Friday, November 25, 2011

Hypercard, data management, and building smart enterprises

I follow a good blog published by the folks at 37 Signals, creators of very popular hosted project management tools. (links below)

Their founder, Jason Fried recently posted an image of the beloved (to me) Hypercard interface.

Hypercard was a very early, very powerful database programming tool. We purchased the original version in 1987 for $49.95. They had to mail us our copy on diskettes because it hadn't been installed on the new Mac Plus we'd just bought (over $6,000 with no hard drive).

I first learned to build new business management systems digitally with Hypercard. We ran our family business, Banner Graphics, for over 25 years. We could not have done it without control over our information flow. In our later, most productive years with this business, we did it with Hypercard.

I'm forever grateful to Bill Atkinson and friends at Apple for this powerful, elegant contribution, especially so early. It was like being able to create your own private web site - customized to what you needed to know - before the internet. Amazing.

I'm going to post two Hypercard pieces while this is on my mind.

Hypercard lesson #1:

I believe new and emerging enterprises fail most often because they can't control their data. You must have a system to capture and control your data in a scalable way. If you can't, you're not sustainable. Period.

Sustainable = repeatable. Repeatable = data control.

Hypercard intro at Wikipedia

Signal vs. Noise. 37 Signals blog

37 Signals at Wikipedia

Banner Graphics, our family-run business for over 25 years.

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