James’s Musings

thoughts, photography, and geeky stuff
from an unrelentingly curious Silicon Valley entrepreneur


by James G. Beldock on July 20, 2007

I learned to code when I was 7.
(we didn’t call it “cod­ing” back then.)  

When I was 14 I start­ed my first soft­ware com­pa­ny.
(my fa­ther had to sign the legal pa­pers!) 

At 19 I filed for my first patent.
(it is­sued be­fore I grad­u­at­ed col­lege.)

These days, I’m a tech com­pa­ny ex­ec­u­tive with 20 years of soft­ware and hard­ware de­vel­op­ment, sales, mar­ket­ing, and IP ex­pe­ri­ence. I ship prod­ucts that have nev­er been shipped be­fore, sell tech­nolo­gies that have nev­er been sold be­fore, and man­age projects that have nev­er been man­aged be­fore by build­ing pas­sion­ate and au­tonomous teams of su­per­hero soft­ware, hard­ware, in­ter­na­tion­al sales, and cus­tomer suc­cess en­gi­neers. I bring a ma­ni­a­cal fo­cus on the re­al-world busi­ness im­pact of tech­nol­o­gy, not just its tech­ni­cal ex­cel­lence, and in­spire teams to per­for­mance they didn’t be­lieve pos­si­ble. Here’s my pro­fes­sion­al bio, or find me on LinkedIn:

A pas­sion­ate tech­nol­o­gist turned ex­pe­ri­enced Silicon Valley ex­ec­u­tive, James has spent twen­ty years build­ing sci­ence-based tech­nol­o­gy com­pa­nies. Most re­cent­ly, as Chief Product Officer and then Chief Operating Officer of Tachyus Corp, he led the team to de­liv­er and de­ploy soft­ware that rev­o­lu­tion­izes op­ti­miza­tion and op­er­a­tional ef­fi­cien­cy for the up­stream oil and gas in­dus­try, pro­vid­ing mul­ti mil­lion-dol­lar cash-on-cash re­turns on in­vest­ment for its com­pa­nies. Previously, he was President & CEO of ShotSpotter, Inc. (now SST, Inc.) which he built in­to the world’s lead­ing provider of gun­shot de­tec­tion and alert tech­nol­o­gy. As the company’s first CEO, James de­vel­oped and ex­e­cut­ed ShotSpotter’s mar­ket en­try strat­e­gy and led the com­pa­ny from de­ploy­ments in four cities to over 50, in­creased an­nu­al sales more than 50-fold, ex­e­cut­ed two M&A trans­ac­tions first to ac­quire crit­i­cal patents and IP and in the sec­ond to ac­quire ShotSpotter’s largest com­peti­tor. He then turned his en­ergies to­wards glob­al mar­ket pen­e­tra­tion as head of the company’s International ef­forts, build­ing sales from 0% to 40% of top-line rev­enue with­in 18 months. He sub­se­quent­ly re­turned to his en­gi­neer­ing roots, as SST’s head of en­gi­neer­ing where he built the in­fra­struc­ture to sup­port a glob­al-scale, re­al-time 24x7x365 sen­sor-based data ser­vices com­pa­ny. He de­liv­ered pro­duct and tech­nol­o­gy im­prove­ments which in­creased scal­a­bil­i­ty and de­ploy­ment speed 100-fold, sys­tem per­for­mance, and de­ploy­ment eco­nom­ics 10-fold.

James was Chairman and CTO of WebPutty, of which he had pre­vi­ous­ly served as the Company’s President and CEO, an en­ter­prise soft­ware com­pa­ny to which he brought Bain Capital as lead in­vestors and sub­se­quent­ly ac­quired by Charles River. James had pre­vi­ous­ly been Entrepreneur in Residence at SAC Capital where he set tech­nol­o­gy and in­fra­struc­ture strat­e­gy for port­fo­lio com­pa­nies and di­rec­tion for tech­nol­o­gy part­ner­ships both in­side and out­side the port­fo­lio, ad­vised to Boards of Directors and SAC man­age­ment on ex­ec­u­tive team per­for­mance, ex­e­cu­tion, and team dy­nam­ics, and stepped in­to act­ing C-lev­el ex­ec­u­tives at through­out the port­fo­lio. He has al­so served as vice President for R&D and CTO at Primavera Laboratories, where he was re­spon­si­ble for pro­duct de­vel­op­ment of over-the-coun­ter drugs and oth­er reg­u­lat­ed prod­ucts gen­er­at­ing re­tail rev­enues in ex­cess of $500m for com­pa­nies in­clud­ing Avon Products, Bristol-Myers Squibb, and The Limited. He holds nine tech­nol­o­gy patents.

As a CEO, James has raised $75 mil­lion in eq­ui­ty and debt cap­i­tal, and he has in­vest­ed and ad­vised boards of di­rec­tors in a wide ar­ray of in­dus­tries such as nat­u­ral gas pro­duc­tion, jew­el­ry and keep­sake man­u­fac­tur­ing, and home decor prod­ucts. James is a cum laude grad­u­ate of Yale University and stud­ied Computer Science at Columbia University. In 2001, James was rec­og­nized as one of America’s lead­ing ex­ec­u­tives un­der the age of 45 when he was named a Henry Crown Fellow of the Aspen Institute. A proud lin­guaphile, James has con­duct­ed busi­ness on five con­ti­nents in French, Spanish, Portuguese, and halt­ing Italian.

And now for the fun stuff:

I am a born and bred New Yorker. Although I now live in the San Francisco Bay Area, I’m al­ways a New Yorker. (It doesn’t take but a few min­utes be­fore peo­ple I meet out Left say “you’re not from around here, are you?”).

I’m an avid read­er and bib­lio­phile. In fact, it has be­come some­thing of an ob­ses­sion. I used to have 11 book­cas­es in my for­mer bach­e­lor pad/950 square-foot apart­ment, and they were all full. Sometimes they keep me up late at night; some­times they keep me in good stead dur­ing a cock­tail par­ty con­ver­sa­tion in which I oth­er­wise would have to plead ig­no­rance; but most­ly they just keep me good com­pa­ny.

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