Hal Plotkin

Hal Plotkin
2489 Ramona Street
Palo Alto, CA 94301
Tel 650/326-9673
Fax 650/838-9397


Special writing, editing and web site content development projects.

8/98 to 12/02 Technology Columnist

Author of more than 60 opinion columns on a wide range of business and technology subjects for, the companion web site operated by the Hearst Corporation in conjunction with the San Francisco Chronicle. Topics covered include search and portal business strategies, marketing, best practices, management trend analysis, software development, new products and technologies, e-learning, energy deregulation options, electronic voting machines, streaming media platforms, patent law reform, online electioneering, biotech research and federal nanotechnology policy, among others. In March 2001, MediaMetrix named the fastest growing major news and information web site in the country. Archives available online at:

7/99 to 8/01 Silicon Valley Correspondent

Author of more than 300 articles covering all aspects of the economy in Silicon Valley including networking hardware, wireless, web business platforms, software, XML and peer-to-peer technologies. Served as the last full-time writer on staff prior to the transfer of editorial control to Microsoft Corp. Archives available online at:

12/84 to 8/98


Served in a variety of contract positions including Associate Editor of Inc. Magazine International Edition, Contributing Writer, Inc. Magazine and Inc. Technology magazine, Editor of Entrepreneur Of The Year magazine, Editor of Biotechnology in Japan Newservice, Silicon Valley Correspondent for Securities Industry Daily, Associate Editor of World Trade Magazine, monthly columnist at Biotechnology magazine, News Editor at the San Jose Metro and Contributing Editor at Bylined articles have also appeared in Forbes ASAP, International Business magazine, Arthur Andersen’s, The Harvard Communications Update, The Harvard Business Management Update, California magazine, California Business magazine, Boulevards, Family Business magazine, the Peninsula Times Tribune, and the San Jose Metro weekly, among others.

11/88 to 11/90

Commentary Editor/Segment Producer

One of three Founding Editors of Marketplace, a daily international business public radio news program broadcast nationally via The American Public Radio Network (now PRI, Public Radio International). Served as commentary editor, daily segment producer and substitute anchor.

9/81 to 10/83

Manuscript Editor

Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Stanford University School of Medicine. Revised and edited scientific manuscripts.

7/81 to 2/84

Silicon Valley Reporter – KPEN (97.7FM)

Served as host and reporter for a weekly high tech economy talk show on this 3,000 watt Bay Area commercial radio station; wrote and produced news specials and business coverage; served as Public Affairs Director. Arbitron rating of 4.2 (18-49 year olds) in final Sunday morning rating period topping both the local CBS and ABC affiliates.


(Partial list prior to 1999. Please see online archives for more recent citations.)

“How to Write Fast, Effective Business Memos in Nine Easy Steps.” Harvard Communications Update. September 1999.

“Keeping Score on Congress.” 11 May 1999.

“Oh Holy Net: Does the Hand of God Know HTML?” April 1999.

“DSL Gaining Ground with Businesses.” 22 April 1999.

“Understanding Six Sigma.” Harvard Management Update. April 1999.

“Love Bytes: Will the Net Flatten Maslow’s Pyramid?” April 1999.

“Killing the Rainmakers: The Dying Art of High-Tech Public Relations.” March 1999.

“Power to The People: The Return of Cold Fusion.” March 1999.

“Biotech Rules Part II: Science, Serendipity, and the Web.” March 1999.

“Enterprise Resource Software Programs (ERPs): How to Make Them Work.” Harvard Management Update. March 1999.

“Is Telmex Playing the Game Too Well?” 18 February 1999.

“Communicating with Telecommuters.” Harvard Communications Update. February 1999.

“Biotech Rules Part I: Anyone Wanna Buy a Cure For Cancer?” February 1999.

“Online Government: Bringing the Public Sector Up to Speed.” February 1999.

“Speed Kills: How PacBell’s New DSL Service Trips up the Competition.” January 1999.

“Net Unemployment: Will the Internet Put You Out of Work?” January 1999.

“The Year Ahead for the FCC and Congress.” 30 December 1998.

“What (and Why) You Need to Know About Open Source Software.” Harvard Management Update. December 1998.

“Time for a Silver Bullet: How to Make Tech Companies Do the Right Thing.” December 1998.

“The Socket Wars: How Intel is Giving R&D a Bad Name.” December 1998.

“Study Prepares to Cross Virtual Borders.” 11 December 1998.

“Free Money Here! Online Help Finding Venture Capital — Some You May Not Want to Use.” November 1998.

“Plug ‘n’ Play Computer Networks?” 25 November 1998.

“Internet Service Providers Prepare for Baby Bells’ Entry.” 5 November 1998.

“Poof! Instant LAN (You’re Already Wired).” November 1998.

“New Age Voting: How Technology Might Help Revolutionize Democracy.” October 1998.

“Why It’s Not Clicking For Asia.” October 1998.

“Showdown at the FCC Corral.” 22 October 1998.

“Tear Down The Walls: College in the Digital Age.” September 1998.

“The Open Source Revolution: Mr. Gates, Meet Mr. Torvolds.” August 1998.

“What’s Your Bank Done For You Lately?” 8 August 1998.

“Open Source Software: Business Users Favor New Approach.” 21 July 1998.

“Have You Read Your Software Licenses?” 21 July 1998.

“Venture Capital Boom Changes Critical Market Dynamics.” 3 July 1998.

“Technology for Telecommuters.” 30 June 1998.

“Managing Telecommuters Builds Better Management Skills.” 29 June 1998.

“Collaborate Locally to Compete Globally.” 27 May 1998.

“The Next Wave: Mass Customization.” 4 May 1998.

“The Deal of the Art: A Cautionary Tale of Online Sales.” 16 May 1998.“Art Net.” Forbes ASAP. April 1998.

“Pioneers Thrive as Old Ways Die.” Inc. April 1998.

“Virtual Assistants: New Breed of Executive Office Help.” 13 March 1998.

“Videoconferencing Competitors Draw Battle Lines.” 13 March 1998.

“States Move Independently Toward Energy Deregulation.” 5 January 1998.

“SEC Rule Change Means More Scrutiny for Certain Mergers and Acquisitions.” 26 January 1998.

“Technology Lags Behind ‘Thin-Client’ Approach.” 16 December 1997.

“A Road Show Without The Road.” 9 December 1997.

Videoconferencing Taking Hold in the Market.” 9 December 1997.

“What They Do (and Don’t) Teach You in Business School.” Inc. December 1997.

“Update: Can Tripod Stand?” Inc. December 1997.

“I’m Your Assistant, and I’m Not Here to Help You.” Inc. October 1997.

“Trillion-Dollar Jackpot Bypasses Small Biz, Says SBA.” Inc. August 1997.

“Seeking Quality, Juicer Squeezes Out Franchisees.” Inc. July 1997.

“A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Vineyard.” Inc. June 1997.

“Cisco Systems Secret: Entrepreneurs Sell Out, Stay Put.” Inc. March 1997.

“Jig May Be Up on Fantastic Stock Multiples from Roll-up Acquisitions.” Inc. February 1997.

“Hollywood Lures High School Animators with Sweet Deals.” Inc. January 1997.

“Small Biz Gets No Charge from Electricity Deregulation.” Inc. December 1996.

“Business, Bureaucrats Reinvent Local Government.” Inc. November 1996.

“Prop. 13 Time Bomb Explodes, Start-ups Hit.” Inc. October 1996.

“Student Uprising.” Inc. August 1996.

“Entrepreneurs in the Next Century: Q&A with Alvin Toffler.” Entrepreneur Of The Year magazine, Fall 1996.

“Working with The Best of the Best: Q&A with Gregory K. Ericksen, Chairman of the Entrepreneur Of The Year Institute.” Entrepreneur Of The Year Magazine, Fall 1996.

“Dining a la Data.” Inc. Technology, Vol. #4, 1995.

“Right on the Money: Stanford University’s Hoover Institution.” San Jose Metro. 22 November 1995.

“Internet Video: A New Tool for Brokerages?” Redemption Digest and Securities Industry Daily. 21 June 1995.

“Software Firm Providing Secured Internet Transactions.” Redemption Digest and Securities Industry Daily. 21 June 1995.

“Navigator Service Helps Users Find Way.” Redemption Digest and Securities Industry Daily. 21 June 1995.

“U.S. Financial Firms Could be the Losers in Case Involving Encryption.” Redemption Digest and Securities Industry Daily. 21 June 1995.

“Invasion of the Cybercensors.” San Jose Metro. 22 June 1995.

“Spin Doctors.” (Profile of Rykodisk, Inc.) Inc. Technology. Summer 1995 Vol. 2

“Contract on the Environment.” San Jose Metro. 20 April 1995.

“Riches from Rags.” (Profile of French Rags, Inc.) Inc. Technology. Summer 1995 Vol 1.

“The Next Big Initiative.” San Jose Metro. 29 December 1994.

“The CEO Who Came in From the Cold.” Inc. March 1994.

“Internet: Data Pathway to the 21st Century.” The New Democrat. February, 1994.

“Business 2000: The New World Order.” Special Advertorial Section. Inc. December 1993.

“In the China Shop.” International Section. Inc. September 1993.

“Profiting From Logistics.” (Profile of Fritz Companies, Ltd.) International Business. August 1993.

“Valley of Dreamers.” (Joint Venture Silicon Valley) San Jose Metro. 14 January 1993.

“Where Are They Now?” (Report on 10 fastest-growing U.S. multinational companies) International Business. June 1993.

“Japan and the U.S. Entrepreneur: Partners in Progress.” Special Advertorial Section. Inc. October 1992

“The New Politics.” (Report on Gov. Clinton’s Silicon Valley strategy) San Jose Metro cover story. 29 October 1992.

“Hot Seat.” (Report on Silicon Valley congressional race). San Jose Metro. 22 October 1992.

“Played in Japan.” (Profile of Videonics, Inc.) San Jose Metro cover story. 12 December 1991.

“Oh, Boy, it’s Tom Terrific: Meet the Man who Wants to Be Your Next Senator.” (Profile of GOP US Senate candidate Tom Campbell). San Jose Metro over story. 21 May 1992.

“The Second Son Also Rises.” (Profile of Chicago’s Krehbiel family, founders of Molex, Inc.) Family Business. March 1991.

“Coming Unglued.” (Expose of impact of funding crisis on state mental health system). San Jose Metro cover story. 18 October 1990.

“Japan Roundup.” Abstract of current Japanese biotechnology research. Co-author of regular monthly column. Biotechnology. October 1987 to January 1989.

“International Partners.” (Profile of Cinzia, Inc., an international women’s apparel firm.) Inc. May 1989.

“Chinese Checkers.” (Remote Monitoring of Chinese Utilization of American Supercomputers.) Insider Section. Inc. February 1989.

“The End of the Line.” (Profile of Fairchild Semiconductor Corp.) Insider Section. Inc. February 1989.

“How Now Ed Zschau.” Insider Section. Inc. December 1988.

“Going International.” International Edition. Inc. November 1988.

“Multi-National Start-up.” Inc. ibid.

“Political Drives (Ed Zschau profile).” California Business. November 1988.

“Cutting Capital Gains Taxes: A Concept Worth of Joe Isuzu.” The Peninsula Times Tribune. 19 October 1988.

“The Well-Tailored Pitch.” (Profile of clothing retailer George Zimmer). California Business. September 1988.

“Just Plain Folk.” (Singers Hope and Rebeka) San Jose Metro. 25 August 1988.

“How the Defense Department Bought America’s Newspapers.” San Jose Metro. 14 July 1988.

“The Small Business Mayor (Profile of San Francisco Mayor Art Agnos).” Inc. July 1988.

“What Other Law Enforcement Officials Say.” (Gun Control) San Jose Metro. 30 June 1988.

“Let Them Eat Pies.” Insider Section. Inc. June 1988.

“Classified Information.” (Pentagon waste and media influence buying.) California Business. May 1988.

“Moral Regenerates.” (Ethics on Campus). San Jose Metro. 11 February 1988.

“Silicon Valley Innovation: Suffocating from Federal Fiscal Embrace.” The Peninsula Times Tribune. 2 March 1987.

“Bug Juice Not Included.” (RDNA experiments using genetic material from fireflies [Lampyridae, genus: Photinus). California. December 1987.

“Massachusetts to Mars.” (Interview of presidential candidate Gov. Michael Dukakis). San Jose Metro. 22 October 1987.

“No Apologies, No Regrets.” (Profile of Pete McCloskey). San Jose Metro. 1 October 1987.

“Frankly Ernest.” (Profile of Congressman Ernest Konnyu). San Jose Metro. 1 October 1987.

“Momentum Builds to Oust Congressmember.” San Jose Metro. 20 August 1987.

“Economic Incentives for Investment Cannot Take the Place of Hard Work.” (Analysis of impact of Capital Gains Tax reduction on labor tax rates). The Peninsula Times Tribune. 22 October 1986.

“New Wave Taxation: No Income Necessary.” San Jose Metro. 16 January 1986.

“Paying for a Higher Education – There Must be a Better Way.” (OPED in support of a voluntary National Service program) The Peninsula Times Tribune. 7 November 1985.

“Public Eye.” Weekly column (contributor). San Jose Metro. January 1986 to January 2003.


December 1986 Bachelor of Arts, Behavioral Science. With distinction. San Jose
State University, San Jose, CA.

June 1985 Associate of Arts, History. With high honors. Foothill Community
College, Los Altos Hills, CA.

Community Service (partial list)

12/03 to present

Member, Governing Board of Trustees
Foothill-De Anza Community College District

Serve as one of five elected trustees overseeing two local community colleges with approx. 44,000 students, 1,500 faculty and staff, and an annual budget in excess of $150 million. Chairman of the Board’s Audit and Finance Committee. The Board meets twice a month. Term expires December 2007.

6/94 – 6/96

Member, California Economic Strategy Panel.

One of three members appointed by the Speaker of the California State Assembly.

Spring 2004

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