Twenty years ago, I set up DssW to sell Power Manager on the then latest Macintosh operating system, Mac OS 8. I had written Power Manager while still a student and needed a business structure. With a business structure I could, I thought, trivially accept card payments and deal with customers around the world.
I was a little too early to the party. My local bank in Hereford was kind to me and opened doors I only later learnt they had struggled to open. I walked through the process with the confidence of youth and began DssW as if it were obviously the right course. My requests to accept exotic JCB credit cards from Japan and handle multiple currencies felt reasonable. The local bank staff were less familiar than they let on and together we worked through the challenges. Looking back now, I can only smile at my unburdened attitude.
The risks were low then. We did not need to borrow money as the product was ready. It all boiled down to a combination of time and effort. As a student, these two things I had an excess of.
Over the following twenty years we continued, the company steadily reaching more people, and earning its reputation. The confidence of youth being gradually replaced by experience.
I have been unsure how to publicly mark this milestone. It would be easy to reminisce or publish an article of advice but neither feels appropriate. Saying nothing would be strange, so instead I am publishing this. A small note to acknowledge the moment.
Twenty years is a long time in the software business.