How this Seattle tech CEO ended up within the Skilled Bowlers Affiliation Corridor of Fame

Rob Glaser in his most interesting bowling sneakers for the PBA Corridor of Fame induction ceremony. (Photograph through Rob Glaser on Medium)

Rob Glaser is finest generally known as the founder and CEO of RealNetworks, the Seattle-based firm that makes a speciality of digital media, video games and laptop imaginative and prescient expertise. However for about twenty years, he was additionally a part of the possession group for the Skilled Bowlers Affiliation, alongside together with his former Microsoft colleagues Chris Peters and Mike Slade.

That’s how Glaser landed in the PBA Hall of Fame earlier this year, regardless of by no means having been a professional bowler.

It additionally makes Glaser the reply to what turned out to be a troublesome trivia query on the latest episode of the GeekWire Podcast. As a part of our common tech trivia contest for listeners, we requested, “Which current CEO of a Seattle tech company has been inducted into the hall of fame of a professional sport?” We acquired numerous guesses, however just one proper reply.

So we determined to get the backstory from Glaser for this bonus episode. We additionally talked about RealNetworks’ new MaskCheck app, which makes use of laptop imaginative and prescient to detect whether or not individuals are sporting masks correctly in compliance with public well being pointers.

Hear under, or subscribe to GeekWire in any podcast app, and proceed studying for extra particulars.

Glaser has bowled since he was a child rising up in Yonkers, N.Y. Additional proving his devotion to the game, one of many quirks of the previous RealNetworks headquarters on Seattle’s Elliott Avenue was the two-lane bowling alley within the basement.

After leaving Microsoft, Glaser joined with Peters and Slade to buy and the PBA, which was in want of a turnaround after dropping its TV contract, amongst different challenges.

He says he loves bowling as a result of it’s one thing virtually anybody can do, versus sports activities similar to soccer, baseball or monitor that depend on dimension and pace. As well as, he stated, bowling rewards qualities that he values, together with consistency and flexibility.

“One of the things that people don’t know about bowling is the conditions change during the game,” he defined. “There’s oil on on the lane, and the more people bowl, the more it moves the oil around.” The very best bowlers want to grasp when the situations change and how one can regulate.

He added, “I also like the fact that it’s a team sport, and an individual sport, so you can play it either way.”

Not coincidentally, in every of these areas, there are parallels to enterprise and tech.

Glaser was a part of the PBA possession group until it was purchased last year by Bowlero Group, beforehand generally known as Bowlmor AMF. Glaser and Slade had been inducted into the PBA Corridor of Fame in January, becoming a member of Peters, who was inducted beforehand. Glaser joked that he could be “almost certainly the worst bowler in the PBA Hall of Fame, if it weren’t for Mike Slade.”

Learn extra of the background in Glaser’s acceptance speech at the Hall of Fame ceremony in January.

Congrats to our contest winner Isaac Alexander, who will obtain a GeekWire masks and mug as his prize. We’ll be again this weekend, with a particular year-in-review episode with visitor commentator Ed Lazowska, College of Washington laptop science professor.

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