We received a rather lengthy farewell note from Roger Kasten, Former VP, Strategic Development & Evangelism at Newer. Roger asked us to post it on our site and we are happy to oblige. We have worked with Roger and others at Newer over the years and are sorry to lose a company that has contributed so much to the Mac community. We wish roger and the rest of the Newer team all the best... Feel free to add your comments on our discussion board below.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Roger Kasten Jr.
After 16 Years the Doors Are Closing on a Macintosh
WICHITA, KS, USA - December 29, 2000 - Newer Technology, the technology leader in Apple [NASDAQ: AAPL] Macintosh CPU upgrades, sent notice to employees alerting them that their services were no longer required. The letter also indicated that a shareholder meeting would be held on January 8th to vote on the issue of filing bankruptcy.
I do not wish to take this opportunity to go into the issues that led to the ultimate demise of Newer Technology. Rather, I would prefer to take a few moments to reflect back on the various people and products that were positive events in Newer's past. I apologize for the length of this document but there are numerous people who deserve mention.
I would also like to thank the hundreds of people who have already contacted me to express their regrets, remembrances, and in several cases... job offers. It has meant more to me than any of you will ever realize. It is wonderful to have so many friends.
The Thoughts and Comments of Roger Kasten Jr.
I joined Newer Technology on October 1, 1986. My degree was in Geology. I had been a petroleum geologist since the late seventies. I had always assumed that I wouldn't need to learn too much about computers. I assumed my kids (when I finally had them) would be the ones who would need to learn all about computers. I was soon to find out how wrong I was.
No one was more surprised than I to realize that I had a natural affinity for computers. I also came to discover a talent for recognizing trends in technology. I was genuinely blessed to find myself part of a new company that enabled and nurtured those abilities. I would like to recognize certain events, products and people who have made the last 14 years so worthwhile. I apologize in advance for inadvertently leaving many important people out of this farewell.
I wish to start off by thanking James Wiebe, the founder of Newer Technology. He provided me with years of challenges and opportunities. He saw my potential even when I did not. He turned an idea into a multimillion-dollar corporation. He has his faults but he is truly a great man. I count myself lucky that I have been able to grow up with him and can call him a friend. I also wish to thank Phil Neufeld, James' partner in Newer. Phil provided the calming voice of reason when James and I would begin to get carried away with product ideas. Another person to recognize with this group is Steve Ratzlaff. It was Steve who brought me into the company. The name "NEWER" came from the initials in their last names... NEufeld-WiEbe-Ratzlaff.
I wish to thank the following people at Apple for affording me countless opportunities and immense fun. These people have played significant roles in Newer's success over the years. TeriAnn Wakeman (a fabulous employee who helped Newer work with Apple), Godfrey DiGiorgi, Mark Baumwell, Peter Baum, Brian Bechtell, Dennis Hescox (My first contact with Apple), John DePew (Computer Care and then Apple), Rodger Mohme, Doug MacMillan (Worked his tail off to keep Newer in the loop at Apple), Sandy Green, Greg Munster, John Signa, Tim Holmes, Jon Rubinstein, Al Cardenas, Phil Schiller, Keith Hatounian, David Harrington (A workhorse and a tremendous help to Apple and Newer), Dave Klenske, Clent Richardson, Richard Schlein, Kanwall Sharma, Eric Rosenquist, Ed Prasek, Mick Mountz, Dave Moody, Pat McDermott, Steven Lee, Brian Maggi, Rich Levine, Mark Johnson, Guy Kawasaki, Craig Keithly, Greg Joswiak, Bruce Gee, Jeff Chasick (formerly of Apple formerly of Newer), David Ferguson, Jai Chulani, Joe Bishop, Eric Anderson, Peter Medak, Hiroshi Hattori, Nachi Tamura, Koichi Uchida, Stephen Chick and MANY MANY OTHERS!
Over the years I have crossed paths with thousands of outstanding people. They have all left their mark on myself as well as Newer. Several stand out and deserve to be recognized: ( 1. ) Henri Hiraga with ArcPoint Distribution in Kobe, Japan. Henri is an outstanding gentleman. He is single-handedly responsible for dragging Newer out of the US marketplace and into international markets. He pursued Newer for years and held our hands as we entered Japanese markets. I am exceedingly proud to be his friend. ( 2. ) Steven Johnson with Johnson Photography in Pacifica, California. He taught me many things including the necessity of compassion. I am a better man today because of his friendship. He is an incredible photographer (analog and digital) who has worked with dozens of major electronics companies like Apple, Kodak, Ricoh, Newer, SuperMac, etc... Steve is a wonderful person who is unbelievably talented. I would urge you all to look for his work. ( 3. ) TeriAnn Wakeman with Apple. She was instrumental in helping Newer cement a lasting relationship with Apple. She went out of her way to keep Newer informed and helped to make sure that we delivered the products that Apple was seeking. I owe her a lasting debt of gratitude. She is a wonderful woman with a fascinating love of English Land Rovers. ( 4. ) Doug MacMillan with Apple. Doug was tremendously competent and extremely dedicated. He took excellent care of Newer during his time with Evangelism. He kept Newer tied in and on the right track. He made sure we were kept up to speed while simultaneously making sure that Newer delivered products Apple wanted to see in the marketplace. He is great man and a good friend. He left Apple a year ago and now works for Handspring. I hated to see him go but I know that Handspring has gained a phenomenal employee. ( 5. ) Frank Hopper with Newer Technology. Talented, dedicated, intelligent, insightful, and entertaining are just a few of the words that spring to mind when thinking about him. He has been a Soldier, Barber, School Teacher, CPU Product Manager and OEM Product Manager. I have valued his friendship. I met him a decade ago at a local Mac User Group meeting. He impressed me with his knowledge and cutting-edge Mac hardware. He eventually joined Newer where he went on to step on toes, make lots of noise and pioneer CPU product management. ( 6. ) Craig Marciniak formerly with Newer and recently with Apple. Craig became a very close friend. He was able to take the ideas I held in my head and turn them into world-famous applications. The first app he created for me was GURU, which went on to become the global standard for memory-related information. Craig also took my powerful dislike for AppleLink (because of its lack of a spellchecker) and created the world-famous SpellTools application. He and I lost our fathers pretty close to the same time. It helped us both to have an empathetic ear. He is a friend, confidant, and brilliant programmer. Newer's loss was clearly Apple's gain. There are so many more people who deserve mention but there simply isn't the space or the time. I apologize to all of you whom I have failed to write about.
Over the years I have been witness to many groundbreaking products. Newer started off by innovating PC memory and bar code products. I am proud to say that I am responsible for Newer designing products for Macintosh computers. I directed the shift from PC to Mac. That conversion was enabled by a group of excellent engineers. That group has been headed by one of my best, and oldest, friends... Darryl Hinshaw. He and I have overseen more than a decade of product development. We have pioneered everything from new types of memory products to docking bars to multi-processor CPU upgrades. Through it all we have adhered to one simple premise... design and build products so that we would be happy if we bought them. We have never lost sight of the fact that if it weren't for end users we would have no reason to be in business. We always took pride in our work and we listened to customer feedback. We accepted criticism and used it to help us better design our future products. Darryl's people; Jack Putnam, Larry Runyan, Scott Summers, Pete Millett, Ben Mickaelian, Craig Marcniak, Mary Kay Solomon, Steve Jackman, Scott Hendershot, Mitch Lyda, Jack Morton and Margie Wolfslau, have produced a phenomenal amount of work over the years. They are an amazing group of people with an incredible synergy. They work as a well-oiled machine. Here is a brief list of their accomplishments at Newer:
Attention (4MB Extended Memory Card),
There were many other outstanding inventions which this amazing group brought to life. I have always stood in awe of their capabilities. They have been outstanding employees and even better friends. I guess it's easy to excel when you enjoy your work and your work-mates.
Newer Technology has always made it a point to hire outstanding, passionate, caring people. We rarely asked about a person's education. We were always far more concerned about whether the person could do the job, and if they loved what they did. As a result Newer became a haven for dedicated Mac enthusiasts (we still did PC projects, but we loved the Mac). I will clearly miss many people in this list (and for that I apologize):
Gene Hildebrandt (my earliest friend at Newer), Dana Hansen, Martha Smith, Kay Vogt, Annette Vix, Bill Kliewer (outstanding salesman and now fast rising star with Waddell & Reed), Terry Unrein (outstanding salesman and excellent friend), Carol Heier (engineering technician), Garrett Nafzinger (awesome Tech Support lead), Mike Waddell (another awesome tech support hero), Ed Guthrie (technician and PowerBook upgrade king), Troy Barton (shipping & receiving king), Bonnie Yowell (inventory), Scott Weierich (sales), Jason Opat (sales), James Baker (sales), Marti Hayes (sales), John Jones (sales), David Bonfiglio (sales), Carolyn Stoeckert (sales), Justin Lauzet (webmaster), James Isaac (IS/IT), Eric Dahlinger (marketing and pr), Craig Marciniak (software engineering), Hindi Marciniak (marketing), Michael Gaskins (marketing), Vickie Gaspar (marketing), Frank Hopper (product management), Kerry Johnston (marketing), David DeHaven, Norio Ikawa (eng., sales), Deb Stockman (marketing - the best organized person I've ever worked with... and a great friend), Jeff Hedlesky (sales & marketing), Steve Faure (software engineering), Gary Pember (marketing),Elanor Hopper (marketing assistant), Woody Nelson (Test/Debug), John Nelson (iPresident and COO), (Dennis Huffman (VP Finance), Rick Estest (operations), Jeff Shannon (operations), Stan Evans (finance), Steve Worrell (CFO), Janette Gorsuch (CFO), Mark Ohm (CFO), Teresa Messerly (HR), Darlene Shoop (AR), Jeremy Fleming (tech support and compatibility lab), Doug Johnson (sales), Don "Gus" Gustafson (my oldest Macintosh friend and a great international salesperson), Steve Ratzlaff (one of my first college roommates and the guy who hired me at Newer), Phil Neufeld (an excellent level headed software engineer and friend), James Wiebe (What can I say? The man with the original vision. The person willing to take a risk with a petroleum geologist. Thanks for the opportunities and the memories), Jack Putnam (awesome man who taught me the necessity of humility... and a great engineering Project Manager), Darryl Hinshaw (an old friend and a great engineer. If I could envision it he could design it), Larry Runyan (quiet, efficient and awesome engineer), Pete Millett (exactly what I would be like if I was a real engineer), Ben Mickaelian (intense, caring and dedicated to the success of the Mac), Steve Jackman (friendly, concerned, caring and quick witted), Scott Summers (the best debugger I've ever encountered and a great musician), Jack Morton (looked like Santa Claus and really knew how to design plastic molds), Mary Kay Solomon (no she doesn't drive a pink car. An awesome lady, a great cook and keen probing mind and a willingness to travel to like no one I've met before), Margie Wolfslau (a fixture around Newer. Smart, funny and dedicated to producing the finest products available), Daniel Carasso (made Paris fun for my wife and I and helped Gus).
I'm nearly finished. I would like to take a moment to recognize a few outstanding people in the Macintosh business. These are people at peer companies or within the press. They have all been extremely helpful to either myself or Newer over the years. They are the some of the real champions in the Mac business:
Scott Schaefer (Technosphere), Pat Lee (Dantz), Scott Anderson (Meltdown), Caren Anhder (Media100), Paul Babb (Maxon), Roger Bates (Bates Software & LaCie), David Biedney (IDIG), Henry Bortman (Editor), Mike Breeden (XLR8YourMac.com), Kurt Christensen (VersionTracker.com), Raines Cohen (Editor), Colin Crawford (Publisher), Cameron Crotty (Editor), Allan Davidson & Jan Ziff (Cybercasters), Jim Davis (CNet), Lark Doley & Roger Storer (Second Wave), Thierry Doyen (several companies), Skip Elsheimer (Alien Skin), Cheryl England (Editor), John Engler (MacNN.com), David and Don Engstrom (MacSpeedZone.com), Vince Fidele (VST), Mike Flaminio (insanely-greatmac.com), Ric Ford (Macintouch.com), Susan Ford (Publisher), Jon Garber (Connectix), Richard Haddock (Haddock Computer Center), Michael Harris (Irez), David Hauer (The Macintosh Bible), Nobuyuki "Nobi" Hayashi (Editor), Shin-ichi Hirasawa (Editor), Stephan Inoue (Adobe), George Jardine (Adobe), Mark Jeffries (Genentech), Dennis Jenkins (Beta Tester Extraordinary), Manooch Khajeh (Mac Wireless), Steve Kiene (MindVision), Shawn King (The Mac Show), Tom King (CompuTalk Radio), Ed Klemz (Central Coast), David Lawrence (Online Today), Steve Lemke (Radius and Palm), Rick LePage (Editor), Louis Lerman (Silicon Workbench), Bob Levitus (Editor), Sol Lewin (IBM), Owen Linzmayer (Editor), Bill Machrone (My favorite PC Editor), Keith Martin (Editor), Deke McClelland (Photoshop Bible), Mike Mihalik (LaCie), Jeffy Milstead (Editor), Rob Art Morgan (Barefeats.com), Hidenobu Mori (Editor), Henry Norr (Editor), JASON O'GRADY (go2mac.com), Frank Paniagua (Eskape Labs), Bill Pederson (Pilot Technologies), David Read (Editor), Andre Rocke (Bitheadz), Susan Saul (Saul International), Ian Shortreed (Mercury Software), David Small (Scientific Placement), Rick Smolan (Against All Odds), Kai Staats (Terra Soft Solutions), Jeff Thompson (Peripheral Enhancements Corp.), Jerry Tovo (Kodak), Zack Uribe (Connectix), Isaac Van Kempen (Divio), David Weiss (Editor), Keith Woodard (MicroFrontier), Takeyoshi Yamada (Editor), George Zachopoulos (Unibrain), Doug Zartman (Bungie), and thousands of others. I owe all these people a great debt of thanks.
Nearly done! I would like to thank my family. I believe I may have the world's most patient wife, Leah. She is beautiful, kind, loving, intelligent, and a wonderful mother to our two sons, Joel and Jake. They have all been so understanding over the years as my job has removed me from them so often. I love them with all my heart and I don't know how I could have made it without them.
Finally, I wish to take a moment and thank God! I have never made it a secret that I believe in God. He/she/it has been my rock. I have drawn comfort and support over the years. I am so very grateful for all the wonderful opportunities that have been afforded to me. I wish it wasn't ending but that just means that something new is about to start. With God at the center of what I do I am sure that I will continue to experience a fascinating and highly enjoyable life. I hope that I have the opportunity to cross paths with many of you in the future.
Never lose faith! Never lose hope! Never give up! Enjoy life and have some fun.
Oh yeah... Long live the Mac!!!!!!!!
With my kindest thoughts and prayers for everyone,
Roger Kasten Jr.