Professional Journey

2019 - Current

XYO Foundation

XYO is a decentralized network of devices that have the ability to perform boundwitness transactions. All the devices in the network must conform to the XYO Protocol.

He is the President of the XYO Foundation.

Website

2012 - Current

XY - The Persistent Company

Arie's facination with relative decentralized data started with the Webble Project which was meant to create "Web-Bubbles" of data that are teathered to physical locations via IoT devices. This concept, being ahead of its time, struggled with immature Bluetooth stacks and infrastructure challenges.

XY FindIt became the focus in 2014 when its success started to overshadow Webble and started a five year run that still continues today with XY-1 through XY-4 finders and iOS and Android Apps that build the concept of "Findables".

With additional challengers in the findable space, the XYO Protocl was bon in late 2017 as the next step in IoT device interactivity.

Website

2008 - 2012

Yontoo LLC

Yontoo was Arie's first "big-swing" entreprenural venture. He raised $350k of friends and family to build a system that allows users to control and customize their internet experience through a browser plug-in. During the first four years of Yontoo, Arie grew the install base for the platform to over 25 million monthly active users world wide.

After early support and technical assitance from Facebook, Yontoo came under attack by Facebook for slowing down user experience with background images. In a subsequent anti-trust lawsuit brought by Yontoo against Facebook for threatening Yontoo partners and customers with "lifetime bans" from Facebook. Facebook's claim was that Yontoo was malware/adware heavily damaged Yontoo's business model and public image.

In 2012 Arie stepped down from Yontoo, which had been rebranded as Sambreel by that time, handing over the reigns to his partners, and eventually fully exiting via sale from Sambreel in 2015.

2006 - 2007

Tightline Technologies

Can computers play better poker than humans? Definitly! And we proved it!

Tightline hired Arie as the CTO a few months after contracting him to build the client app integration portion of their poker automation software. The initial idea for this project was to use technology to gather as much information from players playing online and streamlining the use of that data to allow humans to play better poker. As more and more of the "simple" parts of poker was automated, we eventually didn't need the humans any more.

This project was brought to an early end by the SAFE Port Act.

2004 - 2006

Hekko Education

The better the consulting rate, the easier it is to fund the dream. Hekko is the effort and passion at this time, and for several years, a self-paced math game helps kids.

The unfortunate truth that stopped Hekko was that schools fail the "One Ferrari, Two Ferrari" dilemma. Given this reality, Hekko paused for more consulting, which then turned into a long term effort with Tightline Technologies.

2003 - 2004

Consulting

Healthcare, financial, the better the rate, the easier it is to fund the dream.

Discovered that the best way to test with entrepreneurial waters is to load up on short term, high paying consulting gigs and then take tije off to take a shot.

2003

SAK Labs

Arie and two other software contract developers at Verizon created a application firewall product that allowed users to both be aware of everything that was running on their Windows PC and also to select which things should run. This type of software is now common place on Windows and MacOS where the OS prompts users for execution permission.

Unfortunatly, neither Arie or his two partners had sufficient experience in marketing and sales to make the effort a success, and the effort came to an end when the three parted was from both each other and their Verizon contracts.

2001 - 2003

GTE Interactive/Verizon

During this era at Verizon, hiring was put on hold due to union negotiations and it resulted in only contract workers being hired to develop projects such as the DSL Installation Software, which suited Arie just fine. It provided valuable experience, excellent pay, and hourly work which was not all encompassing, allowing him to try his had at business.

1998 - 2001

Bluesky Software/eHelp

Can you call up a company who made you an offer two years ago and ask them if their offer still stands? The answer is yes. Arie did interivew at Microsoft up at Redmond for 3 days for the .Net team, but for all 3 days it rained.

Starting as a Senior Software Developer, Arie quickly moved up to Program Manager where he over saw every aspect of eHelp's flagship product, RoboHelp. He then developed RoboAssist, a smart FAQ system that never was fully released prior to a major corporate strategic shift at eHelp. When that happened, Arie left eHelp, to pursue contract work and to launch his entreprenural efforts.

1997 - 1998

Canon/eTree

The dot com days were glorious, and companies like Canon recruited heavily and paid all relocation expenses. But before accepting the Canon opportunity, Arie interviewed at Bluesky Software and Johnson Grace (right after they were purchased by AOL). He got both of those offers, but joining a company after an exit did not make sense, and Bluesky was not willing to pay to relocate, so Canon it was. And besides, Joe (yes, another Joe) at Canon was quite possibly the smartest engineer I had met.

The stay at Canon was short. 30 days after arriving in Irvine, the team that hired Arie all quit to start a new company, ironically funded by a contract from Canon, and lead by Joe. He was asked to join, and conversations were had to make the relocation costs go away.

Even though the stay at eTree was fairly short (around two years), and rocky after Joe's illness and subsequent conflicts with Tom (the other partner), this turned out to be the most influentual perido of Arie's career. To this day, Arie views Joe as the to a guy who could code and showed him how to develop software.

1996 - 1997

Greentree Technologies

After seeing the already established start-up, seeing the start-up in progress was the next experience Arie needed and Greentree was the perfect place. Working long hours to produce the early products and struggling with marketing was frustrating, but a very valuable education.

The future grew dim, the wife became pregnant, and California was calling.

1994 - 1996

Sheridan Software

Joe, Joe and Robert. The 3 founders of Sheridan Software, and their top dog Jim. These were his heros. They were running a small startup that was already making money and running smoothly.

There is nothing like experiencing entreprenuralism from the inside watching people who have made it work. Yes, it is overwhelming, but also the best and maybe the only way to find out if you like it.

So commercial software was where it was at for Arie, and this is where he realized that. But eventually his direct boss and mentor, Jim left to start his own competitor, and pulled Arie away with him.

1993 - 1994

ChoiceCare

They pay you to write software! Arie found his dream job, or so he thought, but after less than 12 months, the company across the parking lot offered him a "real" software development job, working on development tools for Visual Basic.

Besdies, a company this big and boring was not Arie's thing.

1991 - 1993

USA Cable Network

During school in New York, Arie would stop by at Rockifeller Plaza (actually the Simon and Schuster Building) on the way home every day since campus was at Columbus Circle and home was at 31st and 3rd. It was only because his sister, Estha, was working there, having recently graduated from NYU, but delaying the launch of her Television career due to recovering from knee surgery.

After a few weeks of hanging around USA, Arie started helping out with tasks like satalite refreshes and other day to day tasks, eventually becoming the jack-of-all-trades temp to fill in roles when people would go on vacation.

Ironically, he had stubled into the job that nearly every NYU Film and Television student would want, working on camera crews for the US Open and doing corner mics for Tuesday Night Fights at the Paramount.

Upon graduation, USA offered a full-time job in their engineering department, but software development was his calling, and he chose the first software job he could find.

1990

BEC Computers

The only thing that could pull Arie away from his Sears job was an actual paying computer job. Believe it or not, in the late 80s, this was not an easy thing to find in Cleveland.

Having learned how to cobble together computers at home for use in his bulletin board systems and as gamer systems, he convinced the owners of a local computer sales and service company. He assembled computer and serviced them both in-house and on-sight. This was (at the time) a dream job, allowing Arie to buy a 1989 Ford Escort and having more money to pour into his computer habit.

Arie's tenure at BEC would end when he is accepted into NYIT's Computer Science program. Off to New York!

1989

Sears

Sears? Really? Yes, really. After returning from University of Cincinatti after one year of intellectually unproductive attendance, Arie decided to find a job while he figures out whatg to do next.

He signed on as the local Sears' catalog return clerk where he worked in a back room taking baskets of returns that were ordered from the Sears catalog and then returned to the store. The stay there was fairly short, only a few months, but it was a valuable learning experience of what he did not want to do. Despite this, he was a model employee and broiught his manager to tears when he resigned.

1984-1988

Zanken

Zanken was a video store supplier for all items needed by a video store in the 80s founded by Zannette, Arie's mother. She grew this company until the early 90s when she sold it.

Fun Fact: Zanken was the originator of the "Please be Kind, Rewind" tamper resistant stickers that were found on most of the VHS rental taps in the 80s.

During iddle and high school, Arie worked on various projects at Zanken, with the most interesting one being a consecutive number printing system used for generating custom inventory stickers for video stores. He wrote the software that drove various Epson dot-matrix printers and licensed that software to his mother's company Zanken.

1983

The Country Club

After getting a taste of making his own money at ZBS, Arie decided to try his hand at being a caddie at The Country Club, where his next door neighbor, Rob Grassi was also working as a caddie. Despite the previous year's hard work, the sun and attempts at carrying two bags at once proved too much for the little pay.

Since the reason for working was to acquire software (mostly games) for the Atari 800 that Arie purchased the year before, he decided a more efficient way would be to establish his own Bulletin Board (The Sidewalk) using his Atari computer. This proved to be both a success and his first entreprenurial experience.

He ran pirate bulletin boards under the name "The Sidewalk" for the next five years, eventually graduating to a multiline PC based implementation.

1982

ZBS Industries

In the quest to get an Atari 800 with a full 48k, during summer break after 6th grade, he took a job working in the warehouse of ZBS Industries, a video tape distributor in Cleveland. Fortunatly, this was where his mother Zannette was climbing the corporate ladder as a sales executive, which gave him an inside track on this oppotunity, despite his being on the young side.

After three months of picking, packing and making photo copies, he allotted a small fortune (around $700) which was enough to buy the computer. Zannette was kind enough to pitch in an additional $500 to get a Percom floppy drive to go along with the computer.

© 2020 - Arie Trouw