Community Learning Space

The infraNET Project and Faculty of Math, University of Waterloo

present ...

The 2002 J.W. Graham Medal Seminar

Trapped in Silicon Valley
During the Grand Chase


Peter Savich

Recipient of the 2002
J.W. Graham Medal in Computing & Innovation

Business Consultant, Overture Services, Inc.

Friday, June 14, 2002
2:30 p.m. - 4:00 p.m.

Davis Centre, Room 1302
University of Waterloo

Presentation archive


In 1988, I left Waterloo for Silicon Valley. Fourteen years later, I seem to have acquired the sort of business, legal, and technology experience that suggests an impending relapse of the Pretty Girl Syndrome. I'd like to say that all of this was part of some grand master plan of mine. But the truth is always more prosaic. You see, like most everyone else at the time in Silicon Valley, I woke up to find myself running breathless during the Grand Chase of 1996-2000. Being blessed with two feet and a working pair of lungs, I ran, and so have my Internet stories to tell. But what were we chasing? One thing we were chasing was scale and speed. Scale and speed have their place, as all things do. But sometime after the bubble had burst, I realized that beauty is found in the small, and grace in the slow. And I learned that happiness is a math equation for which scale and speed are not variables. In any event, it always comes down to math.

Peter Savich

Peter Savich received his B. Math. (1985) and M. Math. (1987) from the University of Waterloo and Doctor of Jurisprudence (1991 Order of the Coif - top 10%) from the Stanford Law School. Mr. Savich began his career as a software developer of computer litigation support software with Fenwich & West, Palo Alto, CA (1989-91, 1993-95), LegalWare, Inc., Toronto, Canada (1987-88) and Fasken & Calvin, Toronto, Canada (1988). During this time he started pursuing law at the Stanford Law School. From 1992-96, Peter was an Associate Attorney (Fenwick & West, Palo Alto, CA, and Latham & Watkins, San Francisco, CA) dealing with intellectual property, including licensing, partnering, litigation, and registration. In 1996, he became Director of Business & Legal Affairs, VXTREME, INC., Sunnyvale, California, where he was responsible for all company legal matters and specific business initiatives. From 1997-99, he was Business Development Director, Microsoft Corp. where he specified the MSN Shopping strategy, introduced the Microsoft telecom platform to strategic CLECs and secured technology partners for Microsoft NetShow. In 1999, he joined RIVIO Inc. as Chief Strategist, where he handled strategic initiatives in the areas of financing, cost control, mergers and acquisitions, human resources, product development, engineering, legal and marketing. He is currently a business consultant assisting with strategic and organizational matters concerning business direction, product design, and intellectual property.

Peter will receive the J.W. Graham Medal in Computing and Innovation at convocation at the University of Waterloo on June 15, 2002.

For more information

Shirley Fenton
The infraNET Project
Computer Systems Group, University of Waterloo
(519) 888-4074

Seminar Sponsorship

This seminar is sponsored by the Faculty of Mathematics and The infraNET Project, University of Waterloo.

The infraNET Project, initiated by the University of Waterloo in 1996, is a partnership to advance Web and Internet technologies. Its founding partners are: INFORIUM, MKS, Open Text, RIM, Sybase (Waterloo) and Waterloo Maple.

We also gratefully acknowledge the assistance of the Institute for Computer Research, University of Waterloo.