Thirty years ago, on February 17, 1984, Steve Moore, Charles Simmons, and I incorporated a tiny company we called Telecom Analysis Systems. At the time, we were operating out of the basement of my home in Little Silver, New Jersey. I had left my management job at AT&T Bell Labs several months earlier to work full time on the business. Steve was about to take the plunge — he was on the verge of leaving his key position at Bell Labs. Charles was still working at the Labs — he was to join us in a few months time.
Those were scary and exhilarating days. We were attempting something we had not seen — three black guys starting a tech company from scratch — and we honestly didn’t know what the result would be. We were absolutely committed to our venture, though. For me, and I think for my cofounders, too, our venture was an extension of the historic civil-rights struggle we had just witnessed. We had the opportunity to do something historic, in a field where we were imminently qualified, and we were determined to prove ourselves to our colleagues and to the world at large. We had no idea at the time that our efforts would yield a multi-million dollar international company, or that our company would establish the kernel of a much larger company worth billions.
Thank you Steve. Thank you Charles. Thank you Diane, Kimberly, and Marlene.