In 1994 I bought a 486DX PC computer from my friend George Wangenheim who was an IT man at the company I worked at called Wright Brothers Welding Supply. Later I installed a modem and CD-ROM as I learned more about building computers. My desire was to know how computers worked so I would not have to rely on my sons to show me how computers worked. My computer lab was located in our basement so I could be with and watch our sons in the evening time. I was working in welding automation sales and technical support. I saw how the Internet may change welding gases and supplies sales as well as other business.
Late 1994 after installing my 640 modem to my phone line I was able to get on the Internet. My first Internet provider was a company called Delphi to connect to the Internet in the forums and used a crude browser and telnet to connect to the News groups. I learned much about the Internet from Dr. Petersen at UC DAAP College. I saw in the News groups how people shared product price and quality and business in general. I knew that was a game changer. I learned how to build a website on the Groups as well as forums and elsewhere. My first program to build my first website I used Microsoft Notepad. It was a basic to learn and an easy way to learn html code.
As I learned more I started to use CompuServe to connect to the Internet. I knew this new medium of communications offered new possibilities. It was not easy to connect and find things in the mid-90s on the Internet. Speeds were slow and much of the code was UNIX or Dos based for test. If people were looking at price and quality it made sense to me at some point people would buy products off of the Internet. This had to be an easier way to sell welding automation to customers.
Once Windows 95 started up that changed how many people used the Internet. AOL or AOHell as some called it was a easy Internet access point that was easy to use. Ease of use came with a price but easy access for people who could not access the Internet before. I used AOL for a short time but moved to One.net to connect to the Internet and mIRC for IRC and Netscape as my Internet browser. New programs replaced Windows Telnet to access to the News groups for information exchange.
The Internet was changing quickly and so was my job situation. After 18 years I changed companies and started to work at Weld Plus in 1996. Not long after starting there I saw the company could benefit with a website In my basement. All while watching my sons I built Weld Plus’s first website while working outside sales. I first hosted it on Choice.net a local Internet provider we used at Weld Plus. It proved to be successful so Jack and I registered the company domain name.
Jack thought the Internet was going to last 5 years or so and promised me all sales commission off our website and Internet connected sales. I knew it was a game changer. It proved to be that for Weld Plus and many other companies early to Internet marketing. In the end it made the company millions in sales. It changed the direction of the company from local to North American and International sales
I had built a website for Weld Plus in my basement based on what I saw as a need. It became a game changer for the company and I moved inside in and around 2000. I still handled welding automation sales to Precision IA and other companies. Moving inside totally in 2004 to handle email and website related needs. There I handled hosting, website design, SEO which I did in my spare time.
The story will continue...
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