After receiving a degree in economics and a stint in the U.S. Army as a radar officer during the Korean War, Watson began his career in technology in 1955 with Varian Associates, a pioneering hi-tech company in what is now known as “Silicon Valley”. Subsequently, over the past 45 years, Watson has been a member of the founding group of seven technology-based start-up ventures. Three of these companies (Spectra-Physics, Coherent, Lasertechnics) became publicly traded on the NYSE and NASDAQ exchanges, two were acquired by multi-national companies, and two have been consigned to the dust-bin of entrepreneurial history.
Watson moved to Wyoming in 1994 and subsequently, with two University of Wyoming faculty members, co-founded DeltaNu, a Laramie-based scientific instrument manufacturer. He currently consults to the University of Wyoming Office of Research & Economic Development where he directs the Wyoming Small Business Innovation Research Initiative (WSSI), a program that assists Wyoming’s innovative technology-based small businesses in obtaining start-up capital from the nation's largest seed capital fund, the federal SBIR/STTR program. Watson has served on the board of more than fifteen companies.