Anne Winblad

Age: 51

Claim to fame: Winblad was one of the first female venture capitalists to launch her own firm and later specialize in software investments.

What she's doing now: Since 1989, co-founding partner of San Francisco-based Hummer Winblad Venture Partners

What's been the biggest technology influence on your life? The advent of the microprocessor and the first affordable PCs allowed entrepreneurs such as me to build commercial code on low-cost machines. I was able to start a company with meager savings supplemented by borrowing only $500 from my brother. Moore's Law has had a dramatic impact on entrepreneurs: The microprocessor jump-started the software industry.

What will be the next technology advancement to radically change the business landscape? We're in the beginning of the move to shared system architectures. The rethinking of the application platform should permit more seamless external and internal applications, more autonomic computing environments, more personalization of user apps and the ability to deliver more useful information vs. just transaction- and workflow-oriented systems.

What will the IT organization look like? Rather than being composed of silos of expertise, we are beginning to see the convergence of database, storage and Web services. For IT, this may seem like a collision compared to integration, but it represents a move toward more programmable, manageable software, as opposed to a hardware environment, and will redefine the skill sets required of IT managers.

Fox is a freelance writer in San Francisco. Contact him at pimmfox@pacbell.net.

Copyright © 2002 IDG Communications, Inc.

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