Gaymond Schultz graduated in 1963 with a degree in electrical engineering. He went on to a successful career in the development and manufacture of computer and telecommunications equipment. Among his accomplishments, he founded and was vice president of engineering at Stratacom, a telecommunications company. The company was involved in the development, manufacture, and standardization of wide area data networking equipment that used the digital telecommunications infrastructure. Cisco Systems purchased Stratacom in 1996. Schultz also founded Vina Technologies, which provided cutting-edge technology in multiservice broadband access. The technology allows delivery of multiple voice and data services over one high-speed Internet line. Vina Technologies merged with Larscom Inc. in 2003. Schultz also founded and was vice-president of Engineering for Seaport Imaging, a leading manufacturer of image processing equipment and software.
Most Memorable Career Moment
Product developments. In the case of Stratacom, the company was working to develop voice-recognition software. In particular, they were working to determine when voices started and stopped, using a simple algorithm based on energy output of the voice. They were pleased when the initial system worked great in the lab. Unfortunately, they had to re-do everything when the system left their male-dominated lab for the marketplace. They discovered it often didn’t work for female voices.
“The best moments were when you thought you could make it work, and the worst were when you thought you couldn’t make it work,” said Schultz. “But, I’ve enjoyed everything I’ve done.”
Advice to students
When you graduate from college, find a job at a company that will provide a good mentor for you.
“You want to pick a quality company,” he says. “You want to work with someone who wants to spend time bringing you along and who recognizes that you are growing in your career. That’s way more important than salary.”
Starting a company right after college would be difficult. One needs business relationships and customers. A lot of good ideas also come out of working in industry. “You have to immerse yourself to get that level of confidence.”
Those who want to start a business need to be able to answer four questions, said Schultz. The potential entrepreneur needs to know what their product is, who will buy it, why they’ll buy it, and why the business will succeed. “They seem like simple questions, but they sure are hard to answer sometimes.”
Gaymond Schultz with Entrepreneurship Students