James Clark

Dr. James H. Clark, while most famous for founding Netscape; began his entrepreneur dream many years earlier. After dropping out of high school, Jim spent 4 years in the Navy..  He began taking night classes at Tulane and earned enough credits to be accepted at the University of New Orleans and also earned a Masters degree in Physics.  He continued his education in 1974 by earning a PhD in computer science from the University of Utah. In 1979, Clark accepted a position at Stanford University as an associate professor of electrical engineering.

He formed Silicon Graphics, Inc in 1982 along with 6 Stanford graduate students and Abbey Silverstone. Beginning with terminals serving as graphics workstation, Silicon Graphics evolved into stand-alone graphical UNIX workstations with very fast graphics rendering hardware.  In 1992 Silicon Graphics bought Mips Computer in a $400M stock swap.  Clark was able to use MIPS CPU as the foundation of their newest workstations. Silicon Graphics became the world leader in the production of Hollywood movie visual effects and 3-D imaging. By focusing on the high end of the market, Silicon Graphics was able to charge significantly more for their special high-end hardware and special graphics software.

After a falling out with Silicon Graphics, Jim Clark achieved his greatest success.  In 1994 he and Marc Andreessen, (the co-creator of the World Wide Web browser Mosaic) founded Netscape.  By August 1998, its estimated that Netscape held almost 80% of the internet browser market.  But in August 1995, Microsoft introduced Windows 95 and its web browser, Internet Explorer. Microsoft included Internet Explorer free of charge, a huge disadvantage.  Despite its cost, Netscape was able to hold off Internet Explorer with innovative features such as frames, Java, JavaScript and Plug-ins.

Netscape was forced, in January 1998, to make their browser free.  The further development of the browser would move to an open-source process.  The Mozilla project began.  Then in November 1998, AOL bought Netscape.

In 1998, Jim Clark came up with the idea in the healthcare industry.  He would streamline the insurance hassles and paperwork with a product that would help make access to more efficient healthcare. His company, Healtheon made some progress in administrative streamlining of medical records technology, but an Atlanta, Georgia startup company, WebMD, was already making inroads toward the same goal. With Microsoft providing financial backing to WebMD, Clark decided to merge his company, Healtheon, with the original WebMD to form the current WebMD Corporation.

Clark continued to be an active entrepreneur.  In 1999, Clark launched myCFO – a company to help wealthy individuals manage their fortunes. He sold the company for a third of his initial investment to Harris Bank in late 2002.

Also in 1999, Clark became Shutterfly’s original investor and Chairman of the Board. The company allows people to share, print and store photos.  Kibu.com, the teen girl site received a $22 million investment from Jim Clark in 1999.  In 2000, Kibu had decided to return its remaining capital to investors because the market couldn’t recognize the value of the business.

Neoteris, network Security Company, was founded in 2000 by Clark, who became the chairman and financial backer.  Neoteris was acquired by NetScreen in 2003 and subsequently by Juniper Networks.
His involvement in various business ventures has accompanied his financial and ethical form. He is a true visionary.

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