wall St. Journal as the “Premier Salon” of silicon valley. Another, known as Kabuki West is credited with the introductions leading to the formations of companies, nonprofits and even marriages. He has supported world championship academic teams by hosting events where otherwise inaccessible experts could critique and improve their works in progress.
Throughout his life, Russell has been known for providing sage, honest, patient, but very direct advice that has been transformation for agencies, projects and individuals. Often being the first and only person to be able to understand the nature of complex situations. He can be counted upon to provide high leverage insights, advice and introductions that make the difference and bring success within reach.