Did you ever regret not going to work for Michael Dell?
Absolutely not. It was quite a challenge to build up a business. AMI hasn’t taken money from anybody. There’s no outside investor, no line of credit, nothing.
We bootstrapped ourselves and fronted the company with the money the company has earned. It has been a challenge, but it’s also been extremely exciting. It has always kept me on my toes.
And I don’t think that, working for Michael, I would ever have been able to enjoy the work as much as I did working for AMI and building it up. When you do things on your own, there’s a certain charm to it.
How do you decide where the focus of your company will be?
(We listen to) what industry pundits have to say, what we hear at conferences, what we read in the trade publications. There are a variety of things that we come across.
Then, of course, we have to match it with the expertise that is available in the company. Normally, we have to make sure as we change directions, we change into a product area where we can take our existing engineering team and they are able to relate to this new technology.
If you take storage, in some ways it’s related to what we were doing previously, which was RAID. RAID manages storage, so there was some understanding of storage, even though we were not specifically doing storage products. We had storage products in the company. We interacted with customers who had storage applications, so we had some understanding of storage itself.
When we sold the RAID division, it made sense for the company itself to look at storage because storage had been part-and-parcel of the RAID business. Technology-wise, it was not too difficult or too different from what we had been doing previously. For that reason, we were able to make a move and get into storage.