Francine Hardaway

Serial entrepreneurship veteran

Self-described geek-to-human translator Francine Hardaway bought her first Apple product in the (very) early 80s, abandoned it for the supposedly portable Compaq a few years later, and returned to Macs soon after. By the late 80s, she was haranguing her daughters' journalism teachers for continuing to make the students literally cut and paste up the school newspaper copy when desktop publishing already existed, and had sacrificed their high school popularity for their greater good. She also tried to give them fax machines for Christmas, which they returned.

Her passion for hardware died when the Internet "came along" and she realized the future was in software. Her first real experience with the power of online communities was in 1996, when insomnia after her husband's death led her to discover Widownet, followed a discreet year later by

In the early 90s, she made herself less popular with her friends by insisting that they all learn about email and the Internet, although they all assured her they would be dead before they needed to know it. She started a weekly email list that evolved over the years, and is now known by people who still don't read blogs as "Francine's blog." Francine's real blog — for those "in the know"–is at Stealthmode Blog. She can also be found on LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, Plurk,, and every other social network someone tells her about. She's usually "hardaway" on these services, except on, where she hides in plain sight as "francine."

And, oh by the way, she is a serial entrepreneur who counsels and invests in other startup entrepreneurs at Stealthmode Partners, although she's currently as broke as everyone else due to the exigencies of markets. She can tell you how long it REALLY takes to get beyond those early adopters.