v26 #4 Profiles Encouraged: Raul Valdes-Perez

by | Oct 9, 2014 | 0 comments

Chief Executive Officer, OnlyBoth LLC

P.O. Box 8120, Pittsburgh, PA  15217

photo_raul_valdes-perezBORN AND LIVED:  Born in Havana, Cuba.  Grew up in Chicago.  Completed Ph.D at Carnegie Mellon and stayed in Pittsburgh.

EARLY LIFE:  Attended elementary and high school in the Chicago area, then did a gap year in Madrid before college.

PROFESSIONAL CAREER AND ACTIVITIES:  Got B.S.E. and M.S. in computer engineering at University of Illinois at Chicago.  Then went abroad for two years seeking adventure.  Returning to the U.S., worked at the MIT AI lab for two years inRandy Davis’s group. Went to Carnegie Mellon to do a Ph.D in computer science, then stayed as a research faculty member.  Finally, we started Vivisimo, which I served as CEO for nine years and chairman until IBM acquired us, 12 years after founding.

IN MY SPARE TIME:  Family, friends, travel.

FAVORITE BOOKS:  I often cite Cyrano de Bergerac as a romantic tale of heroism and nobleness, and Brave New World as a dystopia of a diminished mankind.

PHILOSOPHY:  “Advice is for Winners” which is the title of my book, subtitled “How to Get Advice for Better Decisions in Life and Work.”

MOST MEMORABLE CAREER ACHIEVEMENT:  15 years of monthly meetings with my Ph.D advisor and Nobel Laureate Herbert A. Simon, first as a student and later as a collaborator and colleague.  One could ask him something about anything and walk away smarter.

GOAL I HOPE TO ACHIEVE FIVE YEARS FROM NOW:  We want OnlyBoth to liberate the tremendous insights cloaked in structured data everywhere, yearning to breathe free and become known.


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