Ted Nelson, consultant — not for the faint of heart.

Before contracting with Ted, be sure you want his frank response — historically, Ted’s far-thinking insights have either greatly enhanced a project or completely derailed it.

Known as one of the earliest evangelists for the potential of personal computing, from the 1960s, Ted has consulted to entrepreneurs and all levels of corporations, from product groups to CEOs.

Early Brainstorming

It’s best to bring Ted in early, before an idea or project freezes. That’s when his unique perspective can do the most good.

Ted greatest talent is rapidly thinking out the consequences of new ideas in all directions — functionality, product positioning, media and marketing campaigns.

Usability Testing

Ted’s ability to crash software and find problems with interfaces is almost spooky.

Most systems are designed for the obedient, optimistic, trusting user. Ted is very good at mimicking the impatient, impetuous, irascible, resentful user. Ted can help you see what will happen in the field.

Critiquing Existing Software

Ted can help you find out what’s wrong with your product — do you really want to know?

Because designing and developing software is often a matter of deeply held beliefs, customs and proprietary feelings, this kind of consulting can be politically difficult. In the case of existing software, it is better to engage Ted anonymously, to avoid personal confrontations.

Satisfied Clients

Recent Clients

The Internet Archive
Brewster Kahle
New Ether Studios
Maclen Marvit


Foursis Japan
Naoya Nakanishi


Sapporo Hyperlab
Yuzuru Tanaka
ASCII Corporation
Kazuhiko Nishi


“Tron” film production
Steven Lisberger
Bob Abel Studios
Bob Abel


Deering-Milliken Corporation
CBS Laboratories
Stafford Hopwood
Bell Laboratories, Whippany
Larry Bernstein

With his encyclopedic knowledge of the history of personal computing, or as he puts it, “how the computer world got this way,” Ted is a charming raconteur.

He also has a unique perspective on the key moments in personal computing at which things could have gone another way. There is much the pioneers knew and believed about the potential of computing that is still unfulfilled. This talk, continually updated, is roughly embodied by the phrase “the way it is, is not the way it has to be.”

Speaking Requirements

At 81 years old, Ted is focused on the work he needs to complete in his lifetime.

He therefore, with regret, no longer accepts unpaid speaking engagements except for events and people that are dear to his heart. Proximity to his current location (Ted is bi-coastal) helps. For domestic engagements, he requires travel expenses and an honorarium.

For engagements outside of the US, Ted requires travel expenses (preferably for himself and an assistant) and a sizable speaking fee.

At 81 years old, Ted is focused on the work he needs to complete in his lifetime.

Ted is much more likely to give an interview to news outlets with a sizable reach and/or a demographic that matches the people he wants to address.

Ted no longer answers questions in written form. He does accept voice calls, video calls and in-person interviews.

Ted loves to hear from co-conspirators inspired by his work.

To his regret, he is no longer able to respond personally to all inquiries. The staff reads and summarizes for Ted all his email; please accept his apology if the reply you receive comes from the staff.

Ted does accept paid consulting engagements. Other than for these, he rarely has time to review other people’s software, books or articles.

All of this said, some of Ted’s lasting professional and personal relationships have begun with an email message.

Write to him.