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My 15 minutes January 28, 2017

Posted by brianlatimer in Pearl.
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I guess it’s not every day that you’re featured by the New York Times.

Back in May, I made a huge change, and left Apple – my employer for 20 years – to try something new, and joined a new startup named Pearl Automation.  The decision to make this change was a very difficult one – but was made a bit easier, since I was going to be working with a large group of incredibly-talented folks, many of which I had enjoyed working with in the past (on the iPod & iPhone teams, for example). This move has turned out to be a great change, and I’ve been having a blast.  It’s been a lot of fun to be in at the ground level of a new company, and our first product – RearVision – has been getting tons of great press, reviews, etc.

As a part of this interest, we were approached by the New York Times, wanting to do a feature story on us.  We were told the reporter would be around the office that day, but this wasn’t expected to impact most of us.  Then our CEO came by my desk, and asked if I would be interested in talking to the reporter, Vindu Goel. Although I went in completely unprepared, I did have a great discussion with him, and he seemed very interested in some of the stories I shared during our meeting. That discussion turned into a follow-up call about a month later, where he asked me for even more insights and details.  Still, I only expected to maybe be mentioned in the final article – or, if I was lucky, to perhaps be quoted.

Then, on January 2nd, 2017, our corporate PR guru (thanks, Katie!) contacted me and indicated I might just want to check out the lead story in the “Technology” section of the NYTimes that day.  Do you have any idea how surreal it is to visit the website of a globally-famous publication, and read:

At Apple, Brian Latimer was in charge of protecting some of the company’s deepest secrets.


I was very surprised to discover that the “hook” of the article focused on what I had discussed with the reporter: My background on helping define the New Product Security team at Apple, including methods for ensuring the secrecy of products while under development – and contrasting this with the more “open” process of development which we’re pursuing at Pearl. I was absolutely blown away that he would have chosen my discussion with him to be the focus of his story, and to feature these details so prominently.

I’m incredibly thankful to the New York Times, and Vindu Goel in particular, for the story – and indebted to everyone at Pearl for all of the work and contributions which I’m thrilled are being acknowledged by others.  It’s great to have our “little” startup now recognized worldwide, and I couldn’t be prouder of our team and everything we’re pursuing.

For reference, here are some links to the article – as well as follow-ups, other coverage regarding the story, etc.

There were also several re-posts of that article, at several other sites – all titled “Apple veterans reinvent its culture at auto-accessory startup“:

Even some mentions overseas:

And, there were other mentions on some popular tech blogs:

This latter one was probably my favorite:  I read Daring Fireball daily – it’s one of my favorite go-to sites for technology-focused stories, and is very popular with the tech crowd.  Enough so, that being featured there is what some consider a crowning achievement: Several friends reached out to me after seeing that post, indicating: “Yeah, yeah – being featured in the New York Times is OK, I guess.  But, dude – you were even Fireballed!” ;-)

One heckuva way to start 2017, huh?