Simon Higgs is a polymath. Artist, Author, Designer, Engineer, Entrepreneur, Journalist, Musician, Producer, Researcher & Internet Crash Test Dummy. It's sometimes easier to describe Simon's skill set as simply "creating things that did not exist before" as that is the core theme that runs through his career.
Inspired by an Isaac Asimov novella entitled Sucker Bait, Simon works from the principle that all knowledge is interconnected and combines his formal training in art, design, music & telecommunications with experience in marketing and business management to traverse multiple disciplines.
As an explorer of audio & video over TCP/IP networks (before the web came along), he helped pioneer multi-site television performances - where artists perform together from different locations - in a trial sponsored by Viacom at the Electronic Cafe. His early experiments distributing Quicktime movies online also led to articles on Electronic Press Kits.
As a pioneer in domain names and DNS, he was the first applicant for a new top level domain. In a pilot DNS infrastructure deployment (authorized by Jon Postel during Draft Postel), he become a root server operator for the Open Root Server Confederation (ORSC), an organization formed to bid on the Department of Commerce's contract for the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA) - a role that now goes under the name of ICANN.
Prior to that, as a journalist, he broke the first story of music being downloaded on the Internet - seven whole years before Napster came along. Years later, after Apple's iTunes Music Store came online, he wrote the definitive book on how to become a vendor to Apple and sell music in the store. As a musician, producer, and record label/artist relations consultant he has worked alongside top name talent.
He registered the domain name Coupons.com in 1994, and, operating under the brand name of CouponNet he beat out the Ringo/Firefly Network team that originated from MIT's Media Lab to win CommerceNet's 1996 Very Innovative Practice Award for Best Online Community - one of the pioneering awards for building online communities and social media. This included creating the first downloadable consumer coupons and rebates on the web, and pioneering mobile phone coupon redemption.
He often gets called to solve problems, or provide unique solutions. When the Department of Defense needed a working demonstration of the CHCS II medical records system, he built one for them. He also designed 67 web sites and helped establish a 10,000 mile fibre optic TCP/IP network for the Defense Logistics Agency's Contract Management Command, leading to the creation of the Defense Contract Management Agency. When the New York Times, News Corp. and Coupons.com were sued for patent infringement, as the original founder of Coupons.com, he came to the rescue with the prior art.
As a result he is able to speak multiple corporate languages, and he is equally at home whether it be working with name talent, the board room, the recording studio, the R&D workshop, the data center, or the garage start-up (with a large unwieldy hammer).
Simon is currently the principal at Higgs Communications and is available for consulting on almost any convergence topic.
He is also the Executive Director of Wattkins Amp Forums, a 501(c)(3) non profit dedicated to furthering the design, construction and use of vacuum tube amplifiers for loud, unwieldy, guitars.
New areas Simon Higgs has pioneered:
- the first working clock on the web
- the first downloadable consumer coupon on the web
- one of the earliest recorded instances of rotating banner ads on the web
- first new applicant for a top level domain name
- online video, audio & music distribution
- first working demo of a web-enabled DOD medical records system
- live multi-site performances for broadcast
Simon has been quoted/cited in several books, magazine articles, and scholarly journals.
Check out some of Simon Higgs' production work in the discography.