Jonathan Hefter, Neverware
Launched: May 2010
What Neverware does: Imagine a world where desktop computers would never become obsolete. Hefter did more than imagine it. He’s making it happen. His company, Neverware, developed the Juicebox 100, a server appliance that can end the need to upgrade desktop computers. By using virtualization technology, Neverware allows users to access the latest software on almost any hardware, regardless of its age. All computers need is a working LAN jack, a 500MHz processor, and 128MB of memory.
How it’s changing the game: Did you get that? You may never have to buy a new desktop and you will still be able to use the latest software and OS, without sacrificing speed. Pretty game changing. “We have a piece of technology that can bring millions of aging computers back online and allow a few IT managers to manage the deployment of thousands of computers,” says Hefter.
Hefter, who came up with the idea before graduating from Wharton, felt it was important that the product be easy to use. “At the same time [I started working on the idea], there were different major movements in technology,” says Hefter. “Apple was coming out with the iPad. They were coming out with progressively simpler and simpler Macs and iPhones. They were proving that you need to make technology intuitive, not just powerful. Based off that, we started designing a virtualization system that just was plug and play. A system that didn’t require any additional training.” Hefter’s goal is to consumerize IT, and the product reflects his commitment to accessibility.
When asked why a product like this has taken so long to come to market given the fact that virtualization has been around for a while, Hefter says, “It’s the same reason that Microsoft didn’t do Apple, Google, or Facebook—until Apple, Google, and Facebook. There’s this notion of job security in the industry if everything continues as it is. And yet that flies in the very face of the history of innovation. Somebody is going to come and eat your lunch. Or are you going to eat it first?”
What’s next: The Neverware team is working on business development, and plan to get to scale in 2013. “We’re in the process of going from a select group of pilots to making this something that’s widely available,” says Hefter.
Photography by Jill Lotenberg
Daria Meoli is the Executive Editor at The New York Enterprise Report. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org