International Businessman Oral History, 2020/11/29


Title (Dublin Core)

International Businessman Oral History, 2020/11/29

Disclaimer (Dublin Core)

DISCLAIMER: This item may contain misinformation or disinformation.

Description (Dublin Core)

IMPORTANT NOTE: My professor, Dr. Blake Jones, approved of the anonymity of my interview subject. My subject is highly private and wishes to maintain that anonymity for business and personal reasons.

Max is a businessman from the United States. He has a Bachelor’s degree in Business and holds
an M.B.A. He has been conducting business in the electronics industry for over 40 years. He has
a wife, adult children, and dogs. Max has been heavily involved in Asian markets in his business
for multiple decades. He was a vital part of the explosion of Japanese electronics onto the
American market in the 1980's, the rapid introduction of the Internet in the 1990's, and has most
recently been working to implement the next generation of lighting displays for consumer
electronics. Max’s life and work has been one that has been vital to the development of the
world’s technological progress in the past 40 years, although he is not a household name. Max
has lived through multiple important events and has a unique perspective on all of them as a
businessman, agent of free enterprise, and average American providing for his family. He holds
several unique opinions on current events and is not afraid to state them plainly. In this
interview, he reflects on the difficulties and silver linings that COVID-19 has thrown at him in
his work and personal life.

Recording Date (Dublin Core)

Event Identifier (Dublin Core)

Partner (Dublin Core)

Controlled Vocabulary (Dublin Core)


Curator's Tags (Omeka Classic)

Contributor's Tags (a true folksonomy) (Friend of a Friend)

Collection (Dublin Core)

Date Submitted (Dublin Core)


Date Modified (Dublin Core)


Date Created (Dublin Core)


Interviewer (Bibliographic Ontology)

Peter Klopcic

Interviewee (Bibliographic Ontology)

Max (pseudonym)

Format (Dublin Core)


Language (Dublin Core)


Duration (Omeka Classic)


abstract (Bibliographic Ontology)

Max is a businessman from the United States. He has a Bachelor’s degree in Business and holds an M.B.A. He has been conducting business in the electronics industry for over 40 years. He has a wife, adult children, and dogs. Max has been heavily involved in Asian markets in his business for multiple decades. ​He was a vital part of the explosion of Japanese electronics onto the American market in the 1980's, the rapid introduction of the Internet in the 1990's, and has most recently been working to implement the next generation of lighting displays for consumer electronics.​ Max’s life and work has been one that has been vital to the development of the world’s technological progress in the past 40 years, although he is not a household name. Max has lived through multiple important events and has a unique perspective on all of them as a businessman, agent of free enterprise, and average American providing for his family. He holds several unique opinions on current events and is not afraid to state them plainly. In this interview, he reflects on the difficulties and silver linings that COVID-19 has thrown at him in his work and personal life.

Transcription (Omeka Classic)

PK:​ Alright, so my name is Peter Klopcic. I'm here with my interview subject, Max, for my History 485 History in the Wild final project. How are you doing, man?

MM: ​I'm doing great. How’ve you been?

PK:​ Real good, real good. Thanks for doing this interview with me. I know that you[REDACTED]

MM:​ It's a pleasure. [REDACTED]PK: ​And uh, hey, absolutely, man. Glad to hear. So our first question here is one that pretty much one that everyone can relate to. You're working from home right now. What's that like?

MM:​ It's a very drastic change. In 2019, I flew over 300,000 miles around the world, and starting in 2020, I have not flown one mile all year. So you want to talk about a total difference? That's like the difference between, you know, driving a car and then crawling in your hands and knees to go somewhere. It's totally different. Everything is online. Everything is meetings and calendars and whose calendar's a logistical nightmare. But I've been in a high tech electronics industry in sales and marketing for almost 40 years. And the best way, in fact, the only proper way to get a deal when you're doing things internationally, is to sit face to face across somebody. There's enough communication problems with just language barriers, dialects, all this kind of stuff. You look in the person's eye you can tell them yes or no you can tell them to agree or disagree. You can tell the concerns. You can't do that even if you're on a video call.You can't do yeah, that's the thing.

PK:​ You're working with the Chinese a lot. What's that like? Especially with people saying that like the Coronavirus is the quote unquote “China virus?”

MM:​ It's interesting. I mean, gosh, I don't want to overstep my bounds and get too much into my personal opinions on things. I'd like to be, let's just say it just to be straightforward, but openminded. The Chinese are a different, a different nationality, a different culture with or without Coronavirus. The Coronavirus just added to the tension and the pressure. Now I've got some very, very good people that I hired to represent us over there. And I got a very close relationship with them. We talk about family, we even talk about politics, we talk about things like that. It's a little bit more tense, because I think they're under pressure to say things didn't happen. And they know what's being said over here in the United States, but I trust them. And they are honest with me about what went on [Wuhan] and they said that it's totally wrong, what happened and how it happened and what's going on. But so much has been done. And they do talk to me about, oh,we're back to normal again. And I tend not to believe them.PK: ​Is that because they're party members?

MM: ​Ahh, nah. But, wait a minute, you're an American, you're Chinese, you're under this government, they're under theirs. You have a nationality, and a patriotism, quote, unquote, and they have it. So you have to accept it. You don't have to agree with it, which [I] accept because I'm not there to judge them as their political parties. I'm there to write business. They're there to create business, and we try to keep it focused on that. But the phone calls, I mean, the time zone differences and the phone calls and the length of calls and translations need to be done. Tell you what, it’ll give you a headache. You know, two hours on the phone with China, listening to people translate things back and forth. I'll tell you what, if you don't fall asleep, your eyes blur.

PK: ​And you have to do this at like one in the morning, because of the time difference?

MM: ​Actually what really happens there. They're 14 hours difference from us. So basically, I'm doing it the day before. See, if at 10 o'clock in the morning is their time, it’s eight o'clock at night the day before my time.

PK: ​Okay.

MM: ​Okay, so we usually do our calls in between eight and nine at night. Okay, it's a little harder in Europe. Europe's a little different. Because Europe is basically behind us six, seven or something. And so what you can do with them is an early morning, seven in the morning, our time, like three in the afternoon, their time. So you can catch them in the afternoon after a full day.

PK: ​And it's when you start-

MM: ​When I start my day anyway, in between six, five, six, seven in the morning anyway. Yeah, it was a lot easier. But the Chinese, I also work close with the Taiwanese and Hong Kong. And the interesting thing there is that, you know, there's a real political rift between those two countries. And I try to make sure I never step into that hole. Because, I think it's real tense there.So oh yeah, that's another thing that goes on. So I work with the Taiwanese, I work with the Chinese, Japanese, Koreans, Hong Kong, I talked with the people down in the Asean area, which is the Philippines, Malaysia, India.

PK: ​Is that your base of manufacturing, or is it more China?

MM: ​Our base of manufacturing the key manufacturers is here in the [United States], okay. Components that we get, though, are from all over the world. Materials that we get that we use to build our product. But once we get our design and everything of our materials, we bring that to the States, and then we do our processing. Actually, one of our subcontractors is in Wisconsin,and then it moves over to a subcontractor we now have set up in Minnesota. And then we finish up our product with the lighting system that we put on to it in Ohio.

PK: ​Very nice. Yeah, that's good. You're creating American jobs. It's nice.

MM: ​You can create American jobs to do that but, unfortunately, some of the materials that we're getting, we've had a hard time getting them because we sourced them over in Asia.

PK: ​Is that because of tariffs, Coronavirus, or both?

MM: ​All. Both those things? Both.

PK: ​Okay.

MM: ​And, I'm not I'm not going to discredit who is trying to build the material in China. But when you have failure after failure of material coming out, I mean, we jump on an airplane with two engineers, our CTO, myself, maybe even our CEO, we go over there, and we raise hell.

PK: ​Yeah.

MM: ​We can't travel.

PK: ​Oh.

MM: ​We’re trying to solve problems on a highly technical basis. Where? Again, video calls late at night, all this kind of stuff. It doesn't translate. It doesn't translate.

PK: ​Okay.

MM: ​It’s so difficult.

PK: ​Is that where your Chinese representatives come in?

MM: ​Well, recently what we did...our representative is not technical. I didn't I didn't hire technical representatives, I hired people to go out and find businesses and sell.

PK: ​Okay.

MM: ​Okay. Well, we have contacts and we have recently employed, on a part time basis, four very technical people in the film industry. Film not picture film, films as far as like, layers of polycarbonates and stuff like that. And they are now sitting at this manufacturer, when they're doing our and their production runs, and examining what they're doing. And we know the person that owns that company, and we know the people. So what we do is we have somebody on site that we have a little more, not influence but need to communicate with and better communication. So we can understand better and they can translate it better, we feel. So hopefully, by the end of this year, we're going to have this situation turned away, but it's been going on for 12 months.

PK: ​Oh, absolutely.

MM: ​It’s been terrible.

PK: ​Absolutely. I mean, it's only come to the United States in what, the past seven or eight?

MM: ​Yeah, yeah. I would say.

PK: ​Okay, how has that affected your life at home as far as that goes? Like, what about your interpersonal relationships with people this year? How's that? How's that changed for you? It changed for a lot of people, but I'm definitely concerned with how it's changed for you because you got a very, like, social attitude about you.

MM: ​Yeah, that's one thing that hurts. So, I've had to try to find different outlets. Just personally,as everybody needs. But I've been traveling internationally, like I said, for almost 40 years. And so my family's used to me being gone, and then home, and gone, and home. Now with me home,and home, and home, and home, and home, I think I drive them crazy. I'm always around. Um,and, you know, everybody, everybody's had to change, but sometimes we're alert and aware that you know, the COVID thing and how do you take care of yourselves. And I've got three older sons, and they're, they're phenomenal. My wife's a teacher, you know, we got a couple of great dogs. One very young and one very old. So we have a lot of outlets. The outlets I was trying to get more in were trying to improve my health to get out a little more exercise, bike riding,walking, getting in the things like that. I was involved pretty deeply in the community for the soccer community for like 25 years. I was a volunteer doing everything every Saturday. Well, okay, soccer shut down.

PK: ​Yeah.

MM: ​You can't play youth soccer. So you know you that's hurt everybody but it gave me an outlet, that I had to go try to replace with something. And, you know, hey, sometimes I found myself just getting very lazy and just sitting for a couple of days.

PK: ​I got you.

MM: ​Yep. I tell you what that plays on your mind along with your body. So, you know it's hard.

PK: ​Yeah.

MM: ​My family's been absolutely terrific about it all the way through. And everyone supports everybody. My one son, you know, that is in college. And he’ll be finishing up shortly. My two sons that graduated are doctors and they're working in the city, they got furloughed off. So they were living at home without a job. You know, so...

PK: ​That must have been fun for you.

MM: ​Well, the thing is a lot of changes. And nobody asked for these changes. These were forced upon us, you know, and you go, okay, what do we do, right? You support one another, get together, figure out what's going on. And then try to make everybody stay calm and say, look,nothing lasts forever. Stay positive, think what's happening, make the moves we need to make but you're not alone. Make sure everybody knows they're not in it alone. You know, we're all together.

PK: ​And I mean, there must have been a silver lining from this, like, you got to have all your kids at home for the first time in a while?

MM: ​And that's true. Of course, the grocery bill went up about 35%. That was one thing. And the decibel levels of voices in the house also went up about 30%. But you have somebody to sit there and we can watch some football and bet back and forth a little bit, having some fun, and guessing things with one of my sons, you know, my other son loves cars a lot. The other is terrific with music, you know, and his you know, I love to listen to him practice and listen to music they're doing And then they're all very, not political. And, one's much more on social media than the other. But, they exchange things. And when they start exchanging and laughing, I mean, I just sit back and let it go. Because I don't understand their humor or understand their subjects. But that didn't matter. They're having fun. We're all together at home.

PK: ​How much do they say okay, Boomer, to you?

MM: ​[laughs] You know, hey, hey, they’ll look at me and shake their heads because they know,you know, I'm the crotchety old guy from the 70s I'll come up with something. Give me a comment and they’ll look at me, like, where the hell did that come from? Oh, yeah, that's one of the old man jokes.

PK: ​Well, that is a thing. You bring up the 70s. You lived through a lot of stuff.

MM: ​I was born, was really raised-

PK: ​You almost got drafted, didn’t you?

MM: ​I was really raised, I was really raised in the 60s. I graduated in the early 70s.

PK: ​Yeah, so you were almost drafted into Vietnam. How was that whole thing?

MM: ​I was a 1A. I was 1A. So they had what was called the Selective Service that was put in place. And what they would do is they would pull out, you know, one and they pull out a date off the calendar to another date. They do 365.

PK: ​Yeah.

MM: ​Pulls of a button. So what happens to everybody with that birthday? If they wanted the first, okay, we're going to take the first 100 pulls. Well, 100 birth dates. Everybody there? Bango, you're on your way. I was number 12.

PK: ​Oh jeez.

MM: ​But they stopped pulling from that in 1972. And I graduated in ‘73. Now my my second oldest brother was in Nam. He was in the army for three years. He was in Germany, Ethiopia. Gosh, forget the other place and that. And then he was sent to Nam. And he was a surveyor.

PK: ​Yeah.

MM: ​And he was a land surveyor, not an artillery surveyor. So he wasn't in there aiming guns. He was there after they had aimed the guns, and blew everybody up and stuff. Then they'd come in and try to build a base.

PK: ​Oh, he would plot that?

MM: ​Basically, plot it, and then guide the guys that were sitting there creating all that kind of stuff. He just said to watch out for the sniper fire. And he's, you know, guys will be up in the trees taking potshots at the guys driving tanks. You know, you get one shot comes and then off another shot. Third shot comes off, and there'd be a call by the ____? and pretty soon everybody would have to just head on over and bury themselves in their bunkers. And the guys come over with the F4’s with the napalm and just torched the trees.

PK: ​Jeez.

MM: ​He said it was just boom. But he never, he did not, God was with him that he never ever got hit. But that was an experience for him. And I think he carried it with him quite a while.

PK: ​I got you.

MM: ​Now they call it [PTSD] but back then they just call it being a war vet.

PK: ​Okay. And then, how do you see the difference between the way Vietnam veterans were treated and the way, like, veterans have now from past wars like Iraq, Afghanistan? It's getting to that point [as past wars] too.

MM: ​Oh, well, it's huge. It was huge. now. I was still quite young when he came back. Yeah so hey, I'm a young kid in the end of the 60s. Okay, what are you doing? You're in high school,right? Yeah, you’re looking for girls, you're looking and trying to get beer underage, you're,you're trying to get grades.

PK: ​[laughs] I’ve heard your stories about that.

MM: ​And hopefully you can try to find somebody to buy a car, you know, you weren't really caring that much about the political animosity going on.

PK: ​Yeah.

MM: ​But I do know that a number of my brother's friends and my brother himself and that were looked down upon, you know, when they came back from the war. And now that I'm older, and I've seen a lot with the wars and I’m a lot more politically sensitive by things like that, I see the very positive aspects of these people that are going to a different land, without getting political,are there for the right reasons or not? I don't even get into that.

PK: ​You can talk about that for hours.

MM: ​Yes. But they're fighting for the purpose of the United States. And we need to respect that at the highest level, and I'm glad that that has changed. But I think what really changed was when people saw how damaging it was when, you know, the hippies and the crazies and the goofs, and everyone like that were, you know, spitting on people coming back from Vietnam who were injured.

PK: ​Yeah.

MM: ​And, and now that I look back, and there's I mean, there's a lot of there's a lot of movies being made about it and things like that, that you can see. There's a fair amount of accuracy in it.

PK: ​Okay. Yeah. Yeah, you know, like, the world notwithstanding, as far as like, your political outlook, do you mind if we get into that a little bit?

MM: ​Yeah. All right.

PK: ​All right. Big question. How do you feel about lockdowns and masks and business closures and stuff like that? How do you feel about it overall? You can talk as long as you want about this.

MM: ​I am 99.9% against it.

PK: ​I got you. Tell me why.

MM: ​Because what they're doing is picking and choosing winners and losers and the government should never do that. Not of their own people in a free society, especially in a free capitalist society. Is there danger? In this the COVID flu? Why they're trying to lock things down? Yes, of course it is. Is it a flu they don't know about? Yes. How many different diseases or illnesses that have come up in the past 20 years that we knew nothing about? Probably 10. Did we shut everything down? No, why not? Because people took the personal responsibility for what they needed to do. So what this became is just an overreach. And as soon as you know,doggone it, you know, you give them an inch, they're going to take a mile. And I'm conservative. I would say if you threw a Democrat and Republican up against me, up toward me and said, who are you gonna vote for? I'd say, Republican. But I feel that I'm willing to sit there and read what they stand for and what they're going to do. But there is such a huge division between them.That's almost an easy statement today, of who is going to have a more conservative view, and a more capitalistic view.

PK: ​Yeah.

MM: ​For what needs to happen. Personal responsibility needs to be respected. If people are going to get it, they're going to get it. They're not, they're not, when they talk about the deaths from this, okay? One of these days, you're going to get the true facts. I don't think our news media has any concept of journalism and factual attitudes. All they're looking for is a story and a gotcha, and who can be first, so damn the truth. Let's just make sure that we have our face on the front of the page. And I said that is an extreme disservice to the entire American public. I know people that have no idea about, well, you know, the Russian thing with Trump or something like that. They don’t even know what it’s about. They have no idea. Why? Cuz they've been buried underneath a rock, just looking at the same people keep saying, you know, orange man bad,orange man bad, orange man bad. They have no idea what the truth is.

PK: ​Absolutely. Do you see news nowadays more as one of these two things? Do you see it as either fake news, or propaganda, or both?

MM: ​Both.

PK: ​Okay, why do you say that?

MM: ​Well, if it's not the truth, it's fake. Right?

PK: ​Yeah.

MM: ​It's just it's light switch on, light switch off.

PK: ​Mm hmm.

MM: ​If somebody is going to take a fake or false story, and promote it? Okay, that's propaganda.

PK: ​Yeah.

MM: ​So that's why I say both. Okay, now there's degrees of everything. All right? Unfortunately, I think a lot of it's got to a degree to where nobody wants any involvement. I've tried to cut back a whole lot of what I watch and what I listen to in the news right now.

PK: ​Yeah.

MM: ​Because it can, well, it can take your mind both ways.

PK: ​Okay. What do you mean both ways?

MM: ​Well, let's say let's say you're listening to conservative and listening to liberal issues, those two sides, right? The conservatives can go off, they go off the cliff too, you know, and so can liberals. So it depends how much you want to listen to. What the key thing is you have to do is to say, alright, I hear this happening. I'm doubting it. Where's your facts? I hear this happening.Give me your facts, take the facts and make your own decision. That's what they're not letting happen. That's why people say, oh, it's fake news. Why? Because they're just telling you what they want to say. And saying it's true, even if it's not. You as a person have to make that and be interested enough and ___? enough to make that decision yourself. And they're not giving you the facts to say okay, decide if you like it or not.

PK: ​Yeah, absolutely.

MM: ​The international marketplace. First off, you take like Obama and the Biden administration, the international world of politics and activities, stuff like that. Had no fear of the United States defending or protecting itself. They felt that oh, what a nice guy what a nice this nice that. Yeah. Nice guys don't run countries. Not dictator countries. Okay.

PK: ​Yeah.

MM: ​You can't be a nice guy.

PK: ​So you’re saying that the United States is a dictatorship or am I misconstruing?

MM: ​You’re misconstruing. It's like dictators sit there and say, fine, we can do anything we want. Because the United States isn't gonna stop us.

PK: ​Oh.

MM: ​It's a nice guy. We'll say well, well, yeah, no guts, no guts, no glory. However, you take like Trump, and the Trump administration has gone in and put the hammer down. Not only on adversaries, like China, Russia, Iran, these kinds of things. But also hey. He went into NATO and he said, hey, look at the NATO contract, you're to take 2% of your GDP and you're supposed to pay it into the protection that we give you. Yeah. Where is it? I can name five countries right now that haven't paid anything for the past 10 years. Pay up. So it wasn't just adversaries, people that were our allies and that. He said, pay up. Because people have been just taking advantage. He said, enough's enough. We will help. We will this, we will that. We will all benefit from it.We all have to pay into it. Let's get it done. It's just one small issue. You know, you got the border wall. You got the uranium thing and getting rid of some of the people that were killing all these people. And you've got China and the tariffs, which strongly affected me.

PK: ​Oh, absolutely. Yeah. It seems that you like a strong man approach in government. So with that being said-

MM: ​A strong man approach to law and order.

PK: ​Okay. Okay. That actually leads perfectly into what I was going to ask.

MM: ​I don't like somebody that makes his own rules. I like people that are strong to enforce the rules that are in place.

PK: ​Yeah.

MM: ​If you don't like the rules in place, get your representatives to change them.

PK: ​Now I'm curious what you think about police brutality and George Floyd and all that.

MM: ​I think if a policeman is a servant to us, okay. And a policeman does the best job that he can, if he crosses the line legally, he should be absolutely found guilty or tried and found guilty for what he did wrong. Just like me, just like you. Just like anybody.

PK: ​Yeah.

MM: ​I think taking something like a George Floyd thing, though. And then taking that as, oh, so now we have the ability to go burn down anybody's business? Well, those people are infringing upon the rights of those that never did anything wrong. They had the right for their business and the freedom of their business, and they should go to jail. Now you say you’re locking everybody up. No, they should be punished for doing this. And unfortunately, there isn't enough guts to punish the people that are doing what's wrong. Why? Oh, it might cost me votes. You shouldn't be in office if you're worried about votes. If you go to office, you're not going to office to get voted in again. You're going to office to serve the people that put you in office. It's, I'm gonna call it a fine line. It's a definite need. And unfortunately, many many people in and here's when you start looking between Democrats and Republicans, okay?

PK: ​Yeah.

MM: ​If you look at the states that had the problems. They're weak. And I don't like them.

PK: ​Okay.

MM: ​I don't like that.

PK: ​Yeah. Do you support more of a human centered approach to justice or more of a government centered approach to justice? Because there's a little there's been a lot of people that are saying like Florida, for example, Ron DeSantis, he was like, I'm gonna pass this bill that says you're legally allowed to kill looters? What do you think about that kind of thing? Who do you think has more of a right to defend against riots like we saw this summer?

MM: ​Wow, wow. I believe you have to have an organized authority. Because an organized authority is acting under rules of engagement, let's call it.

PK: ​Yeah.

MM: ​Which are the laws. If I go out and say, oh, that person is stealing something off there, and pull out a handgun and shoot them, and they took a piece of bubblegum off the shelf because that's wrong. And you could walk in and say, that's a piece of bubblegum, who cares? So what you don't have is a continuity. That's why that's why so often, you know, the anarchists or the the, let's just say, what's the word I'm looking for? The groundswell of people that sit there and say, okay, well, we're gonna force this issue in that? You got to have some sort of semblance of law and order, so that you have a framework to work from. Changing that framework takes time,and also, it's gonna disappoint some people. Nobody's gonna believe 100% that everything is right. But when you look at the United States as a whole, all right, where else do you have the freedom, protected freedom, opportunity freedoms, where else in the world? There's nowhere,nowhere in the world, that has what we have. And we have it because there's a rule of law that protects you to do what you need to do. And if someone says, we're going to take the law into our own hands, that's chaos. And you can see that all over Venezuela's and Iraq's. And you know, how many other crazy places around there right now?

PK: ​Yeah, how do your opinions stack up to other people you spend a lot of time with?

MM: ​Well, I work for a company, I joined a company three years ago, and the oldest person in the company is me. And the second oldest person in that company is 40 years old.

PK: ​Alright, so you're a little out of your element there.

MM: ​I'm 25 years older than anybody in the company or more. Yeah. So what they know that I'm a conservative person, and they know that I believe in certain things. But listen, it's business.

PK: ​Yeah.

MM: ​And if they're like this, it's not my family. So it's not the first thing on my list. But getting along with them is so vital. Because if I go off on my own as one person ___? I join in and go with others, so my job is less antagonism is more leadership.

PK: ​Okay.

MM: ​Because a lot of these people, and yeah, I'm not playing games here at all and saying this,but they need leadership on a business basis. They never been out and done what I've done. I need to show them that they can be successful. And here's a way to do it, but this is a way not to do it. And don't poke them in the eye with it. Show them how it works. So they trust me. And that trust creates the leadership that I can ___? So then I became confident with them. They're doing something and they say, hey, [REDACTED], what do you think of this? That's a great idea. Don't do it this way. No.

PK: ​Yeah.

MM: ​Or that's a great idea. Keep that going. Because this is where it's going to end up. Because I've seen it 100 times before, and they haven't. Okay, so it has to be more of, again, I take it as a responsibility or lead them. Is it frustrating sometimes? Oh, hell, yes. Yeah, you know, we're in it together and the company's got to last so we work together.

PK: ​Oh, and I totally understand. How about your family? How did they stack up against you? Now well, not necessarily against you, but with you?

MM: ​I think we all have the same basic beliefs. Okay, the law and order beliefs and stuff, how to approach it, how to stay transacted. You know, everybody has their own opinions, which is important. Yeah, you gotta listen to other’s opinions and that. And we have some, we have some good knockdowns, drag out some arguments in it, which is good. Because in expressing yourself,you can never really measure your thought unless you express it to somebody and they agree or disagree. All right?

PK: ​Yeah.

MM: ​And by doing that, you either have what it does to you, if you're going to be honest, it makes you step back and say, okay, what am I thinking that's wrong that this person disagrees with me so hard? And we do that as a family. Okay, we’ll disagree with one of my sons when he,you know he'll have a more liberal approach and then he'll have all of a sudden like, I don't care approach. You gotta care, this is going to affect you. Or he’ll almost sit there and say, hey, did you see this and that in kind of a conspiracy theory? No, it's got this and that. Well, show me the facts. So you challenge them. And what I appreciate is when they come back, and they challenge me because I can get just drilled back down into my old 60s, 70s heritage and just say the hell with the hippies. You know? And that's not good for me because I can't grow even though I still have to grow every day. You got to grow.

PK: ​Yeah, I'm guessing that's one of your number one goals in life is personal growth. Like continually?

MM: ​Well, every day. Yeah. Yeah. As soon as you stop growing in life, and your personal goals, and you stop growing your life, life's over.

PK: ​Okay.

MM: ​Every day is something new. Look at what changes every day.

PK: ​Yeah. Yeah, absolutely.

MM: ​I mean, it's gonna challenge you for a question. It's gonna challenge you for an answer. It's gonna challenge you for a reaction. It's going to challenge you for something you're going to do.And you have to make a decision. Well, just to flip a coin every time you say, I don't care.

PK: ​Yeah.

MM: ​You fall behind. You have to kind of stay up with it. But you can choose your subjects. But you got to stay up with it.

PK: ​I mean, you've seen how much things have changed even since you started in business. Like you told me you used to have a brick phone, didn't you?

MM: ​[laughs] I sure did. Yeah, sure. Hey, the first computer that I had was a Casio with a 64 by240 big blocky matrix sandwich. It was just. It was slower, was slower than molasses.

PK: ​Yeah. All right.

MM: ​But here's a good one. For you. Everybody knows Compaq computer when they started.They had a suitcase stood about 12 inches high. It came at a slight angle and it was about eight inches wide.

PK: ​Okay.

MM: ​And you carried it like a suitcase. And what you would do is you would take the front the top cover would snap off kind of like a musical instrument.

PK: ​Okay.

MM: ​Okay, you know how to take music things you have like, let's say an amplifier?

PK: ​Yeah.

MM: ​Okay, you take the front off, and that's your controls.

PK: ​Okay.

MM: ​The front would pop down. And that was your keyboard, and you had a nine inch CRT monitor.

PK: ​So this was the first laptop is what you’re telling me?

MM: ​This was the first portable computer.

PK: ​Okay, is there a difference?

MM: ​Absolutely. Portable computers and compact computers. I brought to them the first flat panel LCD screen that was a VGA screen, and showed it to them that they could build a laptop computer.

PK: ​Okay.

MM: ​I brought them the first LCD made by Hitachi. I was working with Hitachi at the time. And I went into the meeting, and I had the thing running. And people ____? we had a conference room and there must have been 50 people in this conference room. They couldn't believe it.

PK: ​Okay.

MM: ​I couldn't believe it when all of a sudden everybody moved back to the wall. And a guy came walking in and came walking around to the table. And he said hi. And I said, how do you do I’m [REDACTED]

PK: ​Don't worry. I'll redact your name.

MM: ​Yeah. he does that and he said, he said, so how are you doing? And I said, good. Good. He said, tell me about this. So I told him everything about it. He goes, oh, we could use that. Guys?And he looked around at everyone and he says, we can use this and walks out of the room. And the guy that brought me there, the rep that brought me there, says, do you know who that was? I have no idea. Said he’s Rod Canion, who's the founder of Compaq.

PK: ​Oh jeez.

MM: ​And I sat there for 20 minutes talking with him about technology, and had no idea who he was. Of course, I'd been with Hitachi for three months.

PK: ​Okay.

MM: ​But that's what you do. You just go and you keep on things moving. And ever since then,I've been interested not only in high tech but advanced products. What do you do next? What's coming up down the line? What's the next marketplace? It’s not not a hot thing in consumer. It's what's leading to new technologies that are gonna allow things to advance farther.

PK: ​What do you think the world is gonna look like in 2030 based on what you're seeing now and doing business with now?

MM: ​Oh, Christ. 10 years?

PK: ​Yeah. I mean, there are people saying we're going to colonize Mars by 2025. What do you think it's gonna look like in 10 years? Because you're the best person I know to even ask this to.

MM: ​[laughs] You know what, and, and, you know, there are some days I have no idea. I mean,you work on the day to day and you don't know who's going to come up with that next new idea,who's the next Elon Musk? From back in the day? If you go back in the day, you know, who was the next Tesla? Who’s the next, you start talking people like Bill Gates, or Jobs? Who's the next guy who's going to grab it and take it to the next level? Because technology has come together atthat time. Cell phones, you brought up the brick phones and-

PK: ​Yeah.

MM: ​You know, there's more power in your cell phone by a factor of probably 1000 than there was in the entire capsule that went to space for the first time.

PK: ​Yeah, yeah.

MM: ​So I mean, what can we do with all that technology and power? But it takes people. It takes the imagination of people. I, the company I'm with has got a very unique, got a terrific IP, and a very unique IP.

PK: ​What’s an IP?

MM: ​Way to go. Catch me on the way down. [laughs] Basically, it's your technologies and your patents.

PK: ​Okay.

MM: ​Yeah, there's a term for it.

PK: ​So like, proprietary technology?

MM: ​Exactly, okay, exactly.

PK: ​Sorry. I just want to understand better.

MM: ​That's good. Yeah, no, IP is a lot, a lot of times using technical reach. But, we have a light source that works on a very thin film basis. That'll work with displays, okay? I just had a conversation with my boss and I opened up the entire Asian market over there in 2019 to 12 different manufacturers of displays that will keep taking our product and putting it as this component that will be in all their products. Okay? 2020 has just submarined that process but it's going to start back up in 2021.

PK: ​Now that's gonna be big for you.

MM: ​What's it gonna be and what my boss says is great. We, the company, need you to do that again. Here's where the board of directors and here's where the investors of our company, this is where they see the next goldmine.

PK: ​Okay.

MM: ​So you got to take the knowledge you have of our technology, you got to take, find the knowledge of this goldmine. Find the companies, whether we build for them, whether we sell them technology, whether we sell them rights to our technology, whether we joint venture with them and use their name, because your name is going to be oh, an IBM. Okay. Ah, and they are bigger than us. But just write the contracts. Yeah, that's, my 2021 is kind of laid out for only new product development.

PK: ​That's great, man. I'm, I'm really happy that you're still involved in like, the very cusp of high technology, even where you're at today, to where you're just trying to provide for your family. But you're also almost, I could say, you're doing a service to humanity at this point.

MM:​ It will be. That's what we want to do. Yeah, yeah. It will be.

PK: ​Oh, absolutely that's it. This was really eye opening. Thank you.

MM: ​Thank you for asking. And thank you very much for taking the time. Yeah, I don't think about this every day. Yeah. When you ask the questions, it makes me think. Great question. Great questions. This is interesting stuff. Let's talk.

PK: ​I got you.

MM: ​I mean, we could do this for a long time. We could talk all day.

PK: ​Oh, absolutely. Time limit’s 40 minutes, though.

MM: ​So hey, gotta stay on time. Probably got another conference call.

PK: ​Absolutely, man. Thank you again. Have a good day.

MM: ​Take care.

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