Richard Lang just cashed a $60 million check from Microsoft Corp., yet he is holed up in a tiny cubicle in a cramped Santa Rosa, Calif., office composing a mammoth list of his enemies. It’s unexpected behavior coming from Lang, a laid-back 52-year-old, who, when he’s not relaxing at home with his wife, or tending to his 11-acre Sonoma County horse ranch, enjoys taking leisurely trips to the scenic coastal towns of his home state. Then again, never discount the fury of a man who believes he’s changed the media business forever, only to be brushed aside like the horse manure that gets cleaned from his estate each day.
Lang, the chief executive and founder of Burst.com, figures he deserves much more than $60 million. Fifteen years ago, with patents describing new ways to deliver video to consumers, Lang set out with a $2 million check from the band U2 to “change the paradigm,” as he likes to put it. He built a public company that at one point employed 110 engineers, lawyers and other staff. Then, he says, Microsoft got in the way, and whatever millions he spent on business development were no match for the software giant’s might.
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