Bio (not as boring version)

(updated 9/11/13)

I was born in 1970. Since then, I’ve been lucky enough to be able to do a lot of fun things:

I learned to program on an Apple ][+, and got my first job as a programmer for an Apple II clone manufacturer.

I went to college at Caltech when I was 13. At the time, I was the youngest student ever admitted there. I might still hold that dubious distinction, for all I know.

At Caltech, I met a lot of smart and creative people. I learned a lot and also screwed up a lot.

I took classes from world class professors like Kip Thorne, and then proceeded to waste that opportunity by goofing off and skipping classes. I mean… Richard Feynman had this unofficial class he called “Physics X” where anyone could drop by and ask him questions about anything, and I only went once! If I had it all to do over again, I’d make a lot more of the opportunities I had at Caltech, but none of us ever gets a do-over in life.

In college, I spent summers doing research on computer vision algorithms using neural networks.

During grad school, I did more neural network research and I got a chance to think about the fundamental thermodynamic limits of computation (kind of boring unless you are in the field. email me if you are curious).

I also spent a lot of time DJing, mostly in cities across the midwest, and was lucky enough to play alongside personal heroes like Claude Young, Dan Bell, Baby Ford, Richie Hawtin, Mark Broom, Alan Oldham, Paul Johnson, and more. Looking back, it was a kind of magical time.

During that same time, I also did this weird thing where I would post what I ate for lunch on the internet every day. At first, I did it through my finger information, and then later through the web. I only mention it because people still occasionally ask me if I was the guy who used to post what he ate for lunch (as you can see in the comments below).

My first “real” job was at General Magic, where I got to work with amazing people like Andy Hertzfeld, Darin Adler, John Sullivan, and Kevin Lynch.

Kevin recruited me over to Macromedia, which is the only other “real” job I’ve ever had. At Macromedia:

I helped create Dreamweaver 1.0, which was an amazing experience with an amazing team.

I met the woman of my dreams on that team, and married her.

I served as Macromedia’s representative to the W3C working group on CSS.

I later became manager of the Dreamweaver team, and then went on to run engineering for the entire HTML division.

I was able to start several projects at Macromedia, some of which succeeded and some of which didn’t see the light of day.

The last project I worked on at Adobe (who acquired Macromedia) was to work on Flex Builder, Flash Catalyst, and other Flex related things with an incredibly talented group of people. I eventually ended up leaving but I like to think I made a difference before I left.

After leaving Adobe, I spent some time tinkering around with various projects. One was a small iPhone project which people seem to like. One was a new IDE for HTML/PHP/Ruby/JavaScript guys (kind of like Coda crossed with IntelliJ IDEA) which never saw the light of day. I started yet another project, but it’s still sitting on the shelf in an unfinished state.

I eventually decided to spend 100% of my time on a startup with Mike Schiff. It’s called Phile, and it launched November of 2010.

As of Spring 2012, I decided to stop working on Phile and ended up at a place called Medium with a bunch of people who are all amazing. I learn new stuff from them every day.

Oh, and I’m still married to the woman of my dreams and I have two wonderful kids now.

17 Responses to “Bio (not as boring version)”

  1. Shelley Engel

    did you go to Purdue unidversity????


  2. Keith Pape

    to shelley – yes he did – read the boring version.

  3. sho

    Thanks, keith. :-)

    For those keeping score at home, Shelly and I were able to connect via email. She’s an old friend from college.

  4. jignesh


    Its not that much boring, lol

  5. Jodi Engen Flynn

    Hi Sho,

    I think I went to elementary school with you at Madrona. I remember you just being gone one year (maybe after third grade) and I really missed you. I always wondered what happened to you. Now I am married and have 3 sons who now go to Madrona. Mr Shaffner is still there and had asked me if I new what had happened to you. So… I just wanted to say hello and I will pass on your website to Mr. Shaffner. Hope you are well!

  6. Craig

    Hey, Sho. Good to see that you’re doing well. I really miss the music that you used to play around Detroit.

    I gotta say that for those that don’t know, Sho was probably one of the baddest DJ’s around when he was playing around Detroit. Heck, he’s probably one of the only ones that could give Hawtin a run for his money during his heyday. ;)

  7. Alex

    Let’s tinker on some projects in the real estate world! Thanks for the link!

  8. Ncu

    Don’t you regret not going the DJ path?! :D Richie is still rolling… :).

  9. sho

    Naw. I’d never have been successful as Richie. I think I was good, but I don’t have his level of talent (or dedication).

  10. Bill

    Are you the same Sho Kuwamoto who ran “Sho’s Lunch Server” back in the day? You must be.

  11. Sho

    Yup. That’s me.

  12. Bill

    Fantastic. I was in Boston during that time, and was on vrave as well with other Boston people. I remember you from there as well, if my memory serves correct. You were something like “djsho” or “shodj” or just “sho”?

  13. Sho

    Yup, that was me bill. I think I was just sho.

  14. Chandra

    Hi Sho, I’m a fellow Lloydie, class of ’90. I remember chatting with you about physics, and I ended up staying in physics (although I was a EE at Caltech), and now I teach at Georgia Tech. I enjoyed reading your bio, as I’ve been curious about other Caltech folks, with whom I’ve mostly lost touch. Great to see what you’ve been up to, all the best,

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