Category Archives: Business Profiles and Case Studies

We can rebuild him…

The cure for your tennis elbow might just be inside your own DNA. Here’s a look at the (possible) future of sports medicine, from ColoradoBIZ magazine.

The Big Fix
By Stewart Schley

If you watched television in the 1970s, you may recall it cost $6 million to rebuild the body of the astronaut Steve Austin, TV’s bionic man. And that was before 30-some years of inflation.

So comparatively speaking, the few thousand it’ll cost you to repair that mash of meniscus in your knee should sound like a pretty serious bargain. Especially considering that unlike the guy Lee Majors played in the TV show, you won’t need machine-tooled implants or a 20:1 infrared zoom lens fitted into the hole where your eye used to be.

All it takes is a few drops of a DNA brew drawn from your own body. And the steady hand of a Broomfield, Colo., physician who is doing to professional athletes and weekend warriors the same thing a shadowy arm of the U.S. government did to Steve Austin in “The Six Million Dollar Man.” Which is to say, rebuilding them. Better. Stronger. Faster. But without ever touching a scalpel. Continue reading We can rebuild him…

A story about piracy. Like, REAL piracy.

A Boulder-area think tank is taking on the world’s nastiest pirates. Pull up a jug ‘o rum and read on. From the September 2010 issue of Denver Magazine.

Revenge of the Landlubbers
By Stewart Schley

Admit it: You’ve got a thing for pirates. One glimpse of Johnny Depp in eyeliner and billowing knickers and you were a goner. We get it. What’s not to like about a badass roustabout storming vessels belonging to capitalistic profiteers with a parrot clenching his shoulder and a bad hangover rattling about in his brain?

Conversely, any look at maritime piracy — the real kind, with harrowing violence and million-dollar ransoms — is enough to shatter our pirate fantasies. And ironically, far from the nearest ocean, the Colorado-based One Earth Future (OEF) Foundation is leading the war against it. OEF is a think tank bankrolled by a former yogurt maven, fueled by some serious intellectual firepower, and fighting pirates from the most unlikely of places: a nondescript office building off McCaslin Boulevard and Highway 36 in Louisville. Continue reading A story about piracy. Like, REAL piracy.

A CEO with vision. And voice.

Articulate, wise and able not only to see the bigger human picture, but to apply it to his business. They should make all CEOs like Steve Patterson, who I profiled in this ColoradoBIZ column.

Vocal Point
By Stewart Schley

Sit down, says Steve Patterson, who played tight end 20 years ago for his high school in Cortez, Colo. Sit down and let’s talk.

Mid-morning sunshine streams through a tinted window at Patterson’s Highlands Ranch office as he settles into a comfortable chair. A copy of Sun Tzu’s 6th Century manifesto, The Art of War, sits on a bookcase nearby. For an hour, Patterson talks about his work and his philosophy of work: How he’d prefer that an employee rip up the ski slopes on a Sunday afternoon and drive home Monday, rather than grind through the traffic Sunday evening on I-70. How there’s no dress code at his company and no ordained vacation: better to hire great people and trust them to figure out their own work schedules – and what to wear. How he insists his software developers work on something other than their day jobs on Fridays, so long as they tell their colleagues about what they discovered. Continue reading A CEO with vision. And voice.

Batteries Not Required

A Loveland company is changing the future of energy consumption, one car at a time. From the August Denver Magazine.

By Stewart Schley

Dan Johnson of Lightning Hybrids has uncovered a vital source of energy that could power a new generation of vehicles, and it’s under your foot.

Every time you apply your brakes, you unleash an impressive amount of energy that turns to heat in most vehicles. But in a Loveland garage-workshop, Johnson is devising a system that captures most of that braking energy in a high-pressure hydraulic tank and redirects it to the vehicle’s drive train — which turns your wheels. Continue reading Batteries Not Required

Fade in: a new sort of movie maker

From the May 2010 issue of the nicely redesigned Denver Magazine, which is becoming a pretty interesting read these days.

He’s Got Game

From Denver Magazine, May 2010

During a tense scene in Army 360, the new Russell Phelps movie, a seemingly friendly Afghan villager offers an extraordinary gift to a U.S. Army officer: a finely crafted scimitar that has been handed down for generations. But seconds before the officer can accept the sword, the villager’s brother erupts in anger, shouting that the stranger is an undeserving intruder. Dimly lit, with shadows suggesting an undercurrent of menace, the moment crackles with tension and a possibility of violence.

It’s good filmmaking, but you’ll never see it at the multiplex or on Blu-ray. That’s because Phelps isn’t a Hollywood film director, and Army 360 isn’t a feature film. It’s a simulation program played over personal computers and produced by InVism, Inc., the Greenwood Village company Phelps founded. Continue reading Fade in: a new sort of movie maker

If you own a down jacket, here’s who to thank…

Klaus Obermeyer, founder of an Aspen, Colo. sportswear company bearing his name, is 90 years old this winter. And he can beat you or me down the mountain any day. Had a chance to visit him earlier this year…here’s the column from ColoradoBiz.

SportsBiz: Aspen’s Better Man

From ColoradoBiz Magazine, February 2010

Klaus Obermeyer, who lives, works and skis in Aspen, wasn’t supposed to end up in Colorado, making clothes for a living. Educated in pre-war Germany as an aeronautical engineer, Obermeyer was supposed to spend his professional life huddling over drafting tables as he puzzled over propulsion theories and celestial mechanics.

But when he came to the U.S. in 1947, the airplane business, post-war and pre-Boeing 707, was in a slump. The only engineers getting hired were rocket scientists.

“I was out of work,” Obermeyer remembers. “And I thought, ‘Well, I can always be a ski instructor.'” Continue reading If you own a down jacket, here’s who to thank…

Ah, for the scent of burning Bronco

A former NFL linebacker waxes poetic about the essential appeal of candles bearing your favorite team’s logo. From ColoradoBIZ.

Tom Graham’s Sweet Smell of Success
By Stewart Schley

The last thing you’d think, knowing that Tom Graham once ground out a living as a middle linebacker in the NFL, is that the guy would be all gaga over fragrances. But here’s Graham, father of Broncos tight end Daniel Graham, talking excitedly on his cell phone on a Thursday morning about…candles.

Candles! The kind with wicks. The kind that make your den smell like a Girl Scout cookie.

“I’m a bit of a romantic. I love candles and fragrances,” says Graham. Continue reading Ah, for the scent of burning Bronco