The February 1983 meeting looked back on not only COMDEX, but the second and third trade shows we attended: CADCON and CPM-83. The strains of converting a loose aggregation of entrepreneurially-oriented programmers into a responsive company can be seen in Dan Drake's announcement of the meeting. A large quantity of collateral communication led to the feeling that we had to resolve the issue of effective management.
In February of 1983, the company's cash position turned around and, in fact, doubled in one month. AutoCAD sales had begun to take off, and began a growth curve which, at this writing four and a half years later, has not yet seen its first inflection point.
The February monthly meeting will be at DUFF KURLAND'S meeting room (not Jack's) at 1:00 on February 6.
On February 13 we'll have the special meeting on managing the company. To approximate an all-day meeting, this is starting at 11:00 (eleven). It's currently scheduled for Jack's house. When originally proposed, way back in October, this was described as a brainstorming session; i.e., lots of ideas should be put forth before we start inhibiting ourselves by looking at them critically and realistically.
[Unauthorized editorial by DD: This is not a company owned and operated by some guy or guys in the Northbay. It is a cooperative venture of some entrepreneurs, all of whom think and act as if it were a company owned and operated by some guy or guys in the Northbay. This fallacy is self-sustaining and is very close to destroying the company.
[There are two equal and opposite errors concerning how to fix things. One is to exhort everyone to buckle down, work hard, and act like an entrepreneur. The other is to figure out better management strategies for the people who run things to use in managing the workers. Can a person who's miles out of the daily action, able to commit only a small amount of time to the enterprise, really be blamed for not feeling much like an entrepreneur? Will he feel better if there's a better bureaucracy, more like the conventional company he works for (considering that he's not so devoted to that company as to devote all his time to it and resist new things like ADI)? Are there any practical, concrete steps by which we can discipline or trick ourselves to see the company correctly? Not that this will solve all the management problems, but nothing else will without this.
[Finally, if you come to the meeting with a proposal that somebody should tie a bell on the cat's tail to warn us when it's coming, don't forget to consult your Boy Scout Handbook (to review knots) and your family attorney (to update your will). There's no use for proposals of the form, Let's You And Him Fix It This Way.]
Responsible opposing viewpoints will be given equal time; that is, if you have an idea you want circulated before the meeting, get it to me in writing (mail, MJK, courier, or whatever) by Tuesday Feb. 8, and I'll mail it to everyone on Wednesday. February General Meeting
by Dan Drake
The February general meeting was held on Sunday, February 6, at Duff Kurland's. Present were Dan Drake, Mike Ford, Dave Kalish, Duff Kurland, Greg Lutz, Mauri Laitinen, Keith Marcelius, Hal Royaltey, John Walker, and Roxie Walker.
Editor: John Walker