‘What’s your passion?’ Howard Brown welcomes internet pioneer Jeff Pulver

Author of Shining Brightly

I love recording conversations with creative men and women for my weekly podcast series, because it gives all of us a chance to discover new ways to shine brightly in our communities.

That’s especially true with internet pioneer Jeff Pulver, who often greets people with the question: “What’s your passion?”

He’s a friend after my own heart in wanting to lift up the people around us in our communities—and the new people we meet every day.

As a Silicon Valley entrepreneur myself, I followed Jeff’s work for many years. He’s a tech industry icon, a pioneer in Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) and an advocate for internet freedom. If you don’t recognize the worldwide importance of VoIP and Jeff’s contributions already, then let me briefly sketch his story:

In the ’90s, you’ll learn from Jeff’s Wikipedia page, he recognized that what he had been thinking of as a hobby—speaking to people around the world over the internet—led him to help launch a whole new industry. Of course, the existing telephone companies were not happy about this! There was a huge legal battle and Jeff helped to rally supporters of this new freedom around the world.

In February 2004, the FCC issued what’s become known as the “Pulver Order” classifying these new applications as information services. This meant that VoIP networks would, under law, be classified as internet applications, rather than telecommunications services. Without that order, we wouldn’t have had Skype and now Zoom and other services like it that so many of us depend on every day.

So, today, when you’re talking to someone online, remember to thank Jeff!

And, please listen to the podcast below because Jeff talks about how that vision of global conversation really supports our shared vision of shining brightly.



Care to learn more?

This is a perfect moment to become one of Howard’s growing global community of friends by ordering your copy of his book.

Here are other articles we have published, exploring the launch of this book:

Take a look at the book’s Foreword: ‘Shining Brightly’ Foreword by Dr. Robert J. Wicks: ‘Learn anew about the American Dream’

And especially read this story: Two-time cancer survivor Howard Brown writes ‘Shining Brightly’ to encourage others to stay healthy

Free Resource Guides

Download (and free-to-share) resource guides for discussing Shining Brightly:




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