Strangest darn thing!
As you probably know, I used to work in the computer consulting field for many years. I got out in 2002.
For most of the 1980s and early 1990s, I worked for SHL Systemhouse, Inc. This was a Canadian company that grew to be quite large and was later acquired by EDS, I think.
In the late 1990s, I worked for Claremont Technology Group, acquired by Covansys.
With Systemhouse, our top technologist for many years was Pat Smith. Pat was a great guy. Extremely knowledgeable, could deal with the politics, impressed the hell out of clients, good salesman. He was also one to go to the bar with the young people and tell stories. I liked Pat a lot.
With Claremont, we were growing like gangbusters and then we suddenly had two big projects go bad and the company was about to go under. The Board fired the CEO (Paul Cosgrave) and an interim CEO took over. His name was Steve Carson. I got to know Steve a little bit, because I was in a corporate overhead position at the time and Steve was giving me a fair amount of direction as to how he wanted me to run it. I didn't agree with everything he said, but he was an approachable guy and really knew a lot about running a business.
Well, in each case, we went our separate ways. But my friend mentioned Steve's name the other day and I decided to search for him on Google. Steve is now a CFO at a WIMAX company, riding the Web 2.0 boom, I'm sure. And he is also a Board member for Natural Convergence, a new company that does a software-only VoIP product (Skype-like, I guess).
And the chairman of that board? Pat Smith.
I was so surprised. I wish this company and Pat and Steve well. I'm a little shocked that a company could make a go of it offering such a simple product/service, but it seems like they're doing alright. They must have carved out a niche for themselves.