Hello World

Welcome to Jackson Fish Market… a new software company. You might ask, why do we need another software startup, and why is it named for a fish market? I’ll answer the second question first. (You’ll have to wait until the next post to hear the answer to the first question.) There aren’t many people in my family who run their own businesses. My parents’ generation has seen plenty of doctors, lawyers, and professors. My generation has much of the same, with the obligatory high tech careers thrown in. But not a lot of people who have put their heart and soul into owning and running their own business. As I contemplated entering the business world I thought back to my grandparents’ generation as well as of their parents before them. These were all immigrants or children of immigrants. And almost all of them ran small businesses. A grocery. A clothing store. A furniture store. A butcher shop. And of course… a fish market.

The store sold a variety of fresh lake fish on ice for customers to buy. There were also pickled fish like herring, and smoked fish such as carp. A variety of dairy products were sold there as well. My grandfather’s homemade pickles occupied a spot near the front door (I still have the recipe.). Each of these small businesses was run by family, with everyone pitching in as best they could. I wasn’t born early enough to see them for myself. However, that hasn’t stopped me from listening to the stories, and piecing together a detailed mental image of a small and focused tight-knit group of folks working hard together to create and deliver fresh hand-crafted products to customers with a personal touch. Products that both address a core customer need, but also make them feel emotionally satisfied, content, and… happy.

So there it is – established in 1942 by my grandfather Harry Jackson, and now re-established in 2006, Jackson Fish Market. (I think we’ll call it Jackson Fish for short.) Thanks for visiting. More soon…

26 Responses to Hello World

  1. ScottyK says:

    Best of luck on your new venture! I expect nothing but the freshest fish in town.

    -S.

  2. Marc Hedlund says:

    Congrats on the new site! Is this the same Hillel who writes tastingmenu.com?

  3. Hillel says:

    One and the same. :)

  4. Marc Hedlund says:

    Ah, then I’m even more interested. :) Sorry to have missed you at Foo Camp; let me know if you’re in the Bay Area and want to get dinner.

  5. Dave Mark says:

    Congrats, my brother. With you behind it, Jackson Fish will be a huge success. And who is Scotty K, anyway? Some monger? Probably a They Might be Giants fan.
    – Dave

  6. Hillel says:

    Dave, thanks for the nice thoughts. :)

  7. Leslie Evans says:

    Congratulations and good luck, Hillel, though I’m not sure you’ll need it. I’ve never known you NOT to succeed at something you put your mind to.

  8. Nice site idea. I like what you wrote about owning your own shop, having a sense of pride about being part of a community. We need more of that in high-tech, and a little less gold fever.

    I see that happening in the communities that Make magazine touches — people doing what they love doing.

  9. Hillel says:

    Thanks for the nice comments.

    I agree that ultimately people will trade off most benefits to just love what they do. Life is short, and it doesn’t matter how much money you have if you’re miserable.

    I think it’s clear when you read Make that the people creating it love what they do. It shows in the work, and makes readers love to read it. This is possible in just about every vocation I think.

  10. Tim O'Reilly says:

    Well, let me be the third person from the O’Reilly Radar team to congratulate you! When did you leave Microsoft? (After Mix06, since I saw you there.) A lot of Microsoft flight lately. Would love to hear your particular back-story.

    You haven’t said anything about what you’re going to do, but from your first entry, you’ve told us a lot about *how* you’re going to do it. And that’s only as expected.

  11. Chris Evans says:

    Congratulations! I’m sure I’m not the only one looking forward to the evolution of this particular fish market.

  12. Bernard says:

    Hi Hillel:
    I’m sure your Zaidah is smiling down at your unique take of a business name.
    And why not,he used to call himself Joe Bfslk,the character in the comic “Lil Abner’ that always had a rain cloud over his head.
    Now times are different and you’ll shine in your new business venture, with your skills and the outlook you bring to life’s adventures.
    I’ll watch your progress
    Bernard

  13. Jim says:

    Looking forward to seeing the fruits of this labor. I imagine it will be the best work you’ve done – which is saying a ton – since this is entirely your baby.

    Jim

  14. Hillel says:

    Thanks everyone for the nice comments. I genuinely appreciate them and will do my best to live up to them. :D

  15. Mom says:

    Gorgeous!
    Love the stores!!
    Be’hatzlacha rabah!

    Love,
    Mom

  16. Eleanor says:

    Hi Hillel:
    I remember Jackson Fish on Baldwin St. in Toronto
    where fresh fish was sold,cleaned and wrapped and Harry “fished” in the wooden barrel for the herring or the crunchy juicy sour pickles.

    I remember Goldie and Harry in the fish and appetizer store in Detroit where customers came in Cadillacs to buy a few cents worth of fish or cheese, etc.

    Our son Robert fondly remembers the fishing trips for carp, in a row boat on Rice Lake with your Zeide Harry.
    They were special highlights of his life.

    Cast your bait and reel in success.
    May your “fish story” become a whopping success.

  17. nachum gross says:

    Hillel,
    i admire your courage and enterprising spirit, although from the above responses i understand that your chances of success are high. anyhow — good luck!
    PS: could you send us the pickles recipe?
    love, nachum (& Sara)

  18. xaxami says:

    zai gezint.

  19. Pingback: The Name Inspector » Blog Archive » Naming Stories: Jackson Fish Market

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  21. Yair Harel says:

    Can you share that pickle recipe?

    Thanks!

  22. Pingback: Jenny Lam joins another ex-MSX, Hillel Cooperman at startup, Jackson Fish Market - istartedsomething

  23. Good luck with your new adventure. Do you have any flying fish ?

  24. Jen says:

    I’m interested of opening my own fish market. How much money do you think i need to start with. What i should know about opening a fish market..

  25. Laura says:

    now about this whole carbon forest thing…i know it’s not one of the big ones, but couldn’t you add the redwoods right here in our homeland?

  26. liz says:

    Hi and congrats on your market. I stumbled across this has i begin to research what does it take to open a fish market? I recently moved to an area that does not have a fish market everyone buys their seafood from the local grocery store. When i ask the fishmonger where the products come from i get an answer like “somewhere in the USA” or “a supplier but no idea otherwise”. I grew up where i knew where my seafood came from and when it was caught. I am entertaining what it might take to open up a market? Any tips? This would be a total new venture for me so i’m researching online for info. Thanks

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