Rick’s Reflections – May
RAVE was aligned well with all of this activity, as we were experts in building rack mount servers and integrating them to meet a specific requirement. We were selling mostly Sun Microsystems products by now. Sun had a lot of success in selling the concept that the “network is the computer.” They had introduced and sold millions of “pizza box” (shaped like a large pizza box) desktop computers that could be stacked. These were the “Sun Sparc” series of systems; this is about the same time that they introduced the Solaris and Java operating systems.
In an earlier newsletter I wrote about how RAVE’s relationship with Sun was started and that we had much success. That relationship with Sun opened new opportunities with them; Sun as it grew adopted a business model where it started parallel companies called “Planets.” These companies included Sun Federal, Sun Soft (Solaris and Java) and “STB” Sun Technology Business. RAVE became “authorized resellers” for each of them. Our STB reseller status raised RAVE’s capabilities to a new level. In that relationship we now had access to all Sun technology, down to the board and chip level. It gave us the ability to begin a “Sun Clone” product line. The Sun Clone line became important because, as the Dot.com market heated up, customers were looking for solutions that Sun could not provide in the form factors that were required. RAVE took Sun’s Sparc series of desktop systems, created new cases and turned them into rackmount systems. It was so successful that within 2 years Sun came out with its own rackmount product line. Meanwhile, RAVE had thousands of them installed everywhere from Wall Street to within the military.
Our first rackmount success story was started from a relationship with Cincinnati Bell Telephone. Cincinnati had created their own rackmount systems; we were able to improve their approach and had an instant in with the other Bell Telephone companies.
In the Dot.com market, companies were getting millions of dollars in venture capital money, and then the goal was to stretch out their “burn rate” (of capital) as long and far as possible. This created a huge opportunity for the leasing of products. RAVE had started a new company, RAVE Financial Services (RFS). RFS became very successful on its own.
Those were the good ole days…it was never if we made money, the only question was how much? We lived the life, had “royalty season tickets” to every venue in town. The company doubled our employees, we moved from one building to another..
In celebration of our 10 year anniversary in 1998, we flew the entire company to Las Vegas. We all attended Cirque Solei – O. We then split up, some stayed near the pools and casinos, the rest went to Lake Havasu where we rented 5 speedboats and a houseboat. We then had personal lessons from the inventor of the “AirChair) http://www.airchair.com/ What a riot, these were fun times. As we all know, what goes up must come down, and that was painful when it happened.
More next month.