Speaker Spotlight: Chris Lema

Chris Lema started working on web sites and applications in 1994, as soon as browsers were available. At the time people thought of the web as a nice place for online brochures, but having already connected web pages to databases, Chris was positive it could be so much more.

_MG_4689None of it would have been possible in just about any other place, but Chris was working at Berkeley National Lab, where they’d designed and tested arpanet and were the third fixed IP subnet on the entire internet. So back when it was just Chris, Jerry (Yang of Yahoo!) and Al Gore, he started building web-based applications.

Very little has changed in the last 19 years. We need more bandwidth. There are still people saying that things are impossible. Technology keeps moving. And Chris is still up late at night trying to learn things.

In the years that followed his time at Berkeley Lab, Chris started and was a part of five startups. He sold the first after just 14 months for $12MM. He sold the second after almost 2 years for $10MM – as the internet bubble was bursting. He helped raise over $100MM in venture capital for the third and closed the fourth down after educating a market and watching others take it. He then was invited to help a fifth re-platform their product, and they’re still doing business online (though purchased in 2011 by another larger company).

His new product development (NPD) expertise honed by a decade of Software as a Service (SaaS) solutions, he got married and started a family. In 2006 he joined the executive team of Emphasys Software, a vertical market enterprise software company and part of Constellation Software (fast becoming one of the top 50 software companies in the world).

Today he continues to develop B2B hosted solutions in specific vertical markets with Emphasys, while also coaching WordPress startups in his free time. He writes a daily blog (chrislema.com) which combines his passions for startups, new product development, WordPress, and public speaking.

His coaching and consulting work helps businesses leverage WordPress and WordPress businesses find leverage.

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