Editor’s note: F. Scott Moody is the co-founder and CEO of Raleigh-based K4Connect, and former co-founder and CEO of AuthenTec, which was acquired by Apple in 2012. He’s a frequent speaker on entrepreneurism and active in supporting entrepreneurial activities in Africa. Moody wrote this post for ExitEvent, a news partner of WRAL TechWire.
RALEIGH, N.C. – It’s been a year now, but I can remember last September 10th like it was yesterday.
That was the day that Apple first announced the iPhone 5S and, most importantly (in my personal opinion!), the first implementation of the Touch ID. You see, Apple had bought the company I helped found, AuthenTec, in late 2012 and the Touch ID was the result of that acquisition. As Tim Cook announced the Touch ID, my “old” iPhone 4S blew up with literally hundreds of texts, emails and phone calls all offering congratulations. Honestly, it was pretty cool and I was proud of what our team at AuthenTec had accomplished.
The fact is that when we founded the company, our dream—our passion—was that one day our products would be a ubiquitous part of our everyday lives, as we often said, “making your life easier, making the things you own more secure, enhancing your privacy”. For us, it was all about the end user—and now Apple was making it happen in ways we never could. Yes, I was proud of our team and grateful to Apple—not many entrepreneurs get to see their dreams come true. But then things got a little squirrely.
Despite probably a hundred requests for interviews from the national media before and after the announcement, I only agreed to three, all local—two in the Triangle area of North Carolina (our new home) and one with the local paper in Melbourne, Florida (our home for the prior 32 years and where AuthenTec was founded).
The original three articles were fine—I was happy to support the local media—but then a couple of them got picked up nationally and the troubles began. Others did not always get it right, especially editors coming up with catchy audience-drawing headlines that were often inaccurate. Moreover, at various speaking engagements, where the title of my talk was usually something like “Making a Difference”, the pre-event press was sometimes flat out wrong. I often found it quite embarrassing, not only because I did not deserve some of the credit being afforded me, but I felt like I was almost stealing from others, getting credit that belonged to them.
It got to the point that I would often start my speaking engagements with a slide titled, “Breaking News” with the following three bullets:
“I” WAS NOT THE INVENTOR
IT WAS NOT “MY” COMPANY
“I” DID NOT SELL THE COMPANY
The full post can be read online at ExitEvent.