Duane Murray

Nov 26, 2017

Duane Murray was the the fourth founder of Excelan. We had an ambitious hardware development plan and we needed somebody to supplement me. Duane’s name popped up in my head. Duane had worked with me for four years. He had interned under me at Singer-Link in 1976 and came on full time in 1977. Both of us had gone separate ways in 1980, I went on to work for Zilog and he had gone to work for Tandem Computers. When I called him to let him know that I was starting a new company, he immediately asked when could he join. No discussion about title, salary or equity followed. He just assumed that I will take care of him.

Duane was a hardware engineer par excellence. He handwired the initial boards that I had designed and debugged them. He totally relieved me of actual design work. I designed the initial Multibus Ethernet board but Duane designed all the other busses- Uni Bus, Q Bus, PC Bus, VME Bus. Duane was a most dependable individual and was like me, a perfectionist.

Later when I became CEO and realized that our sales and marketing was not very effective. I plucked Duane out of engineering and made him director of Technical marketing with an explicit charter of making our sales process effective. Duane moved into sales area and with his usual zeal set about to find out why a large number of incoming calls were not converting into sales. He quickly discovered that actual sales were very much technical in nature and a usual initial buyer was a ‘nerd’ and needed a “nerd’ on our side to close the deal. We put several engineers on the frontlines and started to close sales rapidly. Duane was later promoted to VP of marketing. He made a great VP of Marketing.

Incidentally, Duane did very well when the company went public. I had assumed that Duane would do a start-up of his own after leaving Novell. That was not to be. Instead, he opened a restaurant and lived happily ever after.

Another Poem by my son Ben! I did not fully know this side of him till recently.

Nov 7, 2017

Ben Rekhi
6 hrs · Quezon City, Philippines ·
Nov 8
A year since the world shifted on its axis
Since we watched the house of cards come crumbling down.
Since we entered an alternate universe.
Since the dark cloud blocked the sun.
A slap in the face.
Fake news.
Lies.
Tweets.
What had been in the shadows reared it’s ugly head in the light of day.
Tempers flared. Friends were lost. Families divided.
You.
Me.
Them.
Both sides flooded the streets.
Screaming too loud to hear each other.
Handcuffed on the sidelines while the kings pillaged the castle.
The clowns keep spilling out of the car.
And all we can tell ourselves is
This isn’t normal this isn’t normal this isn’t normal
But what is normal?
So now, a year on, I feel nothing but gratitude.
Grateful because without the darkness, I would have never seen the light.
Grateful because there’s no more confusion.
No more self-negotiation, no more wavering, no taking anything for granted.
Everything is crystal clear now.
What matters in life. What’s most important.
Family.
Friends.
Humanity.
Peace. Love. Compassion.
I never thought I’d say this but
Thank you.
Because it’s back to basics. Here and now. Heart and soul.
Thankful that logic has failed us, and all we can do now is follow our hearts.
No more analyzing. No more strategy. No overthinking.
The lights are out and we’re just feeling our way forward.
So close your eyes and let the universe guide us.
Your intuition is a whisper.
You already know what you need to do.
You’ve always known.
And to those that think differently, I’m grateful to you too.
I know you have your reasons.
I’ve been listening and making every effort to understand.
And if I can’t, I still respect our differences.
We still have more in common than what separates us.
We all still work. We love, eat, and breathe.
Our circumstances are different.
But we are born into this world, walk on two legs, and die.
So let’s put the guns down and agree to disagree.
Thank you.
For waking me up.
For bringing out the best in me.
For reminding me of who I am.
For making me feel more alive than I’ve ever felt.
Your callousness makes me kind.
Your lies make me truthful.
Your hate makes me love.
It’s been a hell of a year.
And without even intending to,
You reminded us of our greatest gift.
Our ability to transcend our primal nature.
To rise above fear, hate and anger.
You reminded me what makes us human.
You reminded me of everything you’re not.
So as I think back to that night of shock and awe,
when the world changed in a matter of minutes,
when nothing made sense any more,
I feel nothing but gratitude.
You reminded me of life’s greatest lesson.
We can’t control what happens to us,
But we can control how we react.
We can choose peace.
We can choose love.
We can choose compassion.
So yes, god yes, its been a hell of a year…
But you know what?
… I wouldn’t change it for the world.
Now I know who I really am.
#thankyouDJT
#staypositive #bethechange #oneyearstronger