Dr. James H. Clark (born 1944) first became famous for technological advancement but later became known as one of the most famous entrepreneurs in economic history. He dropped out of high school, spent four years in the Navy, then eventually ended up with a Bachelor's degree and a Master's degree (both in Physics) from the University of New Orleans in Louisiana. He earned a Ph.D. in Computer Science from the University of Utah. Jim Clark was first known for his work with geometry pipelines, specialized software or hardware that accelerates the display of three dimensional images. The zenith of these advancements was the Geometry Engine, an early technology for rendering highly graphical computer images he developed in 1979.
In 1982, Jim Clark and several Stanford graduate students formed Silicon Graphics, Inc The earliest Silicon Graphics graphical workstations were mainly terminals, but soon newer models were stand-alone graphical UNIX workstations with very fast graphics rendering hardware. The variety of UNIX developed by Silicon Graphics is known as IRIX.
During the mid-1980s, Silicon Graphics bought chipmaker MIPS, Inc. and used the MIPS CPU as the foundation of their newest workstations, replacing the Motorola 68000. Soon, Silicon Graphics became the world leader in the production of Hollywood movie special effects and 3-D imaging. Silicon Graphics did not rely on high sales as they could charge more for their special high-end hardware and special graphics software.
However, by the early 1990s, Jim Clark had a falling out with Silicon Graphics management and got the itch to start a completely new and different enterprise. In 1992, Clark and Mark Andreessen, the creator of the World Wide Web browser Mosaic, founded Netscape. The founding of Netscape was a pivotal point that helped launch the Internet IPO boom on Wall Street during the mid- to late 1990s, and Clark reaped the financial benefits of the Internet boom. Just as the Internet boom was about to completely bust, Clark got the urge to move on again.
In 1998, Jim Clark got the idea of streamlining the insurance hassles and paperwork associated with the healthcare industry. He came up with the idea of a company that would help make access to more efficient healthcare easier. Although his original idea was a bit too ambitious, it did lead some inroads in administrative streamlining of medical records technology, but an Atlanta, Georgia startup company, WebMD, was already making inroads toward the same goal. Knowing that WebMD had financial backing from Microsoft, Clark decided to merge his newest startup, Healtheon, with the original WebMD to form the current WebMD Corporation. WebMD also provides a vast resource of online, reliable health information on the Internet.
The current companies that Jim Clark is involved with:
- Shutterfly - MyCFO - DNA Sciences - Neoteris