Robert Gaskins

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Robert Gaskins was one of the inventors of PowerPoint at Forethought, Inc. Lee Gomes wrote in The Wall Street Journal, "Robert Gaskins was the visionary entrepreneur who in the mid-1980s realized that the huge but largely invisible market for preparing business slides was a perfect match for the coming generation of graphics-oriented computers." [1]

From the jacket copy of the hardcover edition of Sweating Bullets: Notes about Inventing PowerPoint by Robert Gaskins (published by Vinland Books, 2012):

"Robert Gaskins invented PowerPoint, drawing on ten years of interdisciplinary graduate study at UC Berkeley and five years as manager of computer science research for an international telecommunications R&D laboratory in Silicon Valley."

"He managed the design and development of PowerPoint as a startup, where the idea attracted the first venture capital investment ever made by Apple Computer. PowerPoint was released for Macintosh in 1987, and soon afterward, it became the first significant acquisition ever made by Microsoft, who set up a new business unit in Silicon Valley to develop it further. Gaskins headed this new Microsoft group for another five years, completing versions of the PowerPoint product which contributed to the explosive early growth of Microsoft Windows and to the dominance of the Microsoft Office bundle.

"He has written this book to commemorate the twenty-fifth anniversary of PowerPoint's first shipment, recounting stories of the perils narrowly evaded as a startup, dissecting the complexities of being the first distant development group in Microsoft, and explaining decisions and insights that enabled PowerPoint to become a lasting success well beyond its original business uses." [2] [3]

Many original documents written by Robert Gaskins during the early history of PowerPoint's strategy and development are online for public access. [4]