Joshua D. Wachs: CreativeCOW Contributing Editor
COW Leaders : Joshua D. WachsCreative COW Web Writer, Contributing Editor
Joshua Wachs has been merging creativity and technology for the last 16 years. In 1987, after graduating from Emerson College with a degree in Mass Communications, he founded a Massachusetts custom database development and consulting company. He had two choices: work for a local radio station for $15 a week or write custom software for $15 an hour. The rest is history. For more than 12 years, Wachs was President, CEO, and visionary behind Natural Intelligence, Inc. Known nationally and internationally for its innovative custom technology, Natural Intelligence was recognized for pioneering software in the Java world, creating Roaster, a first-to-market Java Development Environment for the Macintosh, QuickCodePro, a programmer’s editor, Easy4D, set of programming templates and reports, and DragStrip, an award winning desktop utility. All four products were acquired in the late '90's.
Over the years, clients included Fortune Magazine, JP Morgan, Liberty Mutual, Bausch and Lomb, Fidelity Investments, Massachusetts General Hospital, Aquent, NEUCO, Genome Therapeutics, University of Notre Dame, SONY, and The National Basketball Association. Additionally, the company was successful in developing strategic partnerships with Apple, Sybase, ACIUS, Oracle and Allaire Corporation. Natural Intelligence was also at the forefront of innovations in publishing online information resources, including "Roasted Java News" and "Intelligence.Com."
Natural Intelligence was also acclaimed for its unique and often imitated Developer Apprentice Program, a pro-active recruiting initiative that included on-site training and education for software engineers, who were paid in conjunction with their apprenticeship. DAP’ers were trained not only in the latest technologies, but also groomed as professional consultants. This resulted in attracting applicants from Ivy League schools, as well as other talented individuals in a highly competitive job market.
In 1996, Wachs began to redirect the company from a database client-services company to an Internet technology company, which included e-commerce and website development consulting. He created and led an advisory board to provide counsel during the transformation of the company to reflect the dynamic changes taking place in the industry. In early 1999, Wachs began to evaluate several strategic acquisition options, and in June of 1999, sold the company to Circle.com, a division of Snyder Communications. A successful IPO followed four months later. Wachs served as Chief Technology Officer and Executive Vice President of Circle.com until he left in March in 2001 to join a new startup, Affinnova. Affinnova's technology applies the theory of evolution to product design and let's consumers provide unique insights on holistic designs and helping evolve products that will survive and thrive in the marketplace. Although he plays many roles at Affinnova, Wachs currently is the Director of Marketing and Communications and reports directly to the CEO.
Despite demanding career activities, Wachs is an active participant in a wide variety of community activities. He was an early supporter and contributor to a variety of industry volunteer networks, including The Boston Computer Society. He was a member of the YEO (Young Entrepreneurs Association), is on the Board of Directors for Voice of the Turtle, Treasurer of Yankee Volleyball (Local chapter of USA Volleyball), a corporate sponsor of Public Radio, and volunteers technological assistance to Brandeis Hillel and New Words Bookstore. Wachs has also received an Environmental Protection Award from the city of Cambridge. He is a recipient of the '40 Under 40' Award from the Boston Business Journal.So why is Wachs involved in digital video? When asked he made it clear: "What I really want to do is direct."
Articles by Joshua D. Wachs