Jay S. Walker

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Jay S. Walker
Jay Walker.jpg
Born (1955-11-05) November 5, 1955 (age 58)
Forest Hills, Queens, New York
Residence Ridgefield, Connecticut
Nationality American
Alma mater Cornell University (BS)
Occupation Chairman of Walker Digital
Spouse(s) Eileen Walker (m. 1978 - present)
Children 2
Website
www.walkerdigital.com

Jay Scott Walker (born November 5, 1955) is an American inventor, entrepreneur and chairman of Walker Digital, a privately held research and development lab focused on using digital networks to create new business systems. Walker is also curator of TEDMED since 2011, and a founder of Priceline.com and Synapse Group, Inc. In 2000, Forbes estimated his net worth at $1.6 billion.[1] By October 2000, his estimated worth was down to $333 million.[2] As of 2013, he is not on the Forbes list of the world's billionaires.[3]

A 1999 Forbes profile of Walker questioned if he was "An Edison for a New Age," noting his reliance on patents as a business model.[4] He is a prolific inventor and has been granted 719[5] U.S. utility patents as of June 25, 2013. Businessweek featured him as one of the "Businessweek e.biz 25" in 1999.[6]

Early life[edit]

Walker attended Cornell University where he majored in Industrial and Labor Relations and was a member of the Quill and Dagger society and the Sigma Phi Society. He graduated with a bachelor's degree in 1978.

Business career[edit]

Synapse[edit]

In 1992 Walker and Michael Loeb[7] co-founded New Sub Services, today known as Synapse Group, a company that used the credit card network to process magazine subscriptions. By 1998 Synapse had sold 30 million magazine subscriptions, with sales approaching $300 million.[8] For his work, Walker won the Direct Marketing Association’s "Direct Marketer of the Year" award in 1999.[9] In 2004, and again in 2005, Synapse was named one of the 25 "Best Places to Work in America"[10] among medium-sized companies by the Great Place to Work Institute. As of 2011 Synapse employs more than 250 people.[10]

In 2001 Time Warner purchased a controlling stake in Synapse for a sum in excess of $500 million, completing the transaction in 2006.[7]

Priceline[edit]

Walker Digital launched Priceline.com in 1998, partially self-funding the startup company.[8] Priceline sold an estimated 40,000 tickets in its first quarter of operation.[8] In 1999, Priceline went public.[8] Walker left Priceline in late 2000.[citation needed]

QuickStore 24[edit]

In 2003 Walker Digital began patenting inventions in the vending machine field with the goal of revolutionizing the vending industry through enabling smart vending technology.

In 2007 Walker Digital exclusively licensed the patents for these innovations to Vendmore Systems, which launched its smart-technology-enabled platform in 2007 under the name QuickStore24TM.

Partnership with IGT[edit]

In 2006 Walker Digital entered into a strategic partnership with International Game Technology (IGT), the world’s largest manufacturer of casino games.[11] He worked with IGT to develop innovative concepts and technologies for dozens of networked slot machines and other gaming devices, initially under a comprehensive license agreement.

The first result of the partnership was Guaranteed Play,[12] a new method for casino game players to purchase game play. Customers receive a fixed number of slot machine spins or blackjack hands, known as a "session" of play, at a discounted price, by paying in advance. Guaranteed Play has enjoyed a limited but successful introduction at such casinos as the Red Rock Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada.

In 2010 Walker Digital sold approximately 100 patents to IGT, concluding the partnership.

Perfect Pay Baccarat[edit]

In 2009 Walker Digital subsidiary Walker Digital Gaming introduced the Perfect Pay baccarat table and Smart Table Network, supporting Elite Baccarat.[13] Industry business journals reported that Perfect Pay utilizes RFID technology to track baccarat wagers, hand outcomes, payouts and player ratings in real time while eliminating losses from dealer mis-pays, counterfeit chips and other problems.[14] Perfect Pay and Elite Baccarat both won Gold Awards from Casino Journal at the 2009 Gaming Technology Summit.[15]

Yappr[edit]

In 2009 Walker Digital and its partners launched a free website for English-language learning, yappr.com which provides non-English-speakers with a way to learn or improve their English. Viewers watch and listen to short film clips with soundtracks in English. Two sets of simultaneous subtitles are provided, one in English and one in the viewer’s language.

Patent lawsuits and disputes[edit]

In January 2001, the Connecticut Attorney General filed suit against Walker Digital. Faced with mounting financial losses, Jay Walker laid off 106 of his 125 employees, violating Federal employment law requiring 60 days notice when laying off more than 33% of the workforce. On September 4, 2002, Walker Digital settled for $275,000 to be split amongst the laid off employees.[16] In October 15, 2009 Walker Digital, LLC filed its first patent infringement action. The suit against Microsoft, Hewlett-Packard, and Dell, Inc., was decided on January 3, 2011 as non-infringed.[17]

In November 2010 Walker Digital LLC sued Facebook for friending, or "Method and system for establishing and maintaining user-controlled anonymous communications".[18]

On April 11, 2011 Walker Digital filed 15 lawsuits against more than 100 defendants including Amazon.com, Google and Microsoft for unauthorized use of its intellectual properties.[19]

Other activities[edit]

  • Walker has spoken at events of World Information Transfer, Inc., a not-for-profit, non-governmental organization in General Consultative Status with the United Nations, on health and environmental issues.[21][22]

Walker is a Patron of TED, a small non-profit organisation dedicated to "Ideas Worth Spreading". He is a frequent speaker and contributor to its conferences, having delivered talks on such topics as human imagination[23] and "English language mania",[24] among others.

In April 2011, Walker Purchased TEDMED from Marc Hodosh.[25]

Walker has partnered with the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, to develop enhanced communications systems between business and governments.[citation needed]

He has testified[26] before the U.S. Congress Joint Economic Committee on economic policy and on how to reform the patent system. He is available as a speaker for business groups, non-profit organisations and the academic community.[27]

Walker funded the development of two public policy documentary films about the space race and the role of science in American life. The first film focused on the impact of Sputnik on America’s education system. The second film, "Sputnik Mania",[28] explored broader U.S. cultural reactions to Sputnik.

The Walker Library of the History of Human Imagination[edit]

Walker owns what he calls "The Walker Library of the History of Human Imagination."[29] Located in his Ridgefield, Connecticut home, the 3,600 sq. ft. private facility contains more than 50,000 volumes. The architecture is a multi-level, maze-like setting, inspired in part by the paradoxical spaces depicted by artist M. C. Escher.

The library is the subject of a short documentary film[29] by David Hoffman, and was profiled as "the most amazing library in the world" by Wired magazine.[30] It is not open to the public.

Honors and awards[edit]

In 1999 the Industry Standard named him the year's "Most Influential New Business Strategist".[8]

In 2009 the Entrepreneurship Program at his alma mater honored Walker as the "Cornell Entrepreneur of the Year".[31]

Personal life[edit]

Walker married Eileen McManus on April 18, 1982. They have two children. Eileen Walker is a trustee for Cornell University, Vice Chairman of the Harvey School in Westchester County, New York and a former personnel executive at IBM.

Jay Walker is a licensed pilot.

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Forbes lists". Forbes. [dead link]
  2. ^ Rawe, Julie; Roston, Eric (October 15, 2000). "How Much Did They Lose?". Time. 
  3. ^ Kroll, Luisa and Kerry A. Dolan, Kerry A date=March 4, 2013. "The World's Billionares". Forbes. 
  4. ^ Machan, Dyan (1999-05-17). "An Edison for a new age?". Forbes. pp. 20–21. 
  5. ^ USPTO Utility Patent Search for Jay Walker
  6. ^ Hamm, Steve (1999-09-27). "Masters of the Web Universe". Business Week. pp. EB30. 
  7. ^ a b Michael Loeb, www.lobeenterprises.com, retrieved 03-15-11.
  8. ^ a b c d e "Walker, Jay Scott". www.novelguide.com. 2002. 
  9. ^ “DMA Names Microsoft-MSN 2007 Marketer of the Year/ Past DMA Marketers of the Year,” Direct Marketers Association, 10/16/2007
  10. ^ a b "About Synapse," http://www.synapsegroupinc.com/, retrieved 03-15-11.
  11. ^ "About IGT". igt.com. Retrieved 16 March 2011. 
  12. ^ "IGT Booth Represents ‘The Right Vision – Right Now and for the Future’ at 2007 Global Gaming Expo". igt.com. 2007-10-29. 
  13. ^ Perfect Pay from Walker Digital Gaming, www.elitebacc.com
  14. ^ "Perfect Timing: Walker Digital’s Perfect Pay Baccarat is a game changer for casinos without changing the game". Inside Asian Gaming. 8/11/2010. 
  15. ^ Green, Marian (5/1/2010). "Top 20 Most Innovative Gaming Technology Products of 2009". Casino Journal. 
  16. ^ "United States District Court". 5/12/2011. 
  17. ^ "Walker Digital, LLC v. Microsoft Corp., et al". United States District Court for the Central District of California. January 3, 2011. Retrieved December 16, 2012. 
  18. ^ Mullin, Joe (2010-12-01). "Priceline Founder Jay Walker Now Files Patent Suits For A Living". Paid Content. 
  19. ^ Saba, Jennifer (4-12-2011). "Company behind Priceline sues Internet heavies". Reuters. 
  20. ^ "Atlantic Council Board of Directors". 2013. 
  21. ^ Walker, Jay (Summer–Fall 2010). "The Climate We Deserve". World Ecology Report (World Information Transfer) XXII (2/3): 24–28. 
  22. ^ World Information Transfer, Inc.
  23. ^ Walker, Jay (February 2008). "Jay Walker's Library of Human Imagination". TED Conference 2008. 
  24. ^ Walker, Jay (2009-05-29). "Jay Walker on the World's English Mania". YouTube. 
  25. ^ Gene Ostrovsky (April 14, 2011). "TEDMED Sold to Jay Walker, Richard Saul Wurman Says Adios". Medgadget. Retrieved December 16, 2012. 
  26. ^ Betts, Mitch (6/12/2000). "Hi-Tech Chiefs Lobby Key Issues at Capitol Hill Hearing". Computer World. 
  27. ^ "Speaker booking page - Jay Walker". Harry Walker Agency. 2013. 
  28. ^ Hoffman, David (April 2008). "David Hoffman shares his Sputnik mania". TED Conference 2007. 
  29. ^ a b The Walker Library of the History of Human Imagination
  30. ^ "Browse the Artifacts of Geek History in Jay Walker's Library" from Wired
  31. ^ Hovis, Kathy (2009-1-26). "Jay Walker Named 2009 Cornell Entrepreneur of the Year". Cornell Chronicle. 

External links[edit]