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It Was A Good Life

March 2, 2017

My world will get bigger this year, and a little smaller. Two of my daughters are expecting babies this year. One in April, one in August. The miracle of birth is one of the most common occurances in the world, and yet still a miracle everytime. My friend Steve Hofstetter who has no children, commented about babies. . and pizza.

It takes more effort to order a pizza than does to have a child. Has anyone ever ordered a pizza by accident? Just opened the door, “How’d this pizza get here?”

Steve’s a professional comedian. And it’s true that life is common, more common than pizza possibly. But, it’s also precious and wonderful. This isn’t really a post about babies. . .much.

Like babies, company’s are also born. Every company has a date on which it started. Sometimes, it’s with great fanfare. Sometimes, it’s a couple of guys in a garage who realize they need a business license to sell their software. Sometimes those businesses get really, really big. They grow up and take on a life of their own. Sometimes, they outlive their parents, or founders.

Apple was founded by Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak. And while Woz is still with us and hopefully will be for a long time, Jobs passed on. Sometimes companies grow up and move out of their parent’s house. Microsoft, was founded by Bill Gates and Paul Allen. And while both of them are very much alive, neither one is involved with the company anymore.

Just as companies are born, they can also die. WordPerfect, was founded by Alan Ashton and Bruce Bastian. At one point it was the biggest software company in the world. (Before Google and bigger than Microsoft or Apple.) But, WordPerfect found itself out of step with a changing marketplace. Technically they were “acquired” by Novell back in 1992. In actuality, the company that started life as Satelite Software International (because one of the founders saw the initials SSI on the side of a train car and found it interesting) ceased to be a separate company. It died. Many of my friends and I mourned its passing.

This year marks the end of The Ringling Brothers And Barnum and Bailey Circus. Like WordPerfect, they found themselves out of step with a changeing world. Ticket sales fell and we all started questioning the morality of dancing elephants. The Circus was 146 years old. Older than any person could live, but still not immortal.

Twenty years ago, the big scandal was the failure of Barings Bank. Founded in 1762, a single employee managed to kill it by mismanaging the banks assets. Two hundred and thirty three years is a good run.

I’ve started businesses. Some of them, like RESMARK, a reservation software company for the rafting industry, are still around. Others like Purple Crayon Club Consulting, were never designed to have a long life and are gone.

A close family member, after 83 years and a full life will most likely leave us this week. My life will be a little smaller as a result. It was a good life.

Rodney M Bliss is an author, columnist and IT Consultant. His blog updates every weekday. He lives in Pleasant Grove, UT with his lovely wife, thirteen children and grandchildren. 

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(c) 2017 Rodney M Bliss, all rights reserved 

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