Thursday, September 13, 2012

Thirty Years

It's been 30 years since Ken and Larry and I started Axon. Back then, I was a 22 year old computer geek. Now, I'm an older (you can do the math) computer geek. I've spent more than half my life at it. Ours was not an overnight success story. More a matter of being too stubborn to give up and go work for someone else.

Some things haven't changed. What I wanted to do back then was write code. What do I like to do now? Write code. The trick was to figure out how to make a living writing the code I wanted to write, not just get a job writing code for someone else. In the end, I've been pretty successful at that. I've ended up writing some code that maybe wouldn't have been my first choice, but that's been the minority. And that's been more than offset by actually having customers and users, and a programming team, not just coding in a vacuum.

It's nice that Axon is now successful. I've been extremely fortunate. Although, to be honest, we spent so many years struggling that I feel vaguely uncomfortable not to be struggling. I see all our staff with their steady pay cheques and all the money flowing in and out of the company, and it seems a little alien. Even my mother never quite grasped our success. Long after it was a silly question, she would continue to ask me "Did you pay yourself this month?", and then slip me a twenty for coffee money. My father never lived to see our success. He would have been amazed.

I can see why entrepreneurs move on to start new companies rather than stay with a successful one. It's different. But I'm not really an entrepreneur, my interest was never the business side. So I guess I'll just keep on coding.


Larry Reid said...

Congratulations, Ken and Andrew! You two deserve all the success you've had. Stubbornness counts for something. It's an honour to have worked with you guys. All the best for the next 30 years!

Andrew McKinlay said...

Thanks Larry.