As of January 1, 2009, I became a consultant to the business I used to own. I continue to help WiebeTech with a variety of issues, including customer contacts, trade shows and with product ideas, but I’m no longer a full time employee or an owner.
I am grateful to several different individuals for the events of the past 15 months:
First of all, my wife. Kathy has been my unending support and partner. She helped build WiebeTech with me, and continues to share and build dreams with me. Kathy also used to work for WiebeTech. She is now involved with CASA and also starts a new position as a lecturer/instructor for Wichita State University, where she starts a class in entrepreneurship tomorrow.
Second of all, my father-in-law, Pres Huston. Pres provided love for all his family members, and he loved me fiercely, for which I am grateful. I grew up without a dad, and he provided what I did not have when I was a child. He provided principles, capital, wisdom and guidance for WiebeTech when it was barely an idea. I miss him; he passed away in August of 2007.
Third of all, my friend, Bob Ring. Bob also provided capital and guidance to me, although much of what I applied at WiebeTech I learned from Bob many years ago, long before WiebeTech came into being.
Bob once noted that where I ended up at WiebeTech was not where I started, and this was true. My original work at WiebeTech was aimed at developing music compression software. I developed an exceptional algorithm for tight compression of audio; and I discovered that occasionally a great idea is destroyed by an inability to find a channel to the marketplace. Ultimately, I took WiebeTech into the storage business, and then into the forensic side of the storage business.
I am also grateful to Randy Barber, CEO of CRU/WiebeTech, who acquired our business. Randy is a sharp, decent man. He negotiated a fair deal, and he did what he said he would do, when he said he would do it. Many in the world of business acquisitions fail to deliver on their promises; Randy has been superb. I am continuing to work with Randy.
I’ve come to know so any WiebeTech customers — what a great group of people. It’s good news that I will continue to see many of you on behalf of WiebeTech. I especially enjoy WiebeTech’s customers in Washington, DC. Thank you!
A few quick names: The following employees were foundational in getting WiebeTech off the ground: Michael Gaskins; Lora Murray; Mark McClain; Carol Heier; Jeff Hedlesky. Also, Justin Lauzet and Bill Head. Thanks!
WiebeTech can always be found at www.wiebetech.com
Outside of work, I have some others who are very important to me: my pastor — Ben Staley, Northridge Friends Church, where I am head trustee. Ben’s a friend, a fishing buddy, and constant encourager.
Speaking of pastors, another who is important to me is Mike Andrews, former Wichita resident, and current pastor of Belleview Community Church. Mike is a passionate follower of Christ and nearly as passionate as a flyfisherman and wilderness camper. Mike has been able to be my candid friend and occasional spiritual counselor. Thanks, Mike.
Another close friend is Jason Trego, a doctor who currently lives in Africa. My first adventures where with Jason. He’s lost money by investing in me, but he’s forgiven my past failures and has always been there (except when he’s not, due to the distance…)
Now — on to what I am doing now.
I mentioned to my wife a few weeks ago that I wanted to start a new business in timing with the inaugaration of President Barack Obama. That happened today, and here I am, making my first post on my new business.
I’m doing three different things. I’m convinced that one of these three will provide a marketable product. I’m not sure which will work out; and I’m very aware that the final outcome (product) may bear no resemblance to what I’m actually working on now.
A few weeks ago, I leased a space to start this business development. I’ve converted a 2000 square foot warehouse into a workshop; and I’m developing an airplane in that workshop. This is one of the three big ideas, and the only one which I am willing to discuss. This idea may cause you to think that I am audaciously off center; and perhaps I am:
1) There is an economic problem in the world.
2) Aircraft sales are dropping. Markets are stalled and moving backwards.
3) I have limited capital; aircraft development takes inordinate amounts.
4) I do not have a background in aeroengineering.
5) (However, I am a pilot, and I do love to fly).
Stick with me, read this blog, watch me succeed, watch me fail — watch how my ideas mutate into marketable products. I’ll pay occasional attention to the new policies of President Obama, and how they help or hurt my efforts.