Andrew Kay died August 28 at age 95. Kay, who was born Andrew Kopischiansky, played a key role in San Diego's up/down business history.
His company, Non-Linear Systems, came out with one of the early personal computers. In 1983, the company's name was changed to Kaypro. It sold the Kaypro II computer, which got rave reviews from computer experts. In 1983, the company went public and, as I recall, Andrew Kay for a brief while was a billionaire on paper.
However, the company didn't spend on research and development, and the Kaypro II was quickly surpassed by other personal-computer makers.
I recall going to company headquarters and being stunned to find the computers were stored outside under a tent. The company was known for mismanagement. The saying became, "Too many Kays and not enough pros."
The company once had the fifth best-selling personal computer. But the company couldn't keep up with the ever-changing technology. Kay, however, a graduate of Massachusetts Institute of Technology, had some excellent achievements in his life, including his invention of the digital volt meter.