Location, Location, Location…

What’s that old adage: The three most important factors for the success of your business are location, location, location. Since my business is computer software, my location is a platform or operating system. Picking a location is an important decision. I’ve picked Mac OS X as mine.

Yeah, I hear you shouting, “But Windows has the majority of the market share!” And that is true. I started writing software before personal computers were popular but just missed having to deal with punch cards. I learned to code on mainframes and minicomputers—some even using a popular OS for the day called UNIX. I got my feet wet with PCs when I was asked to write software on the TRS-80 Model I (affectionately known as the Trash 80) and the Apple ][. My favorite was a hot new platform called CP/M (Control Program for Microcomputers). Then came PC-DOS and MS-DOS. I wrote software on whatever people owned.

My computing world changed when I first saw a Macintosh in January, 1984. The crisp square pixels on the screen and interactive graphics were different than anything else out there. It even made its precursor, the Lisa, look clunky. I bought one of the first ones out and have owned Macs ever since. Around the mid 80’s I did some development on the Mac platform and even released a fairly popular—meaning dozens of copies delivered via bulletin board systems (BBS)—shareware application called Evolution (transformed plain text into columnar data—high tech for the time). Unfortunately, my work was mostly on DOS computers so to bring home the bacon I downgraded my development.

I’ve been writing Windows software for around 14 years and in that time I’ve become less and less a fan of Microsoft. Windows is a programming nightmare. It’s a hodgepodge of technologies and no fun any more. I spend more time fighting quirks in Windows than I do creating features for my products. So, 25 years later I’m back to where I started: writing code for UNIX. This time though it has a clean, graphical interface and runs on a Macintosh.

The bottom line is: You have to love what you do. I love helping people by giving them tools to make their lives better and I love making those products on the Mac. Now if enough people love my products, I’ll be able to get this business off the ground.