From QuickBooks to Slow Food

Ridgely Evers doesn't just write software for businesses, he keeps starting them up

7 min read

For Ridgely Evers, developing new technology has never been an end in itself. In boarding school, technology got him out of waiting tables. In college, understanding technology was a means to world peace. In the 1980s, he preferred to write software than do bookkeeping, so he created an application that evolved into QuickBooks.

These days, Evers has his hand in a number of businesses—strategic consulting for large companies, developing cloud-based software for his own start-up, and running a 28-hectare commercial farm that grows, among other things, olives and grapes for DaVero Sonoma, a company he also owns, which produces gourmet olive oils and Italian wines. Farming is one process, he’s found, that technology cannot affect; plants simply have to grow themselves. And he’s just fine with that. "I really love and am proud of the diversity of my life," says Evers. "I never let myself get pigeonholed."

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Asad Madni and the Life-Saving Sensor

His pivot from defense helped a tiny tuning-fork prevent SUV rollovers and plane crashes

11 min read
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Asad Madni and the Life-Saving Sensor

In 1992, Asad M. Madni sat at the helm of BEI Sensors and Controls, overseeing a product line that included a variety of sensor and inertial-navigation devices, but its customers were less varied—mainly, the aerospace and defense electronics industries.

And he had a problem.

The Cold War had ended, crashing the U.S. defense industry. And business wasn’t going to come back anytime soon. BEI needed to identify and capture new customers—and quickly.

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