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"brianstorms.com" is Brian Dear's web log. I am based in La Jolla, California.

I do startups. I co-founded Coconut Computing, Inc. in 1987. We built COCONET, a way-before-its-time Unix-based system for running online services (before the web). Online display ads, instant messaging, discussion forums, email, movie showtime listings, multimedia support, an extensive API enabling one to build any kind of custom app with database integration, and the whole thing ran in hi-res graphics at high speed over 1200 and 2400bps modems. Eventually we offered Mac and Windows clients. Peapod was our major customer; the Peapod service ran on COCONET technology for years. Sold company in 1995. Worked at RealNetworks in Seattle for a while, then started Flatworks, the first online store for LCD displays back when a 20-inch monitor still cost $5000. Then joined MP3.com, worked there for 2 years, then joined Eazel in Silicon Valley. Then worked at eBay, founding its eBay Design Labs organization. Then started Eventful (originally EVDB), in San Diego. I invented the "Demand it!" capability and am proud of that, but embarassed at what the current management of Eventful has done to Demand it!. What was supposed to be a grass-roots power-to-the-people tool enabling people to "demand" an event (concert, film screening, book igning, whatever) in their town, with no hassle and no middlemen, has become something that in my view is, shall we say, less pure and more Hollywood. For the record that's the vision I had for it. I co-founded Nettle in 2010.

I got my start in computers in 1977 in high school, but really got my start on PLATO in 1979. I am writing a book about the PLATO system.

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