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How Glitch Came To Be.

Aaron Cohen - Glitch CEO.png


Book and Headphones


Wearing VR Headset


No nerd's journey is typical and neither was his.

In the 1980s, War Games captured the imagination of every mischievous teenage nerd in America when the main character hacked into his school and changed Jennifer's flunking grade.

Not long after, Aaron Cohen saw an ad in the St. Louis Chronicle for a Commodore 64 accessory called a modem. It was 300 baud.  After much pleading, his parents caved in.  With the money he earned from mowing lawns, he bought the device so that he could be just like the boy in War Games.  Aaron already knew how to code adventure games, but he felt that this was much cooler.

When he tore open the package, he saw the AOL and CompuServe cassette tapes but it cost money.  So he decided to chat with his friends and soon figured out how to download pirated video games. The modem was slow as molasses and nearly useless at the task of downloading programs, but when he got his first job at Six Flags, he upgraded to a faster 1200 baud modem


It wasn't long after that that things went south. 


The FBI tapped his phone line for calling long distance on stolen phone cards.  It was a white collar, suburban story.  But also a felony.

"What's that noise on the line?" he remembers asking this older kid on the phone.  "Is my line being tapped?"

"Doubt it.  You would never hear someone tapping your phone."

It was a day he would never forget.

"Keep driving!" he told his friend Larry, who was giving him a lift home in his gray Camaro from Six Flags. 


There were four CRIME SCENE vans in front of his house and his parents, grandparents, and uncles and aunts standing out on the porch.

The modem was confiscated by the FBI along with the computer and thousands of papers with codes and passwords.   Aaron, heartbroken and ashamed, was told he was potentially liable for $250,000 dollars in damages to the telephone companies. 


It was settled out of court for $2500. 


That summer, he scrubbed dishes at a hospital to pay it off.


Idle hands are a devil's plaything

Upon the suggestion of Uncle Bob, he began reading It, by Stephen King.  It was a perfect distraction, and just as anti-social.


After finishing all 1000+ pages of It, his imagination running wild. 


Aaron was inspired to become a writer instead of a computer hacker.  He read every single word that Stephen King ever published.  Breaking his own promise, he wrote his first novel, "Danger of the Dark," on his father's IBM clone on Corel WordPerfect. 


It was a new beginning, and something he felt he could learn.

Over the next 6 years, he wrote many unpublished books.   In college, after failing at pre-med because all he was doing was writing fiction, he asked his creative writing teacher, Padgett Powell, what to do. 


"Apply to the Iowa Writers' Workshop," he said.


He applied to 12 MFA graduate programs, and was accepted into several, including the Workshop.  In his second year, he won first place in the Writers' at Work national fiction contest for his story "A Picture of Carrie, Age Nine"  His dream of becoming the next great American writer might be coming true. 


To pay the bills, he worked three jobs: a Chinese restaurant delivery, correspondence teacher,  and PR assistant for the Museum of Modern Art in Iowa City, Iowa.  He didn't know what PR was, but he awkwardly wrote "press releases" about the paintings and artists and submitted them to his boss.  He rarely showed up for work and was often absent.


He ended up in San Francisco, where he began faxing resumes like mad to land a job.  It was time to make his mother proud.  He was a broken man on a mission, motivated by the fear of being homeless and abandoned.  His first job was at a 'strategic consulting' firm for HP as an 'office concierge'.  He stayed there and learned PowerPoint and how to research online.


After that three-year gig,, he was hired as a contractor at Sun Microsystems,  The hiring manager appreciated the school he'd gone and gave him a break.  At Sun, he wrote more than 300 customer success stories about Java deployments, interviewing hundreds of CEOs at startups during the Dot Com boom.  Many of those stories were picked up by tech journalists. 


He eventually headed up Industry and Vertical PR at Sun and helped Sun PR generate thousands of customer stories.  He felt he had the best job in the world, and couldn't believe people were paying him to do PR.

The Creation of Glitch
Aaron has been a successful PR professional ever since, supporting both start-ups, multi-national companies, inventors, VC studios,  and other founders.  He has handled PR at Sun, SureID, Northwest Energy Efficiency Alliance, Inventist (inventor of the Hoverboard), Fusetools, VentureBeat, All Turtles and RealWear. 


With AI finally here, he realized it was time to help startups and entrepreneurs achieve their own dreams.  He founded glitch pr. 


Why is it called glitch? 


There are always glitches - in life, in tech, and in stories.  Nothing works the way it's supposed to, and that's what's magical about life.

His philosophy is to be authentic, accurate, transparent, and empathetic, and to inspire others to spread the word.  He focuses on modeling leadership so others will step up to be leaders, and to treat journalism with respect and honor.  That's what glitch is all about.


That's our story.  Now what's yours?  Let us know by contacting us today.

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