Listen: David Smirnoff Sarnoff, RCA, United States discussed on The Brink
"Company are the United Fruit company rather comes up a lot in those but for the importance of this episode they also owned and operated their own radio and Telegraph company so that's why they were brought in on this as well and why this company that would otherwise seem like an outlier was an important part okay so all these companies companies come together and they are yup. They do that and by nineteen nineteen. RCA is a thing general electric would be the primary sorry owner of this organization not the sole owner but had like a majority shares essentially and <hes> in order to avoid having any problems with each other they all agreed they would cross licensed their individual patents to this company so that way no one a partner in the in the in the group would say oh no you can't use this particular technology unless you pay US X. amount of money and then we'll let you do seems reasonable so this way no one could hold out on anyone else that was the premise anyway <hes> and they then and had to figure out who is going to be the leader obviously. Marconi Tesla okay neither of those first of all neither them neither of them were considered search fit to be to own a company to run a company in <hes> in America at that time so no they turned to someone else who also would have seemed unlikely if you had just had a cursory look at his history and that was a man named David Smirnoff Sarnoff so close. I'm sorry I've very little sleepy. Guys Yeah Extra Funds. I made me look to make sure I didn't end up writing smirnoff okay. Please don't please please don't okay okay sarnoff. He he becomes the general manager and the reason he was general manager. Not President is that. RCA was not really independent company yet. It was this kind of group concern concern so is a weird it. It occupied a weird space in the in the spectrum that we look at for corporations yeah yeah because it was a it was a partnership. It was an organization. It was sort of a company I mean INC was in its name but Sarnoff was considered a general manager because it was operating under the auspices of these larger shadowy partners in the background aren't so Sarnoff was interesting because he was originally born born in Russia. Not In the United States. His family did immigrate to the states when he was just a boy though it wasn't like he had grown up and then and then immigrated upgraded to the United Steel he wasn't living in Russia. When he took over the company that would defeat the purpose keeping would've said hey what's up really? We're actually the really it would have been the the British company owners of the Marconi company. Say Excuse me what in fact is up quite understand what's going on is but <hes>. SARNOFF had been a kind of in the business since he was a child as a teenager. He worked as a messenger boy for a telegraph company. He then worked his way up to becoming an actual telegraph operator and he worked for the American Marconi company. The same one that the United States arrested all its assets from so I mean it feels to me like that's not succession planning but still a very wise move he's already already familiar why and he had proven himself to be incredibly ambitious and innovative he had quickly risen through the ranks over over at the <hes> American Marconi company so he was really like a good candidate like he he knew his stuff and he seemed like the kind of guy who was going to just push this this business to greater heights and in fact that's exactly what he would do and you have this note here that he even picked up a distressing from the titanic well. That's what he said Yeah. He claimed that in nineteen twelve he was one of the radio operators who picked up the titanic's Tannock's distress signals there were other reports that disputed that and said what he actually picked up was a response to the titanic's distress distress call so he picked up one of the rescue ships responses so <hes> he however would relay the story as being him him like sat he said it as a Telegraph Office for like twenty six hours straight or whatever okay this is a sidetrack. Let's let's get back to serve his partners so the two two businesses that he was really focusing on early on were <hes> essentially wireless communications so again it's still telegraphs and <hes> which would mean building out more towers and stations to build out more orvin infrastructure for that communication system in the United States and through its partners that was selling industrial radio equipment so we're talking thing about like against stuff for the transmission and reception of radio waves on a major scale not like radio sets that you would buy take home in tune in and but rather these were again the component parts for communication system and it's important to say that because at this point. RCA's is not making stuff for the general consumer but one of the interesting things about technology is that when a new technology starts to blossom blossom regular ordinary schmos part of it yeah they WANNA THEY WANNA learn how it works. They want to get interested. They're fascinated by it and has it turns out building a radio. It requires a little bit of knowledge but not a whole lot in materials and so you started seeing people building their own radios and you saw the rise of a new species the amateur radio operator all."