My name is David Beach. But people call me just “Beach”.
I write about my life and career and anything else that comes to mind.
I co-founded 12seconds.tv
I was born in San Francisco, but mostly grew up in Santa Cruz, CA. As a kid I started playing around with sound recording and media manipulation using various recording devices and noise-makers. Inspired by The Residents and Negativland, I tried every which way I could to make weird sounds. I then ventured into video. I worked at the Boardwalk in Santa Cruz for $2.80 an hour when I was thirteen to earn enough to afford a Pentax portable VHS VCR and camera. I enjoyed adding visuals to the abstract noise my friends and I made.
I began to get into computers around this time as well. Text-based Interactive Fiction games totally fascinated me and gave me an understanding of how immersive the medium could be. I quickly tried to find as many ways as possible to combine computing with audio and video using a TRS-80, Commodore 64, then an Apple II. I also discovered Usenet and haven’t been offline since.
In 1989, I was accepted on scholarship to Brooks Institute of Photography in Santa Barbara to study cinematography. But at the last minute, I decided I was too punk rock to go and founded an independent record label called “Quagmire, The Label” instead.
The label lasted several years. We released many albums by A Western Front, The Slowest Train in the World, Laughing Sam’s Dice, Supertronic (my band), and others you never heard of. Besides running the business, I designed all collateral, album covers, and promotional material, as well as shot and directed music videos. Late in 1993 our national distributor went bankrupt and locked up our inventory. We were left with nothing but master tapes and artwork. At this point we decided we were done with doing things the normal way. This led us to become the first record label on the Internet, starting with a gohper site then on the WWW. In 1994 we released the first album ever to be distributed electronically. Then I hooked up with The Internet Underground Music Archive (IUMA) to become their Art Director. This is where I met Rob Lord, Jeff Patterson, Jon Luini, Ian Rogers, and Ryan Melcher, among many other very talented and creative innovators.
Later in 1994 I co-founded Artists for Revolution through Technology (ARTnet) and we developed the first online art museum called the Internet Arts Museum for FREE (IAMfree). ARTnet was a not-for-profit organization created to discover and distribute digital art for free. Music, photography, literature, and interactive pieces were exhibited at artnet.org/iamfree. ARTnet worked with the International Computer Music Association and Jon Luini to produce the first live netcast using Asynchronous Transfer Mode.
Tired of starving, in 1995 I co-founded LVL Interactive and designed and built Egghead.com, then later that year, Cisco’s Internet Junction which was their first venture in e-commerce and digital software distribution. I became Chief Information Architect and then CCO of I-Storm Studios specializing in e-commerce development and online product marketing experiences. Our clients included Cisco, Disney, Sun, HP, AIG, Netscape, Sony, Philips, Oracle, Sears, Egghead, Palm, Computer Associates, E-Trade, DirecTV, Acer, beyond.com, Toshiba, Digital Island, fatbrain.com, Bank of America, Broadvision, The Fox Network, The Burning Man Project, Warner Bros. Records, Winamp, Grand Royal Records, IUMA, Addicted to Noise, and others... I worked with some of the greatest people back then. Steve Venuti, Chris Coluzzi, Cale Peeples, Ramon Colcer, Pat Goddard, Dave Brinda, Danny Vendrell, Stuart Mangrum, and Scott Beale, among many others.
I started at Yahoo! in 2001 a month after Terry Semel and the gang came on board. It was during the layoffs and it felt a little strange. While at Yahoo! I headed up social commerce application development, process development, and did extensive work on the user experience of search and the process of finding and comparing products.
I left Yahoo! in 2006 to join the social search start-up Wink as Director of Product Management. There, I worked with a great team to transform the site and technology to create the first people search engine for online personas.
In July of 2007 I returned to Yahoo! to become the Senior Manager of Products for Yahoo! Brickhouse.
In 2008 I founded 12seconds.tv with Sol Lipman in Santa Cruz as a side project. It is now the fastest growing new video site on the web. (or so they say)
I'm passionate about my work and my life. Sometimes they get rather enmeshed. My hobbies include the world of digital music distribution, building kick-ass online communities, collecting music, photography, and playing the Theremin
I live in Santa Cruz near the Mystery Spot with my wife Jane and my two children. I have a dog named Thurston and a cat named Daisy.
Someday I'd like to make documentary films.