02 May 2005

PRTEC Forum Surprise: Commoca

The Jenius is long overdue for mentioning a real surprise emerging from the PRTEC Forum. Here is one: Commoca. http://www.commoca.com/home.htm

With a presentation by Dr. José Cruz, Commoca is a sterling example of tackling the myriad challenges We face every day and using Intelligence to knock them off, one by one. It might not be easy, but it can be done.

Commoca emerged from the closing of a Texas Instrument facility in the States. By negotiating to continue the R&D for a specific chip, Commoca engineers salvaged victory from a defeat, creating a platform for Voice-over-IP (VoIP) services that could serve as the basis for a market worth billions of dollars.

Over time, Commoca had to deal with stupid government financing (some programs give you money only as a reimbursement of expenses, usually months after the fact, essentially handing you a crappy two-ton white elephant that pees in your coffee every day), inane, nearly-useless application forms created for manufacturing in the 1950s and never updated (not from lack of time, but from lack of intelligence) and further undeniable ignorance of how New Economy companies work develop.

To their credit, Commoca has reversed the brain-drain, (to a small degree, but every little bit counts.) At the same time, Commoca has also added high-profile industry veterans that are not from Puerto Rico to drive their next evolutionary stage, taking dead aim at becoming a dominant VoIP player in the next few years.

And if The Jenius is being barren on details, it is purposeful: You need to talk to these heroes at Commoca to get the full impact of what they have achieved. Try calling them at 787-834-0011 or writing them at info@commoca.com (And they are hiring: careers@commoca.com)

Looked at objectively, by a random panel of 100 Puerto Ricans, 99 would say this company should not exist at this point. Commoca’s founder had to convince a multinational that, despite the lack of true R&D success locally, further development of a “dead project” could be done. They had to battle The Fools every step of the way, with only a tiny handful of allies whose power is fleeting when compared to the leaden stupidity that clogs what passes for “progress” in the Byzantine bureaucracy We tolerate. The principals had to over-extend themselves to keep the project afloat, working for no pay and in some cases, taking a clear loss. The stress and strain on them, their families and their early employees was fierce, and yet, with more obstacles than should have been tossed in their paths, Commoca is thriving.

Those 99 Puerto Ricans are merely a guess, but You will know if The Jenius exaggerates a little bit or not at all. But even with a 1% level of support, that still leaves a little under 40,000 Open Minds that can Make a Difference. With 40,000 of Our People aiming Puerto Rico to the future, We can certainly step boldly into the New Global Economy as minor players. The Jenius believes—insists—We should settle for nothing less than being Key Players in the Global Economy.

Ask Yourself: Are you in the 40,000? If not now, then when?

The Jenius Has Spoken.

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