Chapter 5 Business Is a Series of Problems to Solve

Sometimes great ideas can be repeated—and sometimes they can’t.

After I sold Merrin Financial, my contract stated that I had to work at ADP, the large corporation that acquired us, for a minimum of two years. To stay true to my entrepreneurial side while I was working for ADP, I bought a software technology that was in the middleware space from a public company and created a company around it called Vie Systems.

Middleware software was all the rage in the late 1980s. It was a technology that enabled the creation of faster data integrations between different software packages and systems. Data integration was a huge issue for every company and consumed a majority of many companies’ technology resources and time. We experienced this with every sale we made of our order management system (OMS) platform, so I knew the problem well and had been searching for a solution for the past several years. We came upon this technology and, as we were doing our due diligence, found out that the company was running out of cash.

This technology was right up my alley because it increased efficiency, it solved a huge problem, and the prospect base was virtually unlimited. It enabled nonprogrammers to quickly integrate new software into their existing infrastructure and integrate data more easily into disparate systems. This so-called software “glue” was sold to large companies as a way to significantly reduce the number of resources and time ...

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