10 PRINT “HELLO WORLD”
20 GOTO 10
That was probably the first program I ever wrote, circa 1982, on a commodore PET computer – the only computer in our elementary school at the time. It was fascinating to watch the text scroll endlessly as the program ran. From there I improvised and learned all sorts of commands, logic, and data structures. Looping, branches, strings, arrays, etc. I was hooked.
I spent the majority of my free time from that point through high school fiddling and tinkering, constantly learning. During college I took the opportunity to intern at Microsoft as well as a little startup called Geoworks. Despite shipping my project at Microsoft, which was featured on the cover of PCWeek (closest thing to a Techcrunch article back in the days), I got a firsthand taste of startup life at Geoworks and dove straight into it. The reason was simple. I wanted to make a big impact, fast. I believed, naively upon reflection, that I had all the necessary skills to change the world. That was the start of my journey into entrepreneurship.
Creating new software was an exhilarating process. Coding was fun, but making good software required a blend of art and discipline. Good software required perfectionism – countless iterations debugging, tuning, optimizing, and testing. It also required an immense amount of teamwork and trust. Ultimately we packaged and shipped software, and it was always a milestone worth celebrating.
I stopped coding sometime before the millennium – by then I had written a LOT of code and successfully shipped every project I’ve ever been involved in. Shipping software that others can get value from was very fulfilling. I can proudly tell my grandchildren someday that companies like Bank of America ran their online bank on code I had written when I was 25.
Today, what was once an exciting hobby for socially awkward geeks is now a very important part of the world economy. Billions of dollars of value are being created and disrupted by small teams of individuals who, like me, fell in love with the very basic syntax of programming – most likely at a much earlier age.
My partner Jonathan Heiliger and I share in the view that it only takes a few individuals to change the world. Our mission is to partner with aspiring entrepreneurs who dare to challenge conventional wisdom and make the world a better place.
Hello World. We’re open for business.