This is somewhat redundant to another message of yours I answered… but, I’ll answer again anyhow…
Gotta give a little credit here. You (in the VERY early days) gave local mom and pop businesses a cash flow they may never have seen in decades (especially the printers). In the both plus and minus column – you indirectly helped Oakhurst blossom. As far as giving to the community – you actually sorta helped midwife it!
*** Thank you!
Weren’t always the most personable captain of your ship – but you steered us into some magical destinies in those very early days.
*** If anyone ever finds a way to run a business, making an endless stream of tough decisions, and win popularity contests simultaneously, have them call me!
Gotta ask ya – where do you think you lost control of the wheel? In all seriousness – was it venture capital and stock that drove decisions out of your hands and were ultimately responsible for the lay-offs (etc.).
*** The company grew from 0 to 1,000 employees during my 18 years running it. It never had a year where we lost money, and I doubt it has ever been as profitable as when I was running it. I’m not sure what you mean by ‘lost control of the wheel’? Are you referring to Sierra after it was sold?
*** There were definitely times while I ran the company where we had cut backs. Most of the time, this was accompanied by growth in some other division. I’ve talked elsewhere on the board about Sierra having been structured as a series of entrepreneurial business units. Organizations within Sierra grew or shrunk based on their ability to produce games customers wanted to buy. It would have been nice if every manager always could accurately deliver on their product revenue forecasts, and if all product development efforts finished on time, and on budget. This did not always occur, and sometimes careers were made, and sometimes they were broken. In professional baseball, a player is a superstar if they can hit the ball four times for each ten times at bat. Sierra was a little like that. We had our fair share of strikes, but we also had some homeruns, and overall, we won more games than our competitors.
You had an empire that was absolutely profitable. From a strictly business sense – to what do you attribute the beginning of the end. I was kinda shocked when you actually started getting outside managers (though in retrospect – you couldn’t be all things all the time and still map our destination as a company)…
*** At the time we sold Sierra, we were on top of the world, and had a great pipeline of products. Mistakes were made by the new owners. Actually… criminal mistakes were made by the new owners. But, that’s a whole other story.