Jan Sloot

Jan Sloot

Romke Jan Bernhard Sloot (1945?, Groningen11 July 1999, Nieuwegein) was a Dutch electronics technician, who claimed to have developed a revolutionary data compression technique, the Sloot Digital Coding System, which could compress a complete movie down to 8 kilobytes of data— this is orders of magnitude greater compression than the best currently available technology.

Despite the impossibility of such a technique there were investors that saw potential. However, Sloot died of a heart attack one day before an attractive deal was signed with Roel Pieper, former CTO and board member of Philips. The story - including an account of a believable demonstration of the technology - is told in modest detail in Tom Perkins' 2007 book, Valley Boy. Perkins, co-founder of the Silicon Valley venture capital firm Kleiner Perkins, had agreed to invest in the technology when Sloot died; Perkins and Pieper would have proceeded after Sloot's death, but a key piece of the technology, a compiler stored on a floppy disk, had disappeared and despite months of searching was never recovered.

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