Bio of Kenneth Lafferty Hess

Ken Hess is an experienced engineer, a seasoned entrepreneur, and a budding educator. He holds one of the first software patents ever granted, and he has been responsible for designing and/or developing dozens of commercial software, content, and Web products, including Family Tree Maker, one of the all-time best-selling home software programs. Among his awards are a PC Magazine Editor's Choice, PC Magazine Top 100 Web Site, and Software Publishing Association Codie.

Not content with just making products, Ken also builds organizations. He bootstrapped Banner Blue Software, the company that produced Family Tree Maker, and grew it to over 100 employees and $23 million in sales before selling it to Broderbund Software. Later he founded Pocket Express, a software developer for handheld devices such as the Palm Organizer. Most recently, Ken founded Science Buddies, a non-profit focused on improving science education, and a vehicle for him to share his life-long passion for science and technology with students around the world.

Ken is author of the book, Bootstrap: Lessons Learned Building a Successful Company from Scratch. He holds a BS in Engineering from Stanford and an MBA from Harvard. Before striking out on his own he spent several years at Intel and Hewlett-Packard.

You can learn more about Ken on his personal website:

Last updated January 29, 2006.