How's that for a dramatic headline?

Groupy is a new program from Stardock that does something so simple that, in hindsight, seems like it should have always been part of the OS.  It allows users to drag windows together and create a single tabbed window.

Like so:


A few years ago at CES, I showed a prototype of it to Mary Jo Foley, Paul Thurrott, Brad Sams and others.  The motivation to create Groupy came from the frustrating of having lots of windows open (a very filled taskbar) but wanting to group my windows together based on what the user was working on.  The little CES demo focused on Explorer and Office (as we had that kind of working at that point) to show how useful it would be to be able to group the two together into a single, maximized window.   Fast forward 4 years and now Groupy is here!

Groupy is super compelling whether you are using a single monitor or, like me, have 4 monitors. 

Let me describe my workflow and hopefully you will see how obviously transformative it is:

Group 1: Development Task (Perforce + Visual Studio + Explorer + CMD)


One of the ways Groupy transforms your work flow is that you start to think in terms of TASKS instead of APPS.  If my task is development, I will end up with a command prompt, an explorer window, source control and Visual Studio.

Group 2: The Office task


Over the course of the day I end up with lots of Office windows up.  I will often attach an explorer window to these as well if I'm dealing with a lot of images (like when I types up my Christmas letter).

Group 3: The communication task


So I've got Skype, Slack, Discord and email open.  I use Windows key ~ here to quickly hot-key between the tabs (once I'm set up, it's all hot keys, I rarely click on actual tabs).

Group 4: My Chrome task


Wait what? Doesn't Chrome already have tabs? Yep.  However, here's the problem, I quickly end up with a bunch of duplicate Chrome windows because I can't find an existing window.  Now, just put them into categories. 

Here I have my Google Calender, Gmail, Surfing, Google Docs and Reddit tabs.  Within each one might be only 1 tab (like for the Calendar) or several (Google Docs).  Sometimes I end up with an Edge tab too if I'm going through PDFs.  On my Surface Pro, it's all via Edge as MS Edge is awesome on my Surface Pro 4.

A paradigm shift

Now, how I use Groupy is different from how someone else will.  The art team frequently has Adobe Photoshop + Premiere + Aftereffects grouped together.  I've seen Maya and some custom tools grouped together.

Back in the day, OLE and COM were thought of as technologies that would help bring about task based computing. The idea behind OLE is that we would do task based work and only have a small piece of the other program loaded.  Thus, if you wanted to work on a spreadsheet inside of MS Word, you could and you'd only use up a little bit of memory.  It never worked as well in practice as the theory.  The point being, it's been well understood that task-based computing is the way of the future. The problem has been execution.

OLE and such were developed during the time when 16 MEGAbytes was considered a lot of memory.  Today, most users have over 4 GIGAbytes of memory so the idea of futzing around with components of other programs (who hasn't groaned when they've tried to paste an Adobe Photoshop image into a Word know what I'm talking about!) is a little archaic.

With Groupy, you get your task based computing.  You just drag the apps together and group them.  And with that grouping, the task based desktop has arrived.

Try Groupy yourself at

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From the people who brought you Fences, Start8, ObjectDock, DeskScapes, and countless other amazing programs comes a new one that will transform the way you use your PC: Groupy.

At any given moment, people have a lot of windows open. 

Maybe it's a few Explorer windows, a couple of Excel spreadsheets, maybe a a Word document or a PowerPoint presentation.  Maybe they're working with Adobe Premiere and After Effects and a few other windows.  In any event, dealing with all these windows can get to be quite a mess. So what's the solution?

The answer is: Stardock Groupy, the program that lets you treat all your windows the same way you are now used to treating browser windows -- put them them together with each window given its own tab.

Example 1: Got lots of Explorer windows?


No problem:


Example 2: So many spreadsheets

Lots of people end up with several Microsoft Office apps running that can easily get misplaced, especially if you have multiple monitors.  Groupy fixes that.


Just put them together.


Example 3: For the Adobe power user

Many artists are familiar with working between the various amazing Adobe applications.  Navigating between them adds up over time.


Instead, just put them together.  Now you can switch between tabs with the Win-~ key instantly.


Now it acts as a single app.  If you need to pull them apart, no problem - just drag the tab off like you would with a browser window.

Example 4: Chrome and Edge living together in harmony

Do you find yourself using multiple web browsers occasionally?  Groupy can help with that, too.


Groupy supports tabs within tabs.


Edge and Chrome are now acting as a single web browser.

Example 5: Mix and Match

Maybe you are a power user or developer who has a diversified mix of applications in use to get a job done.  No problem, Groupy will let you group any window with another window.


And to ungroup, just drag the tab off from the group.

It's both the simplest app and most useful app you may ever buy.  Get it now as part of Stardock's award-winning Object Desktop suite of utilities at today.


Are you an active Object Desktop owner?
Get access to the Groupy beta today by logging into your Stardock Account. If you can't remember the email you used to purchase Object Desktop with, check out this helpful post.

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Note: This post was originally written by my friend Steven Den Beste who passed away last year. This will be a series of articles designed to preserve his writing for future readers to enjoy the way I did.

The Human Eye: A design review

Occasionally I see creationists point to the human eye as a miracle of design, as if this somehow is evidence of divine origin for the human form. Unfortunately, from an engineering perspective, the human eye is seriously suboptimal. It simply isn't that good a design.

When I was in college, I studied Computer Science. At my alma mater, that was taught by the Department of Mathematics, which of course was part of the College of Science. So while my friends who were majoring in Electrical Engineering, in the College of Engineering, were taking Statics and Dynamics, I was taking a Science curriculum, and I studied Physics and Zoology.

One term of Zoology was Vertebrate Physiology, and as a promising engineer who has always been entranced by science anyway, I found it fascinating. One of the things we studied was the vertebrate eye. And I was appalled by what I found. Frankly, not only is it not a wonderful design; on the contrary it's one of the worst designed mechanisms in the body. (It contrasts, for instance, with the sheer elegance of the design of the kidney.)

So let's do what we engineers refer to as a design review on the human eye, and discover what happens.

It may seem obvious, but we start with a formal declaration of the function the system is supposed to perform: to receive and process light of several frequencies in order to derive information about the environment, while using as little mass as possible to do so.

Because of this statement of function, it becomes clear that the critical component of the system is the retina.

The retina is a thin film of tissue a bit larger than a postage stamp which covers the inside surface of the eyeball away from the lens. It consists of light sensing cells embedded in a support matrix of epithelial cells, along with an array of blood capillaries which bring in nourishment and carry away wastes so that all these cells don't die.

And right away, the flaws begin. The vertebrate retina is a terrible design. The optic nerve comes into the eyeball at a certain point, and the nerve fibers spread out across the surface of the retina. Each individual nerve fiber reaches its assigned point, burrows down into the retina through several layers of epithelial cells, and ends with the light receptor itself pointing away from the lens of the eye, which is the direction from which the light must come. As a result, incoming light strikes the surface of the retina and must penetrate through multiple layers of inactive cells and then through the body of the nerve itself before it reaches the active point where it might be detected. This both diffuses and attenuates the light, decreasing the efficiency of the retina in accomplishing its function.

It's possible to do this better. We know this because the mollusc eye does it right. In the mollusc eye (typified by the octopus, squid and chambered nautilus, all of which have excellent vision) the optic nerve spreads out under the retina, and each nerve burrows up through the retina and ends with the light sensor on the surface of the retina, pointing towards the lens. This means that there is no attenuation of the light before it reaches the active components. (Just incidentally, this also means that molluscs have no blind spot. Vertebrates have a blind spot because there are no light receptors at the location where the nerve passes through the retina.)

The mollusc design is completely practical, but vertebrates don't use it. Our design is second rate. This alone is sufficient to demonstrate the inelegance of our eyes, but the problems don't stop there.

Some mammals have found a kludge which ameliorates this poor design to some extent. Beneath the layer where the light sensors are, there's a reflective layer. If a given photon passes through the nerve and doesn't set it off, it reflects and is given a second opportunity on the way out. That's why the eyes of deer and cats seem to glow so brightly when you hit them with a flashlight at night; the light from your flashlight is reflecting off that layer. This substantially improves the sensitivity, though not to the level of the mollusc retina -- but primates (including humans) don't have this. So even among vertebrates, humans don't have the best design available.

Continuing on: like any camera, the eye requires a focusing mechanism to sort the light. Without it, it would be like a piece of film held directly under a lamp; exposed, but showing no detail.

At this point it's necessary to make a design tradeoff. There is a certain maximum density of light receptors possible in the physical retina. To get more receptors, the retina must be made larger.

There is a physical phenomenon in focusing systems called depth of field. What it means is that for any piece of film and a lens at a given distance from that film, there's a certain range of distances on the far side of the lens which will be in focus. Anything further away or closer in will be out of focus and blurry.

Generally speaking, if the lens is closer to the film, the in-focus depth of field will be greater, but the image will be smaller. If the lens is further away from the film, the image will be larger, but the range which is in focus will be smaller. That's why a camera which uses a small film frame close to its lens doesn't require a variable focus, while a large camera such as a 35 mm SLR must have one.

If our eye was small, we could get by with a fixed focus lens. But that would limit the number of light receptors too greatly. So our eyes use a much larger retina, which means that the lens must be further away, which forces it to have a variable focusing mechanism.

As is often the case in physical systems, scaling is not a linear process. There's a scaling principle known as cube-square which means that some physical properties increase as the square of the scaling factor, while others increase as the cube. (Actually, in some physical systems there are factors which scale as the fifth power.)

By making the eye twice as large in diameter, the retina becomes four times as large because its size is proportional to the surface area of the eyeball, which rises as the square. But the clear jelly which fills the eye (known as aqueous humor) is proportional to the volume of the eyeball, which rises as the cube. What this means is that as you increase the size of the eyeball, proportionally less of the mass is active (the retina) and more is passive (everything else). Since we'd like to get as much out the mass we invest, making the eye bigger is fundamentally undesirable.

In our eyes, the variable focus is accomplished by using a flexible somewhat-rubbery lens, and using muscles to pull on it to change its shape, making it thin or fat as necessary to change the focal length. And here we have our second major poor design, because this entire approach is faulty.

Among other reasons that it is poor is that as we grow older, that lens grows more stiff and less flexible, and we loose the ability to change it. That's why nearly everyone requires bifocals or trifocals when they grow older. The external lenses provide the ability to change focal lengths which the internal mechanism has lost.

But it isn't necessary to flex a lens to change focal lengths. A camera or binocular has a focusing mechanism, and their lenses are made of glass, which is one of the least flexible substances known. So how do they do it?

They use two lenses and move one relative to the other. And indeed that solution was possible in the vertebrate eye, because we also have two lenses. The other is the cornea. Instead of changing the shape of the lens, it could have been designed to move the lens with those same muscles. Then we wouldn't have required help as we grow older, since the muscles don't stiffen up the way the lens does. But that's not what we have; again we have a second rate solution.

That decision to use a large retina, with a long focal length focusing mechanism, has another side effect. In this case, it's referred to as width of field. In SLR terms, this is typified by the difference between a telephoto lens (which has a narrow field of view) and a wide angle lens (which has a wide one). By making a wide field system, more can be seen at once, but with worse accuity for any given object. By using a narrow field, less is seen at once, but what is seen is seen better. In order to get acceptable visual accuity in our eyes, it's necessary to have a fairly narrow field of view so that enough light receptors are applied to a given item for us to tell what it is. But survival requires being able to see everything around you, which seems to require a wide field of view. How to resolve that contradiction?

There are various answers possible, but the one chosen was to put the eyeball in gimbles, and here's where the design really falls apart. The spherical eye is placed in a socket of bone covered with tissue, and muscles are attached to rotate the eye in various directions. (Because of this, the eye is forced to be spherical, irrespective of whether that's really the optimal shape, which as it happens isn't even close to optimal.) Since like any moving part it has to be lubricated, tear glands are added, and to permit regular replacement of the lubricant and to drain off excess, you need large sinus cavities (also supported by bone and covered by flesh) and all of this makes the head heavier, so the bone of the neck has to be larger and stronger and more muscles are needed in the neck to support and move it, and when the smoke clears, you've invested more than a kilogram of mass all told to support active retinal area the size of two postage stamps. The efficiency of the design is ludicrous. Far too much mass is being used to far too little effect.

Where did the design go wrong? Sometimes in engineering when we end up with a monstrosity like this, we have to retreat to the beginning and start questioning really fundamental decisions. In some cases they are so fundamental that we don't even realize that we made them. That's what we have to do here.

The critical question turns out to be this: Why are there only two eyes?

When it became necessary to increase the amount of retinal area, this design did it by scaling up two eyes, resulting in a small increase in retinal area but a huge increase in dead weight due to nonlinear scaling. That's where the design went wrong.

Look at all the inherent advantages of a small eye: High mass efficiency (high proportion of mass dedicated to retinal area relative to a larger eye) no variable focusing mechanism needed (saving weight), wide field of view (removing the need for a gimble system, leading to still more savings of mass and furtherincreases in efficiency). Against this is the single disadvantage that the absolute amount of retina is too small.

But by scaling two eyes to increase retinal area we fall into all the design traps described above.

What if instead we doubled the number of eyes? Doing so would double the amount of mass used and also double the amount of retina. It scales linearly!

If we need twenty times as much retinal area, why not use twenty times as many small eyes instead of two really huge ones?

Again, we know this is possible because it actually exists in the real world in living animals. In fact, again the molluscs are one example (where some clams have dozens of eyes). But better examples can be found among the spiders, some of which have eight eyes.

Take that big empty human forehead, which is going to waste now, and cover it with a big grid of tiny eyes. Spread some of them around on both sides on the temples, to provide peripheral vision. Not only is it more efficient, using far less mass to provide far more actual vision, but by increasing redundancy it makes it far harder to be blinded. (In some cases we invest extra mass to increase redundancy, but in this case we get increased redundancy by reducing mass. It's a double win.)

Now your first reaction is that such a person would be hideous. Well, beauty and ugliness are judgements which are genetically programmed into us. If everyone was like that, they'd think that one of us was ugly, too.

So why was it done the way it was? In a creationist scenario, the only possible answer is that God moves in mysterious ways which is simply another way of saying "Damned if I know." (Or worse, Man was created in God's Image which leads to the question of why God has such a lousy design...)

But evolution has an answer: We have two eyes because the fish from which we are descended had two eyes. Genetically speaking, it's far easier to change the shape of something than it is to create something entirely new. To take the fish eye and make it an animal eye, mutations were much more likely to alter the existing structure than to create something entirely new. That's because natural selection doesn't create perfect designs. It just creates things which are better than before, with no long range plan.

What we have makes perfect sense as the end product of a long sequence of incremental changes. However, it makes no sense at all as a unique design from scratch for this particular application.

If God designed the human eye from scratch for this application, then God is an incompetent engineer.

As I studied physiology, I found example after example of poorly designed mechanisms that didn't make sense as original designs, but which made perfect sense as modifications of previous structures which were used for different functions. That is most of what convinced me that evolution is correct and that creationism is fantasy.

Some other examples:

  • Why does the birth canal run through the middle of the pelvis?
  • Why does the backbone run down one side of the trunk instead of through the middle where it would be more balanced?
  • Why does the ankle attach at one end of the foot instead of in the middle?
  • Why are there toes?
  • Why is it that nearly every part of the brain is as far as possible from the piece of the body with which it is associated?
    • Why is the motor control center for the right side of the body on the left side of the brain, and vice versa?
    • Why is the vision center at the rear of the brain, as far from the eyes as possible -- and on the opposite sides?
  • Why is it that fully 90% of the genetic material we carry around is useless?
  • Why do we share a single canal through the neck through which we both breath and swallow?

Anyone who tries to claim that the human form is some sort of engineering marvel simply hasn't looked closely enough.

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If you don’t already have a subscription to Stardock Magazine, you can join at

My Twitter ID is

Our Twitch channel is (please subscribe there or they will beat me!)

Some screenshots:


WindowBlinds 10.5


Stardock Launcher


Fan shot of Escalation



Massive AI created fleet thanks to the new AI update.


The magazine will be going out by Monday!

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If you don’t already have a subscription to Stardock Magazine, you can join at

My Twitter ID is

Our Twitch channel is (please subscribe there or they will beat me!)

Some screenshots:


WindowBlinds 10.5


Stardock Launcher


Fan shot of Escalation



Massive AI created fleet thanks to the new AI update.


The magazine will be going out by Monday!

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Oct 27, 2016 9:59 PM by Discussion: Personal Computing



My desktop running WindowBlinds, DeskScapes, WindowFX, Fences, Start10 at 5K resolution


IconPackager, Tiles and more at 5K resolution


Object Desktop is a suite of desktop enhancement utilities designed to allow users to customize their Windows desktop to work however they want it to work.

The core components of it are:

  1. WindowBlinds – customize the Windows GUI
  2. Fences – organize your desktop
  3. IconPackager – customize your icons
  4. DeskScapes – customize your desktop background
  5. WindowFX – customize the UI behaviors

But that line up has changed as Windows has changed over the years as Windows has changed.

When Object Desktop first launched for Windows its 5 core parts were:

  1. WindowBlinds
  2. ControlCenter – virtual desktops
  3. IconPackager
  4. Tab LaunchPad – launching programs


Back then, the idea of “skinning” your Windows GUI was radical. 


By 2000, we had added a 5th item: DesktopX


DesktopX let us objectify the Windows desktop.  It was one of our most popular components.  Unfortunately, the Windows UAC (the security features built into Windows) eventually made DesktopX untenable because, by its very nature, it was designed to integrate executable code into the desktop which is the opposite of what Microsoft wanted to accomplish with its secure desktop initiative.

Windows XP Era

By 2004, Object Desktop had 3 years of Windows XP to be able standardize all its efforts on. This resulted being able to create Theme Manager which let users gain total control of the Windows desktop.




Object Desktop 2004

Windows Vista

Windows Vista was tough on Stardock and Object Desktop.  Microsoft pioneered a number of amazing technologies including Windows Presentation Foundation (WPF), XAML, Silverlight and more.  For two years, Stardock put a great deal of effort into creating an Object Desktop Vista.  This included a DesktopX that could import XAML and export sidebar objects, a version of WindowBlinds that would use WPF to create resolution independent windows and a desktop compositor and of course the animated wallpaper program, DeskScapes.

Unfortunately, two things happened.  First, Windows Vista did not replace Windows XP for most people. Second, Microsoft decided to change direction leaving its promising new technologies sidelined. 

Moreover, the new secure desktop, UAC, made it very hard to run DesktopX.


Object Desktop 2006

Windows 7

With Windows 7, Microsoft was back on course.   Stardock updated Object Desktop to version 2010. DesktopX was deprecated and in its place was Tweak 7 which gave users the ability to modify various largely hidden settings.


Tweak 7

Windows 8…sigh

For Object Desktop to thrive, it needs a single OS target.  This is very important.  Windows 8 split the Windows market.  It made Start8 possible (which became very popular) but it meant that any technology we developed would have to be aware that it might not work on most of our customers machines.



Object Desktop 2013 saw Start8 and Fences become the two stars of Object Desktop.  Neither program, however, was about customizing the look and feel of Windows as much as altering the way people work with Windows.


Windows 10

With Windows 10, Microsoft has created an OS that appears to be their new flagship.  It’s still new but it appears that it will be a stable platform for us to focus our Object Desktop development efforts.  This means we can potentially revisit bringing back apps that were broken on certain versions of Windows and get them on Windows 10.

The real question is, in the age of mobile computing, what is the use case of a Windows desktop (or laptop) PC?


Object Desktop 2017

Since the release of Object Desktop 2016, Stardock has added two new programs to Object Desktop:

  1. Multiplicity
  2. SpaceMonger

Neither customizes the desktop but rather focuses on what we are calling the Metadesktop.   Multiplicity lets you easily access your other desktops on other machines and SpaceMonger lets you manage your drive space on your desktop and cloud drives.

This represents the start of the next stage of Object Desktop. 

Let’s take a look at the core components now:


The hardest part of WindowBlinds development now is high DPI.  Many of the skins were designed when everyone was running much lower resolution.  WindowBlinds 10 nails high-DPI support but not all skins will play well with it.  This will be an ongoing evolution for WindowBlinds 10.


WindowBlinds 10



Animated wallpapers are pretty cool. And today, they use trivial amounts of resources.  When DeskScapes first came out, CPU use was a concern for animated desktops. Now, machines are so much faster it’s barely measurable.


DeskScapes 10: Animated wallpaper

Fences 3

Stardock released a new generation of Fences this year. 


Fences 3

But we have a lot of plans in mind for future versions of Fences.  For example, in the age of cloud storage, imagine being able to create fences to Google Drive folders? Or a Fence of your YouTube subscriptions? The mission of Fences, now that Windows 10 seems to be the standard will evolve to incorporate your world into your desktop experience.  We’re very excited.



Tiles is a program that doesn’t get enough attention.  The idea behind Tiles is that you have a sidebar with a series of pages on it. Each page can have different things on it depending on what you’re doing. 



On my desktop I have these pages:

  1. Development page.  I keep Visual Studio and a few other apps related to making software here.
  2. Business page.  This is where I switch over to start working on budgets and contracts
  3. Games page.  This is where I link to the various games
  4. Surf page.  This is just a list of my favortie sites I visit.  It’s how I quickly get to all the forums and such. Just click click click.


We are looking to further update Tiles (or possibly rebrand it as its mission has changed since its original release) to address Object Desktop 2017’s mission of integrating your world onto your desktop.


Is the Windows 10 Start menu better than the Windows 8 thingy? Yes.  Is it good? That’s only something you can decide for yourself.

As someone who deals with a lot of programs, Start10 is probably the first thing I install on a new box with Fences being a close second.

image image



Windows 10 on my relatively new box. Thank goodness I know the weather.


Start10’s mission, to keep with our theme, will evolve as Windows 10 stays around longer.   Think about how you use your modern desktop.  You may have an Android device or an iOS device.  Does your Start menu pick up any of this? Most people now have multiple devices. Their desktop is supposed to be a superset device.  That’s where we have to go with Start10 in the future.  Keep the Start menu a simple, fast way to access your things but also give you the ability to quickly access anything on any device.  Google and Apple are already doing this on their devices.  Windows needs to do the same thing.


Multiplicity is best known as the program that lets you control multiple PCs with a single keyboard and mouse.  The idea is that you might have a desktop and a laptop or maybe a couple other desktop machines that you have local access to and want to be able to combine these machines into a single user experience.


Multiplicity is super easy to set up.

More recently, Multiplicity added support for machines that aren’t local.  In this case, it acts more like a KVM switch or a remote desktop solution.  What makes Multplicity differnet from a normal remote desktop solution is that it is focused on fidelity from top to bottom.  For example, you could play a video game via Multiplicity without a problem.

Once again, with Windows 10 becoming our target OS going forward, Multiplicity has a lot of room to grow over the next year. Our goal, again, is to integrate your digital world to your desktop.

The others

This past year we released IconPackager 10, the first major update to IconPackager in some time.  Once again, the reason is that Windows 10 is becoming a viable target for development – i.e. our finite development time isn’t going to be put into targeting something that is going to be thrown out in 2 years.

WindowFX continues to evolve as well.  We haven’t decided whether we will evolve the touch and other features we have in mind into WindowsFX or into a new Object Desktop program.

SpaceMonger is another recent entry into Object Desktop.  With its ability to manage not just your local storage but your cloud, it’s compelling.


SpaceMonger will map out Google Drive, OneDrive and Dropbox use

We want to hear from you!

So how can you get Object Desktop 2017?

Just go to and there are options to renew your access to it (if you previously had Object Desktop) or get it new.  When you buy it, you access the Object Desktop manager which handles installing the components. 

Comment below with your own thoughts on what you’d like to see.

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I run a software company.  I have for over 20 years.  Once in awhile, someone will ask me what my “net worth” is.  I have to respond, “It depends on whether you value intellectual property”.

Intellectual property, IP, would be things my software company owns or has rights to such as Galactic Civilizations or Start8 or our websites and our patents and trademarks.  How much are they worth? It depends.

There are a number of ways of valuing intellectual property. If the IP generates revenue, then one rule of thumb is to take the revenue of the past two years and add a projection of the next year and use that as a fairly reasonable number. If the IP is a patent or a trademark, then things are a little trickier and you’ll likely only find out the real value of those when you go to sell or license it.

If you’re dealing with a bank, your IP is worth basically nothing.  It can be very frustrating.  This is why in the technology world, venture capitalist rule.  In other businesses, you can go to a bank and get a loan.  That is a lot harder in technology.

In my case, what I did was slowly, over time, take profits and acquire physical things that I could use as collateral.  For example:


That’s the Stardock building.  We own it.  25,000 square feet of glorious nerdom.  Owning your own building is generally not considered a good business move.  You’re better off leasing most of the time.  But I needed to have collateral during our earlier years.  I’ve done much the same in my personal life with slowly acquiring various houses just so I have physical assets to evaluate.

But like I said, most of my wealth is in IP.  That IP generates many millions of dollars each year but the bank counts that IP at $0 because (and you can’t blame them) what would they do with that IP?

When Atari went bankrupt, we went to the auction to acquire some of its IP.  That’s how we picked up Star Control. While there, Atari’s creditors earned millions of dollars selling off Atari IP including Battlezone, Master of Orion and countless other assets that a bank would have little idea what to do with.

One mistake entrepreneurs make is to value themselves based purely on their dreams of their IPs potential.  Nobody cares about its potential.  Your IP is worth basically nothing until you can prove it will generate income (or if you can get a patent on it).

If you have any questions on trying to evaluate your net worth on the basis of IP, comment below.

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The time machine worked like a charm (this time anyway) and I got to spend a few hours in 2020.

Things haven’t changed nearly as much as I imagined (I was hoping for Amazon delivery drones, but alas, none to be found).  But my friend drove me up north and showed off a relatively new feature on his BMW: Super Cruise.

Now, admittedly, I had hoped there would be self-driving cars by then but apparently they still aren’t a thing in 2020 which was a big bummer.  However, most of the high end cards do have Super Cruiser (different companies call it different things – Ford calls theirs “Smart Cruise”).

Anyway, the way it works is that you get on a highway, get to the speed you want and set “Super Cruise” which will then keep you on the road at that speed, in that lane and handle acceleration and deceleration as well as steering.  It only works on certain highways under certain conditions (all GPS / road condition based – which has come a long way) but otherwise it’s pretty neat.

I wasn’t there long but if anyone has any questions on 2020 I’ll try my best to answer. Smile

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Jul 1, 2014 4:26 PM by Discussion: Business


When I was 20 I had nothing. I was working multiple jobs to pay for college and started Stardock as a way to pay for school.  20 years later, it’s now worth 9 figures.  How did this happen?

The number 1 rule for success I’ve found is to build partnerships. This can mean your employees and it can mean external companies, contractors, etc. that you team up with. 

What does “building” partnerships mean? To me, it means, working towards their success.  This might seem counterintuitive but if you build your relationships upon the premise that if your partners succeed then you succeed then all your decisions boil down to what can you do to make your partners successful. 

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Feb 3, 2014 7:50 PM by Discussion: Humor

Clearly my offensiveness is a genetic condition.  Therefore, I have a disability and nothing is my fault. Smile

Seriously though, here’s some fun my teenage son had with photoshop he sent me.


Top X rejected flavors for chips.




I won’t post the others he sent.  They’re unprintable…

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