Farewell Jack Lang

Farewell Jack Lang. You made a difference to the world.

We were very sad to hear of the passing of Dr Jack Lang at the end of April. He was a one off.

Mad and off the wall.

I organised a small dinner for Cambridge entrepreneurs in 2008 where Jack was one of the invitees. It was supported by an excellent law firm and a patent attorney. We ran round the table to introduce each other and what we did.

“I’m starting a not for profit that is going to build a personal computer that we will sell for less than £10. We want to get people back into learning to programme and do interesting things.”

Dr Jack Lang

A week later, in conversation with one of our supporters, we discussed the dinner and the people who were there. The partner of one of the firms said he thought it was a great evening, he met some very interesting people but also said he had no idea why I had invited someone as mad and off the wall as Jack Lang.

A Success Disaster

Fast forward 5 years to 2012. The Raspberry Pi has just been launched to enormous excitement and I bumped into Jack in Cambridge. He often looked troubled but this time he seemed particularly down, almost Eeyorish. What’s up Jack? You don’t seem that happy. Is everything going all right?

“I’m afraid we’re looking at a success disaster.”

Dr Jack Lang

Raspberry Pi

The Raspberry Pi has had a phenomenal impact but it wouldn’t exist without Jack Lang. He will be missed. Raspberry Pis are everywhere now and used for all sorts of things. My favourite use case was using them as the prize for a team challenge at Business of Software Conference USA 2012 where we had pre-installed a startup disk on each device. When the Pi booted, it Rick Rolled the user.

Here’s Jack at Business of Software Conference Europe 2015 telling the story of Raspberry Pi.

Jack Lang was a one off. A visionary, an extraordinary entrepreneur, a lover of molecuar gastronomy, an angel investor and surprisingly patient teacher. He had a very dry wit and only drank wine when it was of sufficient quality.

Thanks Jack. You are greatly missed.

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