I am greatly saddened to report the passing of John Mucci this past Sunday.
As some of you know, I have an affinity for people when I cannot predict what they are going to say. I am not talking about randomness, but about folks who have an approach to thinking that is unlike my own and a depth of insight I rarely reach. John was one of those people.
I first met John in 2004 when I got started talking to Matt Reilly and Jud Leonard about SiCortex. John was perhaps foremost a salesman, but he worked not only to understand the technology but to understand it well enough to see how it would apply in new situations. At first I was surprised that the CEO wanted to interview every prospective team member, but I came to treasure the hiring meetings afterwards. Not only could I not predict his opinion, but his assessments made sense.
As far as I could tell, John knew everyone involved with High Performance Computing and usually on a first name basis. Walking the floor with John at Supercomputing was an experience. The mean free path between people he knew was about 10 feet.
Prior to SiCortex, John had worked at Digital Equipment and at Thinking Machines, where our paths almost intersected, as I worked elsewhere at Digital, and later Open Market took over space in Cambridge previously occupied by TMC. I mention this because of another similarity between Thinking Machines and SiCortex – both were well liked by their customers. I know that John Mucci was responsible for the good regard folks have of SiCortex, and I like to think the same was true at Thinking Machines.
He will be missed.