I am a founder and CEO at SignalRank, a data driven technology company. I publish a weekly newsletter – That Was The Week – on Substack. The posts here are pulled from it. I also have a video podcast with Andrew Keenthat accompanies it each week. You can see the full catalogue on AnchorSpotify , Youtubeand Apple Podcasts. And I am a regular guest on Steve Gillmor’s The Gillmor Gang.

Internet Santa Cruz Networks,

My New Job


Well, after almost a year without a real job [travelling and watching Dylan turn 2 and Liam come into the world and for his first 6 months] I have now landed. I am the CEO, President and Chairman of newly named Santa Cruz Networks Inc. Today we launched a new service called Viditel. If I say so myself, it’s awesome.

The Santa Cruz Networks technology is a Real-Time Internet Communications Platform. It is a fully distributed client-server architecture [trust me, not a contradiction in terms]. Edge of network services are combined with a thin server to make real-time video, audio, instant messaging and application sharing a reality. This is not just an IP solution, it is an Internet solution. It features real-time video, audio, instant messaging, presence awareness and application sharing for between 2 and 250 simultaneous participants to a call, and an unlimited number of Presence and IM sessions. SIP will be supported in the future to allow interoperable IM. For comparison, compare it to Microsoft’s Office Live Communications Server, codename Greenwich, which just does IM.

It can be bought as a service today. By November it will be possible to buy hardware to enable any organization of any size to become a carrier to its subscribers, or to its employees or to its customers.

The secret sauce is in 3 new protocols. The Secure Real-Time Xchange Protocol (using TCP and SSL). The Secure Presence and Initiation Protocol (using TCP and SSL) and the Bandwidth Distribution Protocol (using TCP and SSL). Together these protocols allow many callers to have independently scaled multiplexed streams of data. Scaling is always in line with actual bandwidth. The end result is a great user experience. This gets away from the UDP based, switched network protocols that have been the basis of video conferencing for the past 7 years and have inhibited the growth of adoption, simply because they do not work and do not scale. With TCP and SSL our solution can deal with firewalls, proxy servers and NAT addressing without modification.

You can see more at our web site . And you can try it out by downloading the client from one of our service providers – VidiTel. You can get 100 minutes free. Expect many more providers to spring up in the future.

It’s great to be back. As you can tell I’m pretty excited. I’m working with Barry Spencer – former chief architect at Lotus for 123, and who was a key programmer on Symphony, before moving West to join Borland. Barry has been working on the Real-Time Xchange Protocol and its partner protocols for more than 6 years. This is both an amazing and a mature technology.

The company closed a ‘B’ round in January, of $10m. It is based in Santa Cruz, CA. I have now moved there. Tim Draper led the ‘B’ round. Joe Costello – Cadence founder – is also a major investor.