Jeremy Jaech is one of Seattle’s most accomplished entrepreneurs. So, when we learned that the founder of Aldus and Visio, had left his current CEO gig at Verdiem, we had to find out more of what was in store for him. Turns out Jaech has been spending quite a bit of time kicking around the computer science department of his alma mater, The University of Washington. And what exactly is he looking to do?
Well, Jaech says that he’s not quite sure yet. But he’s certain about one thing:
“I wanted to get back to the early-stage stuff,” Jaech tells GeekWire.
At this point, Jaech doesn’t have a specific idea of what he wants to build. He has been spending time with UW computer science professor Shwetak Patel, an accomplished engineer and entrepreneur who is currently working on new sensing technologies and energy monitoring applications for the home.
He’s spending about half of his time at the UW, and will likely set up an office on campus. The rest of his time involves serving on boards (Doyenz, Trumba, Cozi, Technology Alliance and the National Park Foundation).
At 56, Jaech said he’s at a point in his professional career where he wanted to build something new that could “shake up a traditional market.”
“I am always looking for disruptive platforms that can create opportunities for a class of companies,” said Jaech. “I want to get back to the bleeding edge.”
Jaech’s track record of success has been pretty remarkable, though his last two pursuits weren’t the home runs that he’d experienced earlier in his career. The former Boeing software developer co-founded Aldus in 1984, a company that sold to Adobe for $500 million in 1994. He also founded Visio, a graphics and diagramming software company that sold to Microsoft for $1.3 billion in 2000.
More he recently, he founded Trumba, an online calendering startup. And then he jumped to the CEO post at Verdiem.
Jaech said he had never before stepped into a CEO role at an existing company, an experience which he said was challenging. When he joined, the company was burning about a $1 million a month in cash. He left the company at cash flow break even.
He departed Verdiem on good terms, actually recruiting his successor, John Scumniotales.
While getting Verdiem to cash flow break even was certainly an accomplishment, the Richland native said he’s most excited about creating something from scratch.
I guess it’s just hard to take the entrepreneurial fire out of some folks.
John Cook is co-founder of GeekWire, a Seattle tech news site. Follow on Twitter: @geekwirenews.
[Jaech photo via the Technology Alliance]