I found an old CV

In the process of moving house last week I found an old CV. Looking at it reminded me of just what things were like in the beginning. Because we were inventing an industry we were doing everything for the first time. So we made lots of mistakes. Also there was far less speciality than there is today. Now, in a sophisticated and evolved industry you can even run a successful business trading in game objects from MMOs. If anyone had suggested this back then they would have been laughed at.

We set up one of the first computer retailers, Microdigital, in Liverpool in the summer of 1978. Very soon we were pretty much forced into mail order by customer demand and ended up with a whole department on a separate site from the shop. We also ended up producing software, importing vast numbers of books and designing and manufacturing our own hardware as well as running a magazine. All because there was nobody else doing these things for us. Also we instigated the first trade organisation the Computer Retailers Association.

Yours truly when he was a bit younger

The same pioneering happened at Imagine in 1982. Most of the early game companies were home businesses but we were determined to do it properly. So we set up a tele-sales department and doubled turnover every month till we reached a million pounds a month. We were also the first to look outside the UK and set up a multi lingual sales department, many of whose early customers grew to become major forces in their home markets. So we were the first with multi lingual packaging. Following on from being the first to put team credits and company profile in the packaging. In fact it was good fun as we worked out how to put more and more folds in to cassette inlay cards, always staying ahead of the competition.


On the product side I remember John Gibson having trouble creating realistic clouds when he was writing the Sinclair Spectrum game Zzoom so we got an artist in to help him. This must have been one of the earliest uses of an artist in games. Within a year we had an in game art department and an in game sound department. We even had a technology department, working out better ways of doing everything. Not bad for 1983.

Many of the great people who worked at Microdigital and Imagine were very young. Now they are scattered all over the world, most of them still working in the industry and many in senior positions. I am still in touch with a lot of them. It would be nice to think that they still have some of the spirit of those early Liverpool days!

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