On this day 25 years ago I wandered into the local Chase Bank here in Austin, Texas to open a business account for my latest venture. At that time I was planning to write custom software applications for various businesses that were interested in hiring me to do so. Not long after that, one of the developers who worked for one of my customers asked if I’d be interested in hiring him. Jason and I still work together to this day.
What you now know as Xojo came along about 18 months later. As we prepared v1.0 to ship, we wound down the custom software development part of the business. We’ve been a development tools company ever since.
It’s truly amazing to me how quickly the past 25 years have gone by. It certainly doesn’t seem like 25 years. I consider myself quite fortunate that 25 years later, I still get to do what I love. The big factor for us has been adapting to change and learning from our mistakes. In his book, “A Short History of Nearly Everything”, Bill Bryson explains what lifeforms must do to survive. He says, “You must be prepared to change everything about yourself-shape, size, color, species affiliation, everything-and do so repeatedly.” This is also true in business. I didn’t start this company to provide development tools but when the opportunity presented itself, I grabbed it. When we shipped v1.0 on July 4th, 1998 it only built desktop apps, only for what is now referred to as Classic MacOS and only for the Motorola 68000 and PowerPC processors. Today we support MacOS (that shares almost nothing with its predecessor), Windows, Linux, the web, iOS (soon Android) and Raspberry Pi. In fact, other than desktop apps as a type, we don’t support anything we supported in 1998. And despite the fact that everyone on the team has been with us for many years, the team is nearly completely different from what it was back then.
Over the last 25 years we have done what Bill Bryson said must be done – we changed nearly everything about ourselves. We have added new operating systems, new processors, new capabilities, as well as rewritten the compiler and the IDE from scratch. We have had false starts on projects but we have followed the mantra of the US Navy Seals:
“I will never quit. I persevere and thrive on adversity… If knocked down, I will get back up, every time.”
These are the reasons we are still here after 25 years. We learn, we adapt and we never give up.
As the founder and CEO, I set that tone but a company is only as good as its team. It is the people that show up every day, sometimes in the middle of the night or on a Sunday afternoon, to bring their passion, talent and experience, from customer service and marketing to tech support and engineering, in order to create and support Xojo and enable each of you to create things that perhaps might have not otherwise existed.
That’s what has made this past 25 years the best of my life and I can speak for the rest of the team when I say that we look forward to many more challenging, inspiring and rewarding years ahead.
To you who have used the fruit of our labors to create your own for so many years, we are thankful and grateful for your past and continued support. You allow us to spend each and every day doing something we love. Who could ask for more than that?