Whilst not pursuing interests in pyrotechnics and molecular gastronomy, Jack is a high-tech entrepreneur and business angel based in Cambridge.
The idea behind a tiny and affordable computer for kids came in 2006, when Eben Upton, Rob Mullins, Jack Lang and Alan Mycroft, based at the University of Cambridge’s Computer Laboratory, became concerned about the year-on-year decline in the numbers and skills levels of the A Level students applying to read Computer Science. From a situation in the 1990s where most of the kids applying were coming to interview as experienced hobbyist programmers, the landscape in the 2000s was very different; a typical applicant might only have done a little web design.
So began the Raspberry Pi adventure that culminated in the launch of a fully working computer available at a cost of just $25. They hoped to sell 10,000 units in the first year.
One week after the launch of the Pi, just 3 years ago, I bumped in to Jack who was looking unusually gloomy.
“Everything OK Jack?” I said.
“We’re looking at what I call a success disaster“
The Raspberry Pi sold over 100,000 units on launch. The problem switched from how to build something people might buy to how they could ship enough units quickly enough. Three years later, the Raspberry Pi has sold over 5,000,000 units.
He is Entrepreneur in Residence and Fellow at the Judge Business School, an affiliated Lecturer at the Computer Lab and a bye-fellow of and Director of Studies in Management at Emmanuel College. He was founder of Electronic Share Information Ltd, one of the first online brokerages.
Talks by Jack Lang
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