Today marks my 10th year of working at Stardock. It's been 10 crazy years of learning the business and changing the business.
When I started, Stardock was *very* new. I spent the first days before I was officially employed helping build furniture. I was the first official employee of Stardock...my how things have changed. I had no idea how much my life would change, or how much Stardock would change over the following 10 years.
We started out as an OS/2 ISV. We didn't have a network in the building. We went months with dial up before we could get an ISDN line installed. We took all orders over the phone, and when "online order" technology came out, it meant that the online order was faxed to us. The "internet" was new, and it was a big deal to have free Compuserve accounts.
We quickly grew out of our first office, and found a new office where we currently are. We grew...then we fell. In 1998, the bottom dropped out of our market when IBM decided to drop OS/2. We went from a dozen people down to 4 in a matter of months. At this point, I took the most perfectly planned maternity leave and was away for 8 months.
But, Stardock didn't die. Through the vision of our CEO Brad Wardell, and the brilliance of Neil Banfield (WindowBlinds only at the time), Stardock picked itself up and dusted itself off and was reborn as a Windows developer. After seeing WindowBlinds in action, and being asked by Brad a few times: "so, when are you coming back?" I rejoined the very small Stardock crew. The day I came back, one of our staff members left (he returned a year or so later) and a new staff member started (who now works at Microsoft). Things were really changing.
The Stardock that we now know is really only about 6 years old. The Windows market is nothing like the OS/2 market was, and the staff that we have is a lot different (mainly, larger). I can remember everyone that ever worked here, even Tamra who only worked here for one day back in 96, because we have such a low turn over rate. We've lost a few to larger companies (mainly Microsoft) and we lost a few due to downsizing, but we still have managed to maintain our great company culture.
So, today I am remembering the past, and looking forward to the brilliant future that is ahead. We are growing like crazy, and we are about to move into a new building (buying this time instead of renting). It will be interesting to see what the next 10 years will hold.