Greg Blonder is an inventor, scientist, entrepreneur and author. He is currently Professor of Design and Product Engineering at Boston University.
Greg was born into a family of small business owners, and has always found a way to combine his natural talent for innovative ideas, with a path to commercial realization. Mr. Blonder joined AT&T in 1982, initially studying superconductivity and the quantum phenomena of semiconductor materials. In 1987 he was promoted to head of the Photonics and Electronics Research Department, and then in 1991 to director of the Materials and Technology Integration Research Laboratory. In 1992 he assumed the additional responsibility as the Chief Technical Advisor for Corporate Strategy and Development, where he was involved in selecting technical and business strategies for AT&T, and reported to the AT&T board and senior management team.
In 1995, recognizing the need to focus Bell Labs research activities closer to consumer markets, he started the Customer Expectations Research Lab. This lab (Article in Fast Company) tried to understand human behavior through a variety of statistical and cognitive techniques- and then relate those needs to future products and services. They also pioneered a quantitative approach to scenario planning, which has been adopted by a number of companies. In 1996, after Bell Labs moved to Lucent, Greg help create the Claude Shannon Labs at AT&T.
Greg's personal research at AT&T in the 90's was divided between pioneering compelling new services and inventing new classes of consumer electronics devices (such as the AT&T Wrist Telephone). Much of this research resulted in practical applications and he holds over 100 patents in the areas of green energy technology, optical disk recording, integrated fiber optic devices, displays, toys, computer systems, software services and improved user interfaces. He invented or co-invented the original concepts behind two-factor authentication and visual passwords.
In January 1998 Greg decided to leave AT&T Labs, and follow some of these ideas through to the marketplace by joining AT&T Ventures. From 2000-2008 he became a partner at Morgenthaler Ventures, just as the internet bubble was deflating. Fortunately, Greg comes from a long family tradition of operating small businesses, and was able to help step-in as CEO or lead many post-bubble companies to reasonable landings.
Greg is also a director or advisor at a number of private companies, and frequently writes about venture capital, green technology and the economy for Business Week. He develops new products for selected clients- in the last five years, tens of millions of these products have shipped with revenues in the hundreds of millions of dollars.
Greg is also the science advisor at AmazingRibs.com, the largest barbecue site on the internet, and helps competitive teams and pitmasters up their game.
Over a twenty five year career he has demonstrated a strong passion to strengthen this country's technological and competitive foundation through entrepreneurship and education. He has lectured at Wharton and Columbia Business Schools, taught at Parsons, and is now Professor of Design and Product Engineering in the Mechanical Engineering Department at Boston University.
Mr. Blonder attended the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (M.I.T.) where his undergraduate thesis was on phase transitions in liquid crystals. In 1982 he received his MS and Ph.D. in Physics from Harvard University after explaining the physics behind the normal-superconducting transition and sub-harmonic energy gap in point contact junctions.