It was on January 31, 1986, I helped the Regional Manager close CompuShop NMADT, the largest retail personal computer store in New Mexico, marking the beginning of my efforts to move my business activities online full-time. Last year I created the following image from one of my CompuShop business cards to celebrate the 35th anniversary of this event with my friends on Facebook:
In less than two years, I had taken the largest personal computer store in New Mexico from last to first place in rankings consistently for the CompuShop retail personal computer chain for over a year. The acronym used for the ABQ downtown store was NMADT; all correspondence and invoices were stamped NMADT, On top of driving a top-producing sales team and managing the store, behind the scenes, I ran the electronic bulletin board service (BBS) for the national computer retail chain and the private BBS for the BEL Board of Directors. I’ve been building and sustaining communities online through the best technology tools of the time for over 35 years and I’m still in the game! What an adventure! Back in the Spring of 2020 one of my NMADT salespeople called me to reminisce. He reminded me of the story I used to tell them all; the one about making a $100K sale (1984) without knowing the difference between a parallel and serial printer cable.
Oh, the memories conjured up when thinking of this day in 1986 when I worked with regional and national BEL folks to close down this store location. Admittedly, convincing staff it was the right thing to do was extremely challenging. Convincing myself of that was no small feat, either. On January 31, 1986, BEL stock closed at $110 per share, and, yes, I was offered stock as part of the transition package. I went into business for myself at BEL’s encouragement on March 1, 1986, with the company as my first client.
On March 31, 1986, BEL announced a two-for-one stock split. Absolutely a life-changing year.
As I write this, I hear Joni Mitchell singing the words “Paved Paradise” in my head.
“Don’t it always seem to go
That you don’t know what you’ve got till it’s gone
They paved paradise, put up a parking lot.”
~ Big Yellow Taxi, Song and lyrics by Joni Mitchell