Donald Steiny’s Technical Biography

This is a very short version of  my technical biography.

I have decades of experience as a software developer, high-tech entrepreneur, an investor, and an advisor in several countries.  I have worked with regional economic development in Santa Cruz and Oulu, Finland and spoken on Innovation throughout the US, in Finland, and in Austria.  I am currently an adviser or co-founder with six companies.  I am currently a member of the Venture Capital and Private Equity Roundtable, formerly founded and led Central Coast Angel Network, and was on the board of directors of International Angel Investors. I co-founded a group with the technology transfer officer of UC Santa Cruz that led to the creation of the Santa Cruz Design Center.

During his career as a software engineer, he wrote the first commercial validation suite for the Unix system calls and libraries and automated the first commercial validation suite for Unix.  Elements of this were incorporated into the POSIX standard.  I modified the AIM Benchmarks so they were multiuser and they became the first commercial multiuser benchmarks for Unix.

I wrote a natural language parser in conjunction with a woman at Bell Laboratories and John Grinder to implement John Grinder and Richard Bandler’s “Meta Model of Human Communication” using FTP, telnet, and email long before the Internet.

Later, he took what he had learned about how language worked (in conjunction with his degree in linguistics) and wrote a language at Hewlett-Packard that was used for all of the reliability testing and a significant portion of the functional validation of the HP-9000 Series on HP-UX, MPE, and MP-IX.

I ported the 8086 Assembler to the 80286 subcontracting for Bell Laboratories for the System V port.

I co-developed and taught an HP-UX internals course that became the most popular course in the training department for several years.  It was taught at several sites and at Mitsubishi Computers in Japan. I left HP and taught C and Unix for other companies and independently developed a System Vr4 internals and device drivers course that he taught at Motorola, Bell Labs, AG Communications, and elsewhere.  I also developed a Linux internals and device driver course for Sony.

I started a web company in 1994.  The company raised money. This led I to learn the ins and outs of dealing with investors and brought him into that world.  That allowed him to see hundreds, or even thousands, of business plans and pitches and learn how investors evaluate companies. In addition, I started helping Finnish companies expand into the US.

I became interested in how regions influence business success and because if independent research was invited to join the Silicon Valley Network Analysis Project at Stanford.   I spent three quarters there as a visiting scholar in the Sociology Department under Mark Granovetter and contributed as a co-author of a highly regarded book on network sociology with an  (at that time) Columbia professor, Harrison White.

Because of this background, I have an unusually deep understanding of the cultural and business challenges associated with moving or expanding a business to Silicon Valley.

I love helping startups develop a vision and strategy, get the resources they need to succeed, stay on track, and make things happen for them.  I love  saving them from making expensive mistakes and guiding them to the resources that will get what they need the most effectively.  Since I get to hear many presentations every month from startups in the latest technology and still program I am up-to-date.  My network keeps companies from reinventing the wheel and wasting time searching for resources.