My name is Venkatesh Rao (I go by ‘Venkat’) and I started writing ribbonfarm in 2007. Since March, 2011, it has been my base for full-time writing, independent research, speaking and consulting. New readers may want to start here.
My other writing includes Tempo, a book about decision-making, an email newsletter called Be Slightly Evil and regular blog bylines at Information Week (on Enterprise 2.0/social business themes) and Forbes (on general technology and business themes). My writing has been featured/mentioned on Slashdot, Kottke.org , BoingBoing, The Economist, the New York Times and a bunch of other places. I am currently working on my second book, tentatively titled Game of Pickaxes.
Between 1997 and 2011, I pursued a traditional research/entrepreneurial career (a PhD at the University of Michigan, a postdoc at Cornell, a startup (first employee at Sulekha.com), and a few years as Entrepreneur-in-Residence with the Xerox Innovation Group in Rochester). If you want all the gory details, check out my LinkedIn profile.
About the name…
The name ribbonfarm refers to the ribbon farms of 18th century Detroit — strips of lands 2-3 miles long, each with 2-300 yards along the Detroit river waterfront — that the then French governor used to resolve water disputes. I thought it was a great metaphor for a blog trying to get its thin slice of attention from the great river of eyeballs that is the Web. Here is a picture (courtesy, Detroit Public Library) of an 1818 map of Detroit that shows the ribbon farms.
About the tag-line
By experiments in refactored perceptions I mean changing how I see the world by trying to rewire the software in my head through writing. My little geek joke.