I grew up in California; right in the Mojave Desert, tumbleweed’s my best friend and the Milky Way over the bright desert skies my guiding light. Already as a child I knew I would get out, up and away. Do different, be different.
At the age of 13 I started my first business: importing frogs and turtles and distributing them to pet shops over the US. For each shipment I had to hire the neighbor boy to take me into town by car. I was too young to drive, but not too young too strive. That was before the age of the pc really had dawned.
Ten years later I was importing, exporting and distributing exotic pets worldwide. I slaved 24/7 and was ready for a break.
It could have been the Congo or Chile, but it finally was the tropical island of Bali. I never quite figured out why: enough of cold desert storms? Desire to live in a reptile paradise?
It was quite a change. Hardly settled down in my new home, I started missing things from the old – the functionality, efficiency, and the workflow. Actually many of the things I originally wanted to run away from in the first place.
I learned programming as a means to survive. In a seriously competitive market like exotic pets, when you’re sitting on a desk at the end of the world and have to move shipments around the globe faster and better than anybody else, you can’t afford failures. You try not. You do or you do not, there is no try.
And I did websites. First for my own animals, then for other people’s products and finally just for the fucking sake of it or some more fast cash.
It became a solid addiction within a year. I myself became a zombie glued to a keyboard and two screens, surrounded by hard disks beyond which I was building a virtual empire of a size I could not even guess. The more I wrote, the further the limits went off my horizons. It grew under my hands into countless sites. You just wouldn’t believe how vastly hugely mind-boggling big it became.
When I was about to turn into a sentient android, I started to write code. My own code, first little routines, then larger plug-ins, anything to keep the empire growing and controllable. And still I was more often than not losing the space race against the search engines. Until one day I finally felt like in: Houston, we have a situation…
I needed help. Now Bali is not really the planet’s core of capable soft ware engineers. But still I found I was not alone. I started my team, nursed it, trained it, and made it grow together, get it streamlined.
It paid out rather soon. We developed hundreds of solutions since then, rewrote them, fine-tuned them for ever faster and ever more efficient trans-market and trans-niche travels, SE optimizing, content management and what not.
Came the day I could easily have just leaned back and let things roll… but I am not the type, it seems. I wanted to proceed, to teach, to share.
That was the day I launched Soft Warp into orbit.