Some of our Favorite Stories by Bruce

As the editor of Xconomy San Diego, Bruce had a front-row seat to innovation in all its forms. He reported on scrappy startups, venture capital firms, academic research groups, and big companies like Qualcomm and SAIC—often putting the themes in historical context. His beats included software, wireless, robotics, life sciences, and national VC trends.

Bruce was also instrumental in convening the business community for conferences, receptions, and other events that brought together leaders from different disciplines (such as big data and big biology).

Bruce’s stories for Xconomy documented the great recession of 2008-10, the subsequent economic recovery, the boom and bust of biofuels and cleantech, and the rise of online video, smartphones, mobile and mapping tech, cybersecurity, commercial genomics, digital health, and more. He also mixed in more personal and fun stories, showcasing his uniquely inquisitive and playful style.

Here’s a sampling of highlights from his Xconomy career (most recent stories first):

1. Big Data Meets Big Biology in San Diego: Some Takeaways

Bruce was the master of getting people to talk to each other. One area he pioneered was mixing experts in big-data analytics with their counterparts in healthcare and life sciences, to great effect.

2. What’s the Business Model for A.I. in Healthcare?

A key question for the oft-hyped application of machine learning and other A.I. techniques in human health. This piece was part of a special series, and it’s an example of how Bruce parlayed his events into new ideas and stories.

3. An Homage to Larry Bock, Who Had God’s Hand on His Shoulder

This one is particularly painful now, but it illustrates how Bruce was able to capture the essence of people’s lives and contributions. Larry Bock was an influential investor and entrepreneur in life sciences.

4. Layoffs Reflect New Turbulence at High-Flying 3D Robotics

Bruce covered the bad news as well as the good, of course. He was fascinated by drones and drone companies. He also had a knack for headlines that were catchy and telling.

5. Xconomy Baker’s Dozen: 12 San Diego Tech Startups to Watch in 2016—and One Still in Stealth Mode

One of Xconomy’s most popular stories. Bruce documented the growth of local software startups and predicted some notable successes to come.

6. USC Countersues UCSD as Fight Over Alzheimer’s Study Intensifies

One of the more colorful disputes that Bruce covered. This one was over moving a major research program from one academic power to another. As far as we know, the case is not fully settled yet.

7. #Hashtag This: How the Twitter Hashtag Caught Fire in SD

A slice of social-media history, and a perfect example of local story, global impact—Xconomy’s mantra. Bruce captured how the Southern California wildfires helped establish the wider use of hashtags on the Web.

8. Vista Equity Laying Groundwork to Move Three San Diego Companies

A major news scoop that touched two states (California and Texas), three companies (Active Network, Websense, Omnitracs), 1,000-plus employees, and the raw nerve of a city. This one was based on deep sourcing and connecting the dots.

9. San Diego’s Top Angel Investors and the Network Effect: A Slideshow

Another popular piece, and a resource for the innovation community. Bruce examined the local culture of angel investments in startups and highlighted some of the top people making things happen.

10. Meet the Xconomists: Moving the Conversation Forward in San Diego

A shining example of Bruce’s impact on San Diego, Xconomy, and the innovation community. This event celebrated our company’s fifth anniversary in San Diego, and provided a window into our national expansion—and why anyone should care.

11. Avalon’s Kinsella Calls Out Big Pharma for “Bad Behavior” That’s Pushing Biotech Ventures “Almost to Point of Extinction”

We don’t run long headlines like this anymore, but it’s hard to argue with this one. Bruce talked with prominent VC Kevin Kinsella and got him to speak his mind—giving real insights into how the industry works (and doesn’t work).

12. Qualcomm Then and Now: Will the Next 25 Be as Innovative as the Last 25?

Qualcomm was (and is) the 800-pound tech gorilla in town. This piece had it all—history, analysis, outside commentary, and thoughts on the future of tech.

13. Calit2’s Larry Smarr on the Origins of the Internet, Innovations in IT, and Insights on the Path Ahead (Part 1)

The first of several in-depth pieces on computer scientist and polymath Larry Smarr. A unique blend of historical perspective, academic and business cultures, and technological insights.

14a. The Untold Story of SAIC, Network Solutions, and the Rise of the Web (Part 1)
14b. The Untold Story of SAIC, Network Solutions, and the Rise of the Web (Part 2)

Did you know that SAIC bought a company called Network Solutions in 1995 that controlled how Internet domain names are registered and managed? That move was eventually worth billions of dollars, and the rest is history, as only Bruce could tell it.

15. Can’t Take My Eyes Off Of You: The Untold Story of How a San Diego VC Backed Broadway’s Jersey Boys

You don’t have to appreciate Broadway musicals to enjoy this one. Bruce had fun delving into how a local venture capitalist bankrolled a different kind of smash hit, and his love of music comes through in every line.


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