Kevin Warnock

Entrepreneurship, ideas and more

Archive for the ‘gOffice.com’ Category

The start of the next page of my life

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I retired at age 36 on August 31, 2000.

Sadly, I wasted most of my time between September 1, 2000 and January 7, 2015. I bought a ridiculously oversized recreational vehicle and drove it across the United States. I squandered thousands on fancy hotels in expensive world cities. I started a second Internet company that failed due to not paying attention sufficiently to what the market called for. I had a handful of unsuccessful romantic relationships, including a fireworks filled marriage that deserves its own book. I photographed thousands of interesting people, including hundreds of models. I started this blog. I was a busy airbnb host to over 1,000 guests in the span of a year.

But as exciting as this may sound, I was coasting along doing next to nothing for over fourteen years… The software company I sold August 31st, 2000 has been shut down. The motorhome is gone. I left my girlfriends and divorced my wife. I’ve lost touch with most everyone that I have photographed, and my house guests have checked out.

For the first time in ages, my house is empty of all roommates, airbnb guests and couch surfers, my schedule is clear, my mind is fresh and well functioning, my spirit is recharged and vibrant, and my desire to do something important for the world has returned.

I considered starting a third software company. The thinking goes that software companies can have high profitability and can sell for very high to infinite multiples of sales.

My first software company lost money like crazy but still sold for greater than 500 times annual sales. This kind of math is easiest to achieve with pure software companies.

But the price to be paid for these potential rewards is that it’s quite possible to build a software company with no profits, big losses and no sale at the end. That’s what happened to my second software company.

I just don’t have it in me to take that kind of personal risk a third time.

Even in the happy event of a big sale of the company, there is then a huge risk that the acquiring company will shut down the company soon after, or shut down the product even if the company’s staff is redirected elsewhere. So it’s just shockingly risky for me to try to create lasting benefit to the world by creating a software company. Add to the risk that I have forgotten a lot of what I used to know, and that software has been changing at a tremendous rate, so even if I decided to start another software company, I would have a multiple year learning curve to get current with modern software development tools.

So that means I have had to consider other types of businesses to start. I haven’t worked for anyone other than myself or companies I have started since 1994, and I am a rather unappealing employee, so I am not looking for a job, and I don’t want a job… even at Google or Facebook, where people are currently clamoring to work.

People are often advised to pursue what they are passionate about, even if that passion does not pay as much as other pursuits.

I am most passionate about doing something that will genuinely help other people for a long time. I want to be helpful to the world, and I want my life to matter. So far I have been a drain on the world, not an asset. This is simply the truth, looking at my life objectively. That company I sold lost millions of dollars for my investors. Then that company lost millions of dollars for the company that acquired it. I am the only person in the world that made any substantial money on the company, but that money was at the expense of others that lost money. This is like making money in currency exchange markets. You win only if others lose.

My balance of accounts is deeply in the negative over my life. Even my parents lost money, for they paid for my overpriced college degree from a small private college, and I never used that education to earn money once I graduated.

So my next phase of life will be devoted to repaying my multimillion dollar debt to the world, so that by the time I die my balance of accounts will be in solid positive territory.

Yes, I am being a bit hard on myself. All of these money losing transactions were arms length and fair deals at the time, and I have nothing to be guilty about.

Thankfully, I am debt free, other than mortgage debt at 3% interest for an amount that is a minority of my tangible net worth. And thankfully, I have the love and support of a wonderful family and many smart friends.

There was one benefit to the the last 15 years. I did learn what not to do again. I did become more wise. I did get to enjoy a retirement while I was in perfect health. I am grateful for these treasures.

I am coming out of retirement this month, January, 2015. I will tell you about my new company in this space, as time permits, and as I have interesting news to report.

Love,

Kevin Warnock

Written by Kevin Warnock

January 16th, 2015 at 2:43 pm

9th anniversary for gOffice.com, my startup

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My startup Silveroffice, Inc. (gOffice) is 9 years old today. I am so thankful I didn’t sell it to Google when they came calling in 2006.

Written by Kevin Warnock

March 3rd, 2012 at 3:33 am

Posted in gOffice.com,Work

Vi.com purchased for USD $325,000. Online competition for Office 365, gOffice, Zoho, ThinkFree and Google Docs?

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vi.com webpage as of February 13 2012

vi.com webpage as of February 13 2012

I read with interest on Techcrunch this morning that the two character domain name vi.com was just sold for USD $325,000.

I jumped as I wondered if vi.com was the latest entrant into the online document editor business.

Vi, short for visual editor, is the default editor in the UNIX operating system.

UNIX and its descendants like Linux power much of the Internet.

Sadly, Vi the editor will not soon be visualized at vi.com.

Instead, on July 14, 2012, the pricey vi.com domain will be used by ViSalus help people visualize how they can lose weight.

So Vi is simply short for ViSalus.

According their website, the firm ‘ViSalus is the No. 1 weight loss & fitness Challenge platform in North America—rewarding those with the best 90-day transformations over $25 MILLION each year in free products, prizes, and vacations.’

In a way ViSalus is to weight loss what SaveUp is to fiscal fitness.

Written by Kevin Warnock

February 13th, 2012 at 1:09 pm

Intel Capital Global Summit 2011 concluded yesterday

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Kevin Warnock at Intel Capital CEO Summit 2009

Kevin Warnock at Intel Capital CEO Summit 2009

This week Intel Capital held its Global Summit for its Portfolio Companies. This event used to be called the Intel Capital CEO Summit, and I attended in 2008 and 2009 since my company Silveroffice, Inc. is an Intel Capital Portfolio Company. I did not attend this year because only select Portfolio Companies are invited, and I was not invited this year.

I am not upset or complaining however! Frankly, Silveroffice doesn’t deserve an invitation this year because it has been mostly dormant while I work on other projects in life.

I have committed to making Silveroffice a success, and I’m working on it strenuously again, for the first time in years. I have a renewed vision and passion for the company, one that will involve a complete rewrite of the software on a new platform. I am firing on all cylinders again after taking my foot off the accelerator for an extended period of deceleration.

I feel outstanding.

I remain in touch with people from Intel Capital, and perhaps one day I’ll be invited back to their Global Summit. But even if I’m not, I’ll fondly remember the fun I had at past events. In 2008 Intel Capital took over The Tonga Room restaurant at San Francisco’s Fairmont Hotel for breakfast, so I’ve eaten breakfast by The Tonga Room tropical lake, an unforgettable experience.

I got to meet and have several real conversations with musician and tech entrepreneur MC Hammer, in 2008 and 2009. In 2009 he remembered me from 2008. I’m certain of it because in 2009 I introduced my friend Gail Kantor, CEO of eJamming, also a Portfolio Company, to Hammer. Hammer looked at both of us and pointed at Kantor and said “You I haven’t met” and amazingly then pointed at me and said “You I have met.’ I only spoke with Hammer for perhaps 10 minutes the previous year, and we didn’t stay in touch, not even via social media. Hammer must meet thousands of people a year, and to be able to accurately remember me a year later after talking with me for such a short time was simply jaw dropping.

I recognize many tech entrepreneurs have met Hammer because he’s reputed to be a fixture at Silicon Valley events. But still it was fun to meet a real rock star and have dinner with him like I did in 2009.

I feel I let Intel Capital down by taking my foot off the Silveroffice, Inc. accelerator. They reached out to me to invite me to become a Portfolio Company. Part of my motivation to rebuild Silveroffice and make it a meaningful company again is to prove to Intel Capital that they did not misplace their confidence in me. This might seem like a silly reason, but I carefully debated accepting Intel Capital’s offer, and the negotiation of our deal took roughly a year to complete, so I have something invested, as do they. I started Silveroffice in 2003 so it is deeply a part of my life, and I enjoy working on it. Great things are to come, so stay tuned.

Silveroffice, Inc. doesn’t have a website, which is why the references above are not hyperlinks. Silveroffice created the first true online office suite, way back in 2004. It’s called gOffice. gOffice has been decimated in the marketplace by Google Apps and Zoho, but gOffice was number one in the world for over a year. If only some nice person would write a WikipediA entry for gOffice, I would be so pleased…

If you write a WikipediA entry, don’t overlook that Microsoft lists gOffice by name in its 10K Annual Report as a competitor to Microsoft Office from 2006 through 2010. In 2011 Microsoft stopped naming in its annual report any of its online competitors to Microsoft Office, so that’s why gOffice doesn’t appear in their 2011 report.

Written by Kevin Warnock

November 17th, 2011 at 7:42 pm

I will be at the 2011 Intel Developer Forum

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IDF11_Sub-page_Banner_2_Days

I am attending the 2011 Intel Developer Forum on Tuesday, September 13, 2011.

Intel Capital graciously gave me a third free pass, since my company Silveroffice, Inc. is an Intel Capital Portfolio Company. It’s a great perk, since the super saver least cost ticket is USD $595 per day. The full three day least cost ticket is USD $1,395, but even if that were also complimentary I wouldn’t attend for three days. Intel puts on great events, but my company is not involved with computer hardware, so it’s frankly of limited value for me to even attend for one day. But I always learn something, even if a lot of the presentations are over my head.

I get a free laptop backpack each year, and I use the latest one all the time, as it’s actually padded and of high quality.

I like the networking and the keynotes.

Intel CEO Paul Otellini speaks at the keynote, and I enjoy his presentations. Intel is really working hard on impressive projects, and I don’t think people appreciate how big and important a company Intel has become. To my knowledge, their Intel Capital venture arm remains the biggest venture capital firm in the world.

In 2009 I saw 3D television before it hit the market, thanks to outstanding presentations at the 2009 Intel Capital CEO Summit.

Thanks to Intel, I’ve had dinner with musician and entrepreneur MC Hammer and lunch with the original Java product manager Kim Polese.

Thank you Intel!

Written by Kevin Warnock

August 17th, 2011 at 5:00 am

gOffice for iPhone makes it on CBSnews.com

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The website of CBS News published a short review of gOffice for iPhone today.

gOffice for iPhone is the first word processor for the Apple iPhone. It’s a very simple web app, but it does create genuine high quality Microsoft Word output, since the app functions by running a real copy of Microsoft Word on a Windows 2003 web server in a datacenter.

gOffice for iPhone was launched 7/7/07. I personally programmed this web app.

Famous tech blogger Robert Scoble wrote about this app on his blog, which got the app a lot of attention.

Written by Kevin Warnock

September 7th, 2007 at 11:00 pm

ZDNet publicizes my offer to give Google the gOffice.com domain name

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goffice screen shot

goffice screen shot

I recently met Dan Farber, from ZD Net. I told him about my June 6, 2006 written offer to give Google the gOffice.com domain name for them to use to brand their online productivity applications.

Google ignored my offer, even though I sent it via three separate FedEx packages to Eric Schmidt, Larry Page and Sergey Brin.

Today Farber published a blog entry about my offer to give Google the gOffice.com domain name.

I am happy Farber disclosed my offer, as it will show others even years from now that I’m in no way squatting on the gOffice domain.

I am keeping the domain, and I will make the site a success over time. Who knows — Google may change their mind and pay me for it one of these years. Right now they appear determined to not antagonize Microsoft by offering a ‘GOffice.’ But over time Google may not care what Microsoft thinks, and may be eager to go head to head with market leading Microsoft Office.

Written by Kevin Warnock

October 16th, 2006 at 9:58 pm

Silveroffice, Inc. offered today to give the domain goffice.com to Google, Inc.

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Today my company Silveroffice, Inc. offered to give the domain goffice.com to Google, Inc. for their use in branding a future online office suite. Today I learned Google is planning to release an online spreadsheet application. If they pair that with their word processing application they already offer, they’ll have a suite, and I think gOffice would be a great brand for that office suite.

Letter by Kevin Warnock offering to give goffice.com domain to Google

I sent three separate FedEx packages with the letter I composed using the gOffice product. I sent a letter to the two founders, Larry Page and Sergey Brin and the CEO, Eric Schmidt. I sent three packages to improve the odds that at least one of them would personally read my offer, which I think is kind and generous. I am sincere in my offer, and I think it’s in my company’s best interest to make this offer.

Click the link above to see the PDF format file produced natively by gOffice. Note the fine typography, the artful embedded fonts, the included letterhead graphic and the vector image of my signature.

I am confident there is no online system capable of preparing a finer quality letter. The technology behind gOffice will one day be patented, as it’s unique enough to merit that monopoly protection.

Just to be clear, my company is offering to give Google just the domain name, not the product or the company. The company will continue indefinitely. It will just change the name of its primary product if Google starts to use the gOffice.com domain itself.

For the benefit of search engine indexing and users that can’t read PDF format files on their device, here is the text only of the letter I today sent to Google:

Silveroffice, Inc.
220 Montgomery Street, Suite 1085
San Francisco, CA 94104
(415) 391-9200

Larry Page, Sergey Brin, Eric Schmidt
Google, Inc.
1600 Amphitheatre Parkway
Mountain View, CA 94043

6/6/06

Re: Offer to freely transfer GOFFICE.COM to Google for use with ‘Google Office’

Dear Messrs. Page, Brin & Schmidt:

I founded Silveroffice, Inc., the makers of gOFFICE.com, on 3/3/03 with the vision of
creating an online office suite.

I saw the news of Google Spreadsheets today, and it appears Google will soon offer
an online office suite comprised of that product and Writely’s word processor.

I am writing to offer to freely transfer the GOFFICE.COM Internet domain name to Google
for use in branding Google’s online office suite.

Eric, I believe you know Eric Jensen, my friend and attorney for the last 10 years, as
he attended Siebel board meetings with you. You may contact him for a reference. His
email is [redacted]cooley.com.

Thank you for your attention.

Sincerely,

Silveroffice, Inc.

Kevin L. Warnock
Founder

PS – this letter was typeset with LaTeX at gOFFICE.com, and faxed directly from that
site, with the graphics and signature embedded.

Written by Kevin Warnock

June 6th, 2006 at 11:00 pm