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:

Not the response I wanted

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

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7 thoughts on “I Didn’t Get the Job at IBM. Cool.

  1. I like the site and love the way this turned out for you and the rest of us who use QB. I am having an event right now except I was put into the street as downsizing. I have found work as a bookkeeper to some of my former contacts but they all use their own QB. Is their a way I can setup QB and put everyone online so I can work from home instead of going to each office to use their Quick books?

  2. Hi Drudge, thanks for the comment. Assuming your clients don’t want to migrate to QuickBooks Online Edition (which is pretty different than what they’d be used to), the only option I know of to get everyone online would be to get them to subscribe to a QuickBooks hosted service. With that, they and you access the QuickBooks data online but you still get to use the desktop versions of QuickBooks. There is a per-user fee for that, of course. You can google “quickbooks hosting” to find companies offering the service.

  3. About ten years earlier, 1986, when I was finishing college, I interviewed with IBM as well. I did not get the job either. And I didn’t even save the rejection letter.
    Oh, well, but I did get a job with Digital Equipment Corporation, when they were still a small company (3000 or so employees). That gig lasted 26 years.
    Of course, most of the readers of this blog will likely say: “Digital who????”.
    Nice blog. Nice work on Quickbooks. Just really good all around.

  4. Pingback: Space Jumping into a New Business [with video] | QuickBooks and Your Business

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