Stevan van Fechtmann, MBA: Entrepreneur

Hi, my name is Stevan van Fechtmann and I'm the originator and webmaster of this site and the solar news and views blog.

A Bit of Personal History & Perspective

Like most baby boomers, I went to college and was able to qualify to go to Graduate school at USC where I got my MBA. It was shortly after I graduated and started working that I started hearing about photovoltaic cells … and marveled at the first solar power calculators (which were way more cool than using a slide rule, which I had used in my engineering studies).

After learning about manufacturing and working as a VP of Finance for two major real estate development companies – I moved to Winter Park Colorado and (with some friends) bought an old cowboy bar called "Ye Olde Bucket of Blood". We changed the name to Dr. Generosity and his Medicine Bar and I enjoyed some of the best years of my life living in a ski area and having my own business.

Living near the top of the Rockies I learned that the sun can be a lot stronger the higher you are above sea level (about 20%+ in Denver, even more where I lived).

Co-Founder and President of One Point

In 1982 myself and a brilliant IBM account exec started One Point – and built one of the first online marketing companies in the world. It was all built around providing information about computers, computer products and everything related.

At the time we started – Apple was selling the Apple II, Commodore and Radio Shack were leading computer companies, CPM was the most common operating system, there was no standardization in the industry, IBM and Microsoft hadn't partnered up yet, a KayPro portable computer weighed about 30 pounds, spreadsheets were just being invented, people were using floppy disks to store data, and you needed to use a phone coupler to connect on line at the amazing speed of 0.3 kb.

Even in spite of these technical challenges we and our technical team came up with a lot of ideas about how this online experience could best work and built some of the first web browsers; keyword searching and search engine software; online ordering, customer service, and technical support; networking software; and professional networking (we invited business professionals to submit software reviews and comments in an open forum environment). Internet users take these things for granted now – but somebody had to come up with the ideas and build the first versions. I like to think of One Point as the dot (.) in, as we were one of the pioneers.

I remember how difficult it was for us to convince venture capitalists that the personal computer would change the world – and that eventually people would be getting their information, communicating and doing their shopping online.

Luckily we found some courageous investors who thought that such a vision could happen and gave us the start-up capital. Later after 497 of the Fortune 500 (plus the US government and even the White House) signed up as customers, we raised some more money – and it looked like we had really tapped into an exciting market opportunity.

My point in telling this story is that I remember what it was like at the beginning of the personal computer boom … how fast the industry was evolving, how exciting it was as a businessman and as a computer user and how every body wanted good reliable information so they could get get the most use from their computer.

Solar Energy Industry is Like the Early Computer Industry Days

I see the same thing happening with solar energy today … and I wanted to go back to my roots when I started One Point ... namely, collecting and publishing useful facts and advice about about the sun, solar energy, solar power, the solar industry and everything related.

Of course it all starts with the sun – and now that I'm no longer a young man, I wanted to expand my views of solar energy to also include the health benefits of sunshine (check out our section on the Sunshine Vitamin for lots of helpful health facts and advice).

But I do more than just collect information and publish it – besides enjoying the sun and using it for good health I'm actively involved in the solar industry as a consultant and developer.

No one can do this by themselves – and so I also want to thank all those solar energy pioneers who've gone ahead of me, all the professionals currently in the solar business who so willingly share information with me … and of course all the readers of our website and blog who I hope will want to ask questions and contribute their own experiences.

For More Personal Information

To learn more about Stevan Van Fechtmann the person, visit my Facebook page. I look forward to having you as a friend.

Linked in References

I'm also listed with Linked-in. To find me type in Stevan Van Fechtmann or click here.

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