1987 Murphy Software

My Own Business

After a few years of working for someone else, I decided I needed to be my own boss. Having at least a bit of sense, I made the first step of getting a side job. That went well, so being young, cocky and omniscient, I boldly turned in my resignation on October 19, 1987. You can see below how the Dow did that day (Black Monday).

I really hadn’t told that many people I was leaving the company, so the market’s reaction kind of surprised me.

Despite a spooky beginning, things went pretty well for Murphy Software. I did lots of projects in semiconductor fab automation for Intel, AMD, Sematech and others. One connection at Intel made it possible to move from Silicon Valley to Portland where we’ve lived since.

The details about various projects are in some of the articles on this site. In general, running my own business has taught me to stay concerned about the customer. Ask lots of questions, make sure I understand, communicate about progress, constantly iterate and always try to deliver more than expected.