(Unclear) Did you do the prom and all this sort of thing?$$I worked, worked the night of the prom. Interesting, I was, I never went to a graduation until I got my Ph.D. So I wouldn't go. I didn't go the high school graduation, didn't go to the my college graduation, didn't go to my master's, didn't go until I got my Ph.D.$$Okay, now was that a conscious decision?$$It's a conscious decision.$$So you had tracked yourself to go after a Ph.D.--$$No, no, actually, when I first got my high school, when I got my high school, when it was time to graduate and I was just, I just, just would challenge myself. I said, anybody can get a high school education. That's not really anything that be all that proud of, you know. Why am I rushing to go to this thing? And I didn't have a date, and I mean that's probably one of my main reasons why I didn't go. Then it kind of followed through to college. I mean I, even though I got inducted into the National Honor Society in college, and I was like the only, maybe one, I was like only two black guys, you know, in the whole (unclear) class in my sophomore year. You know, I started, you know, starting to feel like, yeah, I was really starting to do something that wasn't that easy to do. And I really started to feel a little bit proud of myself, but I still wanted to keep that edge. And when it was time to go to graduation, I said, well, you know, any old clown can get a BS in electrical engineering, you know. And I had a job at NASA lined up. And so then I went to NASA and, you know, they, you know, they had on-campus program where, you know, the university professors came and taught at a univi--and taught at work. So we didn't have to leave work. We could (unclear) right at the on campus. I mean I didn't go to the campus till like, you know, I had to go pick up my diploma. And that was the first time I had to go on (unclear). So then I thought, nah, that's not like a real college experience. You know, I was making up these excused why I didn't go to graduation till I went to Georgia Tech. And that was the whole, I mean it was all about trying to keep pushing myself to the, you know, to my limits. And then the whole time I'm playing basketball, playing against D-1 [Division One Basketball] ballplayers, killing 'em. I mean like, I'm like, I can see how good I would a been because I filled out. I got bigger and stronger and faster at the same time. So I'm like playing against guys playing Division One right there, and I'm like twenty-two, twenty-three, and I'm killing 'em on the court. I'm faster, stronger, they can't check me. I can shut them down. So I was like, ah, you know, I coulda, you know, it was important to know that I could a, I coulda went to college and played D-1 ball And it was important to me to prove to myself. Again, that whole experience, when I learned not to let other people determine my value for my decisions. So I started only doing things for myself and being able to prove that I coulda played D-1 ball was a thing that I always wondered about. And then, but when I start, and then I got into my career at NASA, I came from Old Dominion [University, Norfolk, Virginia], and Old Dominion's okay for the Southeast coast, but NASA people are from Purdue [University, West Lafayette, Indiana] and Notre Dame [The University of Notre Dame, South Bend, Indiana] the Ohio State [University, Columbus, Ohio], University of Illinois, Urbana-Campaign [University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Urbana, Illinois], all these big, big schools. And here I got tossed back in that same familiar environment where I had to prove myself again which is just the right breeding ground for me to excel. And that first year, I won an award, an achievement award for saving the government like 300,000 dollars with an idea that I worked on.$$At Old Dominion?$$No, no, this is when I had just graduated from Old Dominion. And this is my first year at--$$Cleveland [Ohio]--?$$It's NASA Glenn [Glenn Research Center] now. It's NASA Glenn now. It was NASA Lewis [Lewis Research Center] at the time I was there. And that was actually a really interesting program because NASA purposely went out to create diversity in their recruitment. And so it was a whole bunch of us. And there used to be a picture at the, at--what's the Cleveland Airport? I can't think of it. Hopkins? Is it Hopkins or something?$$Yeah, I think so.$$Yeah, the Cleveland Hopkins Airport [Cleveland-Hopkins International Airport, Cleveland, Ohio] and it was a picture of the whole group. And I was the only one, always missing our group. I was always working and missed the photo shoot. But that whole group of people, it's interesting if you ever can get a copy of that and you track, you know, they went to the University of Puerto Rico [San Juan, Puerto Rico]. They got people from all over the country, from schools up in New York, if you track the careers of that group that came into NASA at that time, myself included, all of them are doing very well, very well. But at the time, it was an unpopular decision. They thought they were just, you know, these kids, you know, you just, they're just some sort of diverse, some sort of affirmative action, you know, number crunching thing. You know, these guys will never be successful, but everybody from that group, and it was like twenty or thirty of us because I know at least, at least ten personally. Almost all of us got our masters. Some got their Ph.D.'s. Some went on to be lawyers. In that whole group, and it was a very good program. I mean NASA should be very, very proud of themselves.$$(Unclear) There's a group that needed opportunities.$$Yeah, well, but just to give us an opportunity. Remember, all of us had graduated. We (unclear), you know, we had to have at least a 3.0 from a university. It was not like they were just, you know, throwing away the roads for us or anything like that. But we showed to have a lot more initiative and drive than some of the other folks.$How would summarize your experience at Nokia [Nokia Corporation, Nokia Research Center, Dallas, Texas] though? I guess, you left in 2004, but, to form your own company?$$Actually, I left to go to a start-up company, but, yeah, my experience was very positive. I mean I, leaving Nokia was the hardest thing I ever did because when I left, I was extremely happy. I mean I was, you know, I had just, you know, I had really just got my principal scientist. You know, I was trying to work on being a Nokia Fellow. I, you know, I was hot. I mean everyone knew me. There was, you know, even the guy, there were people on the board of Nokia that knew my name, you know, when I left. And so I wasn't unhappy. I mean I was quite, in fact, I was quite--all my friends were there, people I had worked with, some of my friends that I worked with at TI [Texas Instruments Incorporated] came over. So we had been working together, ten, twelve years. Then this, but I was, again, never quite one to just sit on my past laurels. And the guy who was the vice chair of the standard a S111G (unclear) which is the current Wi-Fi [Wireless Fidelity] products that you buy today, he started, who had, he started a start-up company and said, John, I need you, and I need you. And at the time, I thought, and I had a lot of respect for him at the time as an individual, as a, you know, as a technologist. And we had worked through some critical battles doing the standard procedure. And I thought it was somebody I could trust. And so I decided to take a chance and start the start up thing. I would get offers all the time from people who wanted to come to their start-up companies. I still get offers from people to come work for their start-up companies. So he wanted me, he, he said, I could be, you know, you pick whatever position you want, you know, You can be vice president and anything but president because he was the president. I could be anything I wanted, you know, I had like free rein because he needed my reputation to give the team credibility because I was known in the industry. And everyone knew, you know, I had the book and things like that.$$So this is the WiQuest Communications [Allen, Texas]?$$Yes.$$Okay. And they're in Allen, Texas. So you had to move from--$$Really, it's not that far from here.$$All right--.$$So, and it wasn't a move so to speak. I just started driving to a different location.$$Because Nokia's in the area too.$$Nokia's is the area too, just in a different direction.$$Okay.$$WiQuest is probably about five or ten minutes somewhere--they moved recently, somewhere from this location. And Nokia is a good hour away.$$All right. So, well, how did things go at WiQuest?$$It didn't, it didn't turn out as well I'd liked. One of the things you find out when you work for people that are privately owned, a company, because it's privately owned, they can do what they want to, you know. They can do whatever they like. It turned out that, you know, the person that I left the company, left Nokia to go work for because I thought he was an honest and upright person, turned out that he wasn't as honest and upright as I thought he was. And it put me in a situation where I had to make a choice that, whether or not, you know, could I continue to work with him? He, there was a situation where the chip wasn't going out on time. He had made promises to the board that I had no control over. I was telling him, you know, if we were behind, that we needed more people. When you get, you know, people working sixty and seventy hours, it's a breeding ground to make mistakes. I was communicating to him that things needed, we needed help and I needed more senior people. I had only fresh out (unclear) people in there. And I was working to wire, and I'm tired, they're tired. It just, we just need, you know, you just need more horses. You know, to pull this cart. But they were trying to run the cart as fast as possible with as few horses as possible to keep the same money. And so to me that was a conscious decision on their part. And then my thought was, if you don't, do that gamble, and you get a chip out that, and with this reduced cost and you get bare gains at the end when the company sells, but if you, if it fails, then you take the responsibility as the management that decided that I was gonna play my card this way. But they tried to have a scapegoat. And so when it failed, for all the things that I said that might happen, did happen, and then they tried to get, point the blame on me, even though it was someone that worked on my team but wasn't working for me at the time. So they just needed someone, they couldn't blame him. He was too low on the totem pole for the board to say, well, why do you have a fresh-out determining why fifteen million is gonna be profitable or not profitable, right? They weren't gonna tell the board that they made the mistake because then the board would replace them. So they needed someone high enough up that, you know, to show that, and all they did, they tried to demote me. Basically, I told them my requirements for me to go to work at this company was I would only report to the president because that's the only person I knew. So he tried to demote me so he can show to the board that, you know, hey, I got this situation under control. They didn't say it was my fault, but they tried to infer it was my fault. He really knew I didn't do it, and the fact turned out, it was done before I even got there. And he wanted to infer that he did that and that was coming right at the time where I took a seventy-five percent pay cut for six months to help the company through the troubled waters. And that came right, you know, once they got the money, you know, you do these things because you think people are committed to you just like you're committed to them. It taught me a valuable lesson and in the middle of our conversation, he couldn't even look me in the eye like I'm looking you in the eye. But if you think I was the one that really failed you, you could tell me, John, you, you know, I brought you on, you're supposed to have been, you know, this hot shot guy, yada, yada, yada. And he, he's looking down at the floor, looking at the ceiling, can't look me in the eye because he can't be proud of himself. But see that goes back to lessons I learned when I was a kid. Don't do anything that you can't stand tall and own up to later on. You know, I could sit right there and look him in the eye and say, well, what is, what's going on? And so then they had put me in this situation where this is the first point in my career I would have failed, my whole career. I mean and then did it so haphazardly, they could care less how it affected me personally or whatever. And, in fact, they did it with vengeance in their minds. They really wanted me, they thought I, you know, up until that point I was hands-off because I was so important to the company. In fact, I was on the web page at one point. I mean I was, I was in their executive summary by name. There were only two names in the executive summary, there was the president and my name in the executive summary when the company started, the only two names mentioned in the executive summary. That's how important I was to start out with. And here they were trying to put me in a situation where I was gonna report to somebody ten years less than me.