Starting a CTO Career

End of the eighties I studied in Germany, focusing on a business and economics degree, and started a bit working in the company of my family. I was so excited about this degree, that I started writing the software my family business was to use, even sold it to 2 more firms.

Since school days I was deeply engaged into the developer, (world famous) hacking, and online community of my home town. I was very fortunate to run into some extremely talented engineers, writing the first online and bulletin board systems in Germany, networking these via uucp, zerberus, x.25, and other ways. Got introduced early to Unix (before LInux was around) and run it.

Through my work for the family business software, I decided to write a database server first and then business logic software using it,all on Unix. Networking software, linking up with uucp/tcp, apple net, etc. followed.

In the course of this I got to know the guy writing the compiler I was using, he was also Director at Bell Labs, Northern Telecom, and later Newbridge. People like Rex, Volker, Clemens Dillmann … Going to Germany’s CeBIT (it was in my home town), I met even more engineers (that was before it turned a sales show) and CEOs, including Jack Tramiel, then CEO of Atari.

I learned a lot. Working on these projects build the foundation of my coding, design, and architecture skills.

With Rex we opened a Networking, BBS, and Online consultancy in Canada and Asia, helping clients like CNN, Deutsche Bank, IBM (yes!), Samart, Lippo Group, McCann Wrold Group and many others. Worked on one crazy ass Goverment / Private client with Roland Heller together, building the first eCommerce platform in the country… but also opening internet across this region, too. Got via my friend Gregory Harris into early insight into Netscape.

Learned again a lot, made new partnership, made many mistakes, too. Got excited by the very early Andersen Consulting, now Accenture. It had only 46000 staff (now over 400000) and traveled the world, working with formidable business likes Sony, Hutchison Whampoa/A.S.Watson, NHS, Compaq, Siam Cement, Kbank, Proton, Central, BASF, RWE where Klaus Grobler and Lukas Bakker became life long friends. Many more followed.

It’s still a race. Still many learnings and still working with formidable folks.