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What Vehicle History?

In 1992 a company in up-state New York hired me to design a simple software package to keep track of their equipment maintenance records. After delivering the software to them and retaining the rights to it, I decided to develop it further and try marketing it.

At some point in the mid-1990s I had the US Navy and Giants Stadium (NJSEA) using my software along with some utility companies, fire departments, landscapers, and many other small businesses. As usual, though, my focus was not on marketing. The software should have been a tremendous success and put me in a fancy office somewhere, but being the consummate programmer with only a mild interest in business I kept developing and improving while doing very little marketing.



As I developed my software I built libraries of routines that they all shared. Thus, like my mailing list manager, this software had full mouse support, colour pop-up help screens, and a wide range of printer support without relying on any third-party software such as Windows. Any budget computer, black-and-white or colour, could run my software. Even a hard disk was optional.



In the late 1990s I was talking with someone on the phone who was interested in my software. When I told him it was a $90 package he responded, "Oh, it's not a serious package". I realised then I had made a big mistake. I asked my customers and found out people were choosing my software over others that cost as much as $4000. I doubled my price, but that ended up being a quick way to kill what little market I had. So in 2000 I finally abandoned development.