The Ken Roberts Company – Up In Smoke

kensmokebig.jpgThe Ken Roberts Company has closed up shop. I don’t really want to go into the details because a) I don’t want to get sued and b) I don’t think I could do it justice in a post. Let’s just say that in my career of working for 3 internet startups (which involved lawsuits, fraud, equipment theft, mergers, layoffs, incompetent management, shady real estate deals, and an angel investor who was on the FBI’s 10 Most Wanted List), my Ken Roberts Company experience topped them all.

So, I’ve returned to the exotic life of a Ronin Codeslinger. This time around it’s going much better because now I actually have some contacts and like-minded freelancers to work with.

A good chunk of my time is taken up as a contracter for, an eBay rival started right here in Grants Pass. Even though they’ve been around since 1998 (pre-dating most auction sites), they’re really going through the whole startup process again from the beginning. We’re doing a complete site rewrite/upgrade using PHP, Smarty, and adodb and it’s by far some of my best work (no, the current site which looks like something from the stoneage is not the site I’ve been working on).

In addition, I’ve been contracting for TOVI, a company I had contact with while working for Ken Roberts. I always like their computational approach to commodity trading and I had the pleasure (no really, that’s not sarcasm) or doing most of the design and coding of their calculation engine.

Finally, I’ve been doing work on my own in the Social Networking field on several products that I think are non-existent but needed in the market place. Just today I managed to get past a problem that was really bugging me and holding up development, so I hope to have something presentable soon.

But, I’m also looking for other work that could utilize my rather unique talents. Here’s my ad in the Grants Pass Daily Courier:

In 2004 a crack programmer was sent to a small Southern Oregon town to live out his days as a company drone. This man promptly escaped from a death-spiralling company to the Grants Pass Dutch Brothers Cafe. Today, still hunted by Indian H-1B Visa holders, he survives as a coder of fortune. If you have a problem, if no one else can help, and if you can find him, maybe you can hire the CrazyEngineer.

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One Response to “The Ken Roberts Company – Up In Smoke”

  1. Gary says:

    So whatever happened to the man who called himself Ken “Roberts”? I knew him from a class thing I used to go to up in Merlin, seems like he disappeared off the earth when he “sold” his company? Is he alive and well in Merlin or did he run off with a young thing or some such thing? Seemed like a nice guy back in the 90s.

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