Back in the mid 80’s I was a polo shirted, mullet wearing, snakeskin booted dork.  And like a lot of my dork friends at the time a fax machine and a “car phone” was about as high tech as it got.  Computers were a total mystery.  Back then all I cared about was working, partying, getting laid and windsurfing.

Thankfully my brother was bigger dork than I was and got into UNIX computers at college and then into the new IBM DOS computers later on.  At one point he brought over a PC Clone and showed me a couple things like DOS, Wordstar and Lotus 123.  It made a big impression on me.

I went out and bought a Epson 8088 PC clone with MS DOS and an upgraded green screen monitor with CGA resolution and a 10mb hard drive.  I totally understood how this could change the way I worked but I had to spend the time learning how to use the tool.

I poured myself into it at the expense of partying and windsurfing.  My friends used to give me all sorts of shit because I would not leave the house or office.  I was in the zone and I did not want to leave.  Remember these were the days before the internet, Windows and all the other things that we take for granted.  I was blazing a new trail and my buds didn’t get it at all.

Once I got DOS figured out I bought version 1 of Quicken (DOS).  Before quicken I had never balanced a checkbook in my life.  One I got my financials straight I went back to Egghead (remember them?) and asked about some sort of database so I could keep track of my customers.  He came back with Symantec Q&A

Now I was hooked.  I holed up for a couple of months and owned that app.  I created a full on, macro driven contact management and estimating software program.  I was able to bust out perfect quotes in minutes.  When we wanted to do a service special or promotion mailer all I had to do was press a single button and the print labels.  It got so efficient that I bought more licenses and put it in a LAN so we could share information throughout the company.

I just realized that I have been involved with CRM and estimating software for about half my life and the majority of my adult life.  Automating repetitive business processes just seems natural to me.