An omen, or a taste of things to come

I got an interesting letter in the mail today. It was a somewhat … well … cheesy looking letter from the USPTO (US Patent and Trademark office) indicating that a patent which was applied for 7 years ago, was finally awarded. Patent number 7,249,357 if you are interested. I won’t comment on the substance of the patent. The group I worked with was absolutely top notch, and an it was an honor to be associated with them.
But that wasn’t the point of this post. I have been reflecting on an interesting anniversary coming up in a day. I have been feeling introspective about it for a while. It is somewhat humbling.

I formed my day job company 5 years ago wednesday. I did this for many reasons. I had to know if I could do a better job than my former employers. One of which landed in chapter 11, and one of which had some accounting issues. Yeah, I did do a better job. I had a fire in my belly … I believed, and still do believe, that HPC has been going mainstream for a while. It is mainstream. Its there. It has arrived. But I also believe that it is going to go in directions that no one expected … ok a few people did (and tried to raise money to build products here). As it goes along its inexorable path, there will be many changes. Every 7-10 years in the HPC world, a new technology comes up from underneath the old technology, and creatively destroys what has been there. In this process, the dollar size of the market tends to grow around an order of magnitude. Anyone banking on a status quo is going to come out in bad shape.
I could sprinkle some cliches here … but that isn’t the point of this post.
Small business is.
I will get into more detail later on with my introspection.
What humbles me, awes me, is that I started this during the bubble bursting. For small businesses, something like 80% of them fail in the first year. Something like 80% of the remaining 20% fail over the next 3 years. Of this 16% whom are left, under half make it to their 5th year.
We are 24 hours and 15 minutes from the beginning of our fifth year.
I am not superstitious. I don’t consider the patent to be a bad omen. Its SGI’s to use as they see fit.
I think it is an interesting way to open our fifth year. That we made it to year 5 is humbling. That we did it growing and winning business a considerable portion of the time is wonderful. That I see a tremendous future ahead for the day job, and for HPC in general is quite uplifting.
More later. Just going to enjoy the next few minutes, before I have to get back to coding.

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