Photo by William Geiger
Trysail's founder and CEO, Michael Putzel, launched Trysail, Inc. after developing information technology for news organizations and exploring the impact of changing technology on people's lives. His ground-breaking column for The Boston Globe, "Plugged In," was widely syndicated by the Knight-Ridder and New York Times news services. He also developed a text-editing and communications system in the Moscow bureau of The Associated Press that employed breakthrough features to help correspondents do their work more quickly and easily. He founded Trysail, Inc. in January 1996 to make consumer products easier and more reliable for nontechnical people.
Prior to his entry into business, Putzel had a distinguished career with The Associated Press and The Boston Globe. With AP, he covered the Vietnam war, the Watergate scandal, the presidencies of Jimmy Carter and Ronald Reagan and the collapse of Communism.
As Chief of Bureau in Moscow, Putzel installed a PC network and communications system that upgraded the news service's link to the outside world from punching coded holes in paper tape at 75 characters per minute to a satellitebased system carrying fullduplex voice, photos and data. It was the first link of its kind between Moscow and New York. In a country that had no telephone books, he designed a computerized directory that enabled any AP reporter to search and edit the bureau's rapidly growing source files with a single keystroke from any desk in the bureau. A hallmark of the communications system was its automation of numerous repetitive tasks that frustrated reporters under tremendous pressure to get out the story of the dramatic events exploding around them.
At The Boston Globe, Putzel served as Washington bureau chief and White House correspondent before proposing that the newspaper begin covering the technology revolution's effect on people's lives instead of merely writing about the ups and downs of high-tech companies on the business page. He launched the paper's "Plugged In" section and wrote a weekly column exploring the many ways that new technologies change the way ordinary people live.
Putzel lives in Washington, D.C., with his wife, Ann Blackman, a correspondent for Time magazine. They have two children, Leila and Christof.