Aliasing Smith and Jones

Dave Wilson tells the rather tall tale of a couple of rather clever college graduates that just happen to be named Smith and Jones!

<b>’One of the problems with a lot of us is that we get all dressed up, go out on the town, drink, think we’re having a great time and are so loaded by the time we get home, we can’t remember what we’ve had such a good time doing.’ – Ben Murphy.</b>

After Dr. Smith graduated from the finest university in the UK with his first class degree in image compression, he wanted only one thing – to make a lot of money very quickly and to buy a nice little farm in the countryside.

As luck would have it, Smith graduated that year with Dr. Jones, a man with more than a head for business. Jones recognised Smith’s talent for compressing large images into tiny little spaces and broadcasting them over the airwaves. And he also could see that the potential for exploiting his PhD thesis on the subject could make them both very rich, very quickly.

So they got together one night in a little pub in The Shires and a week later a company was born with the sole intention of developing their ‘new technology’ for lots and lots of hard currency.

But if the two new Directors were to live in the lifestyle that they were to become accustomed to, they would need funding. And I don’t have to tell you, dear reader, that these days, funding for a high technology idea is hard to come by. Unless, of course, you have the savvy of Dr. Jones.

For it was Jones that came up with the idea that was to become their salvation that evening.

Jones knew, as we all do, that there are some pretty desperate companies out there at the moment. Companies that don’t have a lot of in house expertise, yet still need to develop products in a very short space of time. Products that need to compress images. And then send them through the ether. And Jones knew one or two California outfits with very large pockets that fitted the bill perfectly.

But he also knew that there was no way that those companies would simply hand over millions and millions of dollars to a couple of graduates from the Shires. Just based on a single PhD thesis.

So our two comrades bought a couple of natty suits and got on a plane for California. And once there, they rented a large office in The Valley. Which they filled with thirty temporary staff who sat rather mindlessly tapping away at thirty rented computer systems that to all intents and purposes looked as though were running some rather tricky image compression software code in C++.

And then the invites went out. To three companies that our friends from the Shires knew were working on products that might well be able to take advantage of Dr. Smith’s work.

When the busy executives from the California companies came to see Smith and Jones, they were paraded quickly past the teams of ‘developers’ and into a large conference room where Jones described the history of his company and Smith the technology behind it.

After one month, Smith and Jones had signed a one year contract with one of the firms for $3 million to develop the compression software further. One month after that, they ‘closed’ the US office and both went back to England.

Smith bought his farmhouse and began work refining his software, which he delivered to the absolute delight of the California outfit six months ahead of schedule.

As for Jones? Well, I heard that he’s looking at starting another company.