Someone in the Forum grabbed this Ambigram by Scott Kim off the web to use as their avatar. It’s been a few years since I saw it so I thought I’d tell you the story.
Many years ago–maybe 1992–I was invited to a ‘thinktank’ for a proposed computer game company called Rocket Science. At the time there was a strong feeling among intelligent creative people that computer and video games had the potential to be more than just mindless shoot-’em-ups. (This was strongly reminescent of the early days of MTV when a comparable feeling existed about music videos!) A group of clever types got together at a retreat in Napa to talk about the possibilities. Among the invitees was Scott Kim, a brilliant mathemetician, graphic artist and puzzle designer. But at the time I had never heard of Scott.
The first evening of the event, were all at a fine restaurant seated at a long table. I was at one end. Halfway through the meal a man walked over to my end and put a paper napkin in front of me with my name ‘Thomas’ written on it. He said nothing. I thanked him. He just stood there patiently. I looked again at the napkin, stared at it, and then it dawned on me. I turned it upside down and now it said ‘Dolby’! Scott had come up with it as we sat there at dinner.
Scott was kind enough to let me use it on my Flat Earth Society web site. Later we ended up living about 4 miles away from each other on the California coast, and every now and then I bump into him and his wife the talented Amy.
BTW Rocket Science was a spectacular supernova of a company that blew through hundreds of millions of dollars in VC money then exploded leaving nothing more than a smouldering crater. Its greatest achievement was a game called Obsidian, which was revered by a handful of quirky gamers but failed to ignite in the commercial marketplace. However, it’s where the founders of WebTV met, which led me to Steve Hales, creator of the Beatnik Audio Engine; also where I met Andrew Rostaing, now chief engineer at Beatnik; and indirectly resulted in Danger Inc, who make my favourite PDA/phone.