Business

In my half-century in business, I have worked for big companies like General Motors and Siemens, and small companies with forgotten names. I have worked for progressive companies like Intel, and backward companies like Timex. I have worked for semiconductor companies, manufacturing companies, and companies that never should have become companies in the first place. I have founded my own companies, managed other people’s companies, financed companies, and liquidated companies. I have developed consumer products, industrial products, medical electronic products, military war-time products, products used in farm fields, and products to go into space.

The anecdotes and reembraces in this section reflect my experience from my early years of designing car radios at General Motors during its hay-day, through a long career in the semiconductor industry, and finally to integrating electronics with optical components to reduce the use of herbicide in agriculture. During the same, more than a half-century of calling Patchen, California my home, I also built a unique and successful retail and wholesale business in the Christmas tree industry.

The table that follows will gradually over time become populated to represent a chronology of what happened – and when. Understanding that it has no particular value to anyone else, it’s a way to help me remember – both the good and the not-so-good.

The stories are real and the opinions are 100% my own, on the advice of my friend Yap Ping Hui in Penang, Malaysia, who often said, “don’t bring me borrowed opinions – speak with data or keep quiet”.

YearAgeWhereBusiness Venture
19410PlymouthBorn on June 1, and didn't get much done that year.
19421
19432
19443
19454
19465
19476Three RiversLife on The Lake
19487
19498
19509
195110
195211
195312
195413
195514
195615Started at Miller's Dairy - $0.55 per hr
195716At 16 yrs - got a raise to $0.65 per hr
195817
195918Graduated High School
- Probably in the middle of the class
- Lost my Year-Book in the fire of 1998
196019Angola, INEngineering School
196120
196221
196322Angola, IN
(Business School)
Kokomo, IN
(Delco Radio)
I went to school in the Midwest, where GM was
the biggest employer in those days. So I had two
competing offers from GM AC in Milwaukee and
Delco Radio in Kokomo (each was for $670/month).
I took the Delco one, but if I had gone to AC, I would
have been working on the Inertial Measurement
Unit (IMU) that he refers to at 15:15 of the video.
It was the same technology used then for ICBMs,
and designing radios sounded like more fun than
bombing Russians.

Remind me to tell you the story about having lunch
with Buzz Aldrin.
196423
196524Mt View, CA
196625Sunnyvale, CA
196726
196827
196928Santa Cruz Mtns
Los Gatos, CA
Integrated Microsystems
197029
197130
197231Hytek / Microma
197332Microma
197433
197534
197635Timex
197736
197837
197938Remodeled House
198039Siemens
198140
198241
198342
198443
198544
198645
198746
198847
198948
199049Indala
199150
199251Siemens / Patchen, Inc
199352Patchen, Inc
199453
199554
199655Retired
199756
199857
199958
200059
200160
200261
200362Optoelectronix
200463
200564Retired
200665
200766
200867
200968
201069
201170
201271
201372
201473
201574
201675
201776
201877
201978
202079
202180
202281
202382
202483
202584
202685
202786
202887
202988
203089
203190
203291
203392
203493
203594
203695
203796
203897
203998
204099

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By: Jim
Written: 2021
Published: March 2021
Revised: March 16, 2023
Revised: