As I said on 20th March, today – 30th June, 2014 – marks the ‘official’ 25th birthday of Soft Rock Software, with the business having been set up in 1989; the bank account was opened on 20th March, and 30th June saw the first transaction on that account. That first transaction, even though it wasn’t a sale – it was me introducing some of my own funds into the business – was what led me to adopt 30th June as my official trading year-end, and is therefore why I consider 30th June the official birthday of the business.
Soft Rock Software started off as a part-time venture, while I continued a full-time job working for a firm of chartered accountants, and the original aim was to write and sell budget games – something I’d wanted to do since I was at school. However, having left school in 1984 and started on a YTS in 1985, which became a full-time job in 1986, it wasn’t until a few years after I left school that I even owned a computer of my own, having spent my first Christmas bonus on an Acorn Electron. That computer was soon followed by a number of other 8-bit machines, eventually settling on a BBC B+64 as my primary machine – at least for a while, until I was able to purchase an Acorn A3000 in 1989.
I left the firm of accountants around the end of 1991, and since then Soft Rock Software has been my full-time business – although not in the way I ever expected or planned. Not too long after leaving the accountants, someone who knew I’d worked in that field approached me to look after their books – which I agreed to do, since it would only take up a small amount of my time and provide me with a regular income while I devoted more time to the software. However, no sooner had I started working for that one client than I found myself with another, then another, and so on until, before long, Soft Rock Software had become a full-time business, but providing a combination of bookkeeping and accounting services (and a bit of IT support), rather than writing software.
Fast forward to all these years later, and the business continues to be my full-time job, though still in the wrong fields; bookkeeping and accounting, as well as support and consultancy services in those areas, and a bit of IT support when necessary (I tend to find that once a regular client realises my background, I become their unofficial IT-guy). There have been periods when more time is available for programming – and there have been times when programming has been done on behalf of clients – but not enough.Things may not have gone the way I wanted them to – and the business certainly hasn’t made me rich (or even reasonably well off) – but the bottom line is that Soft Rock Software officially started trading 25 years ago today and, despite some hard times over the years, it’s still going – and it’s been great fun!
Happy (official) 25th birthday, Soft Rock Software! Here’s to the next twenty five years!