Most startups struggle at the beginning and mine was no exception.
My business partner and I started our software consulting company in 1986. By mid-1987, I had little left in savings. My wife and I did have a new baby on the way. And we had a new mortgage too…with a wonderful mid-80s fixed rate note at 13.5%! (What were we thinking?!)
I was more than a little discouraged at my consulting business’ prospects and my personal finance situation.
It seemed that it was time to bail out and get a job again. I sent my resume out to a few companies in Austin.
Here’s what I got back from IBM:
That was September of 1987. No offers. Troubled Texas economy. In the absence of other options, I plugged away at my consulting business.
Fast forward a few months. My partner and I created an add-on program to a now-defunct accounting app called BPI Accounting. Our little program allowed users to archive and report general ledger information for a whole fiscal year, instead of just four months. (Primitive! This was for the first generation of PC-based accounting software.)
Somebody helped us reach out to the user base, and the next thing I knew, our mailbox was full of order forms and checks. Wowee!
Developing accounting software add-ons and troubleshooting accounting data files became our niche, and the second part of that equation still works for us 24 years later in the QuickBooks world.
In an alternate life, I’m sure that a career at IBM would have been very challenging and rewarding. But it was not to be; I got to be a long-term software entrepreneur instead.
“A person often meets his destiny on the road he took to avoid it.” ~Jean de La Fontaine