I advise envorso and provide senior consulting services around software operations and strategy. As of January 2021 I have taken a more operational role. I specialize in working with companies where software has become a new dimension of value and competition or where companies seeking renewal in their approach to software products. Recent engagements have included assessment of software strategy and operations, development of an approach to talent, and advising on better incorporating the customer into the product development process.
I Teach in the Northwestern McCormick School of Engineering. In 2009, I taught software engineering in the computer science department. From 2010 to 2021 created and taught NUvention Web; a two quarter software entrepreneurship course where students build products and launch businesses.
I served as an Advisor to early Divergent Ventures Funds I and II, and as a General Partner with Divergent III, IV, and II Annex. Divergent invested in seed and series A companies in the themes of cloud computing, next Generation Data, and next gseneration infrastructure. Todd was closely involved in the fundraising for Divergent III and IV, and investment and management of many of Divergent’s investments. He was the main representative as a board member or board observer for BlueTalon, ReadyPulse, Socedo, TempoIQ and Wicket Labs.
I started as General Manager of the Windows Embedded group in 2001 which managed a seperate business p and l building Windows CE, specialized devices like the Portable Media Center, ultimately becoming the Corporate Vice President Reponsible for Development of Windows Mobile, Windows CE, and Windows Automotive. During this period, We released Windows Mobile 6 and Windows Mobile 6.1 which powered millions of phones built by HTC, Samsung, and Motorola. We started several initiatives focused on device management and device update; and began to lay the foundation for what became Windows Phone.
Along the way, I led the turn around of the Windows Automotive group, the resulted in shipping a firmware updatable voice activated bluetooth car kit. This product shipped Windows automotive with key partners including Fiat (Blue and Me), Ford (Sync), and Hyundai as well as various tier 1s.
This stint also included managing the Mapping group, which did a pivot from a focus on b2b products to launching Virtual Earth. The Virtual Earth team executed its strategy as one of the first groups at Microsoft to use Agile/Scrum; and formed a unique partnership with Microsoft Research to include digital imagery in its maps.
General Manager for Microsoft Project for the release of Microsoft Project 2000 and the planning and early development of Microsoft Project 2002. Significantly grew business to more than $500m in revenue; including acquiring components for a server base project launched as Microsoft Project Server and Microsoft Project Pro.
With the introduction of Windows NT and it’s related server applications, including Exchange and SQL Server, a need was identified to build commons services for experiences that crossed the server family; as well as building common products for distinct audiences that used the products together. This phase of my Microsoft Career I started as a group program manager and became the general manager of group that provided various common functions to the server applications; as well as created the distinct product bundles Small Business Server and BackOffice Server. At the time, Small Business Server was the fastest product to reach $100m in revenue at Microsoft. I led this group from a proposal to more than 100 people. We provided the a set of shared services, including providing Systems Management UI via the Microsoft Management Console (MMC), UX Design and Research, and Developer SDK’s and Developer programs.
Our developer work included providing the majority of the SDK content for the Microsoft Developer Network at the dawn of the internet.
I joined the email product management team when we had one product-Mac Mail. I worked with our 3rd party partners. After Microsoft acquired Consumer’s Software to enter the PC Mail Business, I product managed many of its add-on products—“gateways” that connected to other legacy email systems. I led the product planning, positioning, and initial launch of Microsoft Exchange and the Microsoft Mail Client, as well as Schedule+ for Windows.
I joined Microsoft after undergrad as a Program Manager in the tools group. I was responsible for the release of MASM 5.1, Microsoft C 6.0, as well as working with the other languages products on shared development tools. I wrote some of the first user interface Specs for Developer Tools at Microsoft, specifically for CodeView 3.0 (most of the conventions we defined for data structure debugging are mimicked by debuggers today), the Programmer’s Workbench—an early profession developer environment, and worked closely with the author to of ‘Z’ editor to release as ‘M’.
Volunteer and Board Experience
Ashesi University is focused on developing the next generation of ethical, entrepreneurial leaders in Africa. I’ve served on the board of the Ashesi University Fondation since the boards formation. I was the chair of the board from 2012 to 2016. The institution during my board tenure has grown from serving 40 students to more than 2000; with thousands of productive graduates. During this time the board led multiple capital campaigns to build the initial campus and subsequent expansions for engineering and the sciences. I currently serve on the governance and nomination committees.
I served on the board of trustees at Northwestern University as an Alumni Trustee for a single term. I served on the Alumni Relations and Development committee, where I led a task force to introduce class agent to increase participation. I also served on the tech transfer and entrpreneurship committee during the period when the Northwestern Garage was created.
I have volunteered at various times on the Board of Visitors for the Weinberg College of Arts and Science, the National Advisory Council of the School of Commuinications where I also served several years as Chair during the capital campaign for it’s new building. I currently serve on the McCormick College of Engineering Adivsory Council. I also advise the Computer Science departement and the Farley Center for Entrepreneurship; where I am currently leading the external committee reviewing its curriculum.
I serve on the board of VentureWell which focuses on helping institutions transform innovations to impact, by helping Faculty, Student Entrepreneurs, and working with Government Agencies like NSF and NIH to develop programming. In 2020 I led a subcommittee of the board focused on working with staff to develop the strategic plan. I also serve on the Governance and Investment committees.
As part of my association with VentureWell, I have presented at their yearly conference OPEN, as well as participated in the
Double Major in Economics and Computer Studies. Graduated with Honors, including Diebler Award for best thesis in Economics “Evaluating the Girton-Roper Exchange Rate Pressure Model” An econometric model looking at trade flows between Canada and US and their effect on the balance of payments.