Tachion & Tellium Tales

1:00 PM -- When the infamous Light Reading Tachion message board, resurfaced this week, it reminded me of something: Never back a networking startup based in New Jersey that starts with a "T."

First, there was Tellium, once home of the executive team of Harry and Grace Carr, whose favorite pastimes seemed to be hiding from employees, taking out multimillion-dollar corporate loans, and threatening Light Reading editors because of "biased" stories. (See Dude, Where's My Carr?, Dude, Where's My Revenues?, Tellium Execs in Trouble?, Optical Oracle's Bottom Feeders, Turkey Awards, and Tellium Lawsuits Allege Rigged IPO).

As I recall, the supposed bias was that we thought Tellium might not survive. Oops! Yes, technically, Tellium still exists, as part of Zhone Technologies Inc. (Nasdaq: ZHNE), but only after it had emptied the pockets of many IPO investors. (See Zhone Cashes In on Tellium and Zhone Cashes In on Tellium, Part II.) But I dare you to find somebody that refers to the Tellium story as a resounding success. Maybe on another day we'll delve into the weirdness that befuddles East Bay-based startups beginning with the letter "Z." (See Zhone's Strange Saga.)

Then there's the saga of Tachion, another T-based former Northern New Jersey-based startup that has come and gone but whose legacy remains. The object of disaffection for Tachion bashers is often Jeff Matros, the former CEO, known among cult figures as "The Man in Black" for his alleged demands that employees (allegedly) dress in black at (alleged) tradeshows.

One Tachion-hater has written an entire Tachion satire on the message board that includes characters named "Mr. Magoo" and "Quaker Oats Man."

For further reference, hit this Tachion message board. This board, based on a story written in 2001, is now up to 496 messages, and still going strong!

More of the Tellium tale lives here.

— R. Scott Raynovich, Northern New Jersey-based Editor, Light Reading

optodoofus 12/5/2012 | 2:59:46 AM
re: Tachion & Tellium Tales Scott,

Long before Tellium, there was another NJ startup called Teleos (who billed themselves as The ISDN Company). Like the other companies that followed, they also failed (though it was a lingering painful death played out over many years). Ironically, they were housed in the same building that Tachion later moved into.

Perhaps working for a NJ startup starting with T is up there with the clssic blunders (like getting involved in a land war in Asia or going up against a Sicilian when death is on the line).

stephencooke 12/5/2012 | 2:59:43 AM
re: Tachion & Tellium Tales So the question is which NJ 'T' startup has acquired an immunity to iocane powder...?
Scott Raynovich 12/5/2012 | 2:59:42 AM
re: Tachion & Tellium Tales Teleos, that is a good one, thanks. Any others?
alchemy 12/5/2012 | 2:58:50 AM
re: Tachion & Tellium Tales Scott Raynovich writes:
Teleos, that is a good one, thanks. Any others?

Aaah. Teleos. The company that built the C.O. simulator that had interfaces that behaved completely unlike any C.O. in North America. I remember it well. They also drove the BONDING spec... one of the more contorted ways ever invented to aggregate and time-align DS-0's.

Vonage doesn't have any T's in it but it has a chance to be the most spectacular New Jersey startup death ever.

"Sometimes, people do stupid things", like invest in Vonage.
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