A Decade of Changes

“Time passes by so quickly. Change happens all around us every day whether we like it or not. Enjoy the moment while you can. One day it will just be another memory.”

This month marks the tenth anniversary of Calibre Computer Solutions. As I reflect back on this journey that began in 2004, I marvel at how quickly the years have passed and at the rapid changes in technology.

Many clients throughout the years have asked me, “How did you get into this business, Scott?” I thought now would be an appropriate time to briefly share my story with you.

The time was mid-2004. I was working full-time as a security dispatcher at Toyota.

Because I worked with computers since childhood, I had developed considerable knowledge about how they operated, how they failed, and how to fix them. Friends, family, coworkers and even strangers continually asked me to help solve their troublesome computer problems.

Dion Knight, one of my fellow crew members at Toyota, and I spent many late night shifts discussing our dreams, goals and desires to leave the daily grind of the corporate world. Both of us enjoyed our jobs, except for the 12-hour swing shifts that wreaked havoc on our sleep schedule and the constant pleas for us to work overtime.

Dion kept prodding me to start my own computer business. “You can do it,” he encouraged. “You have the knowledge and the skills. Go for it.”

After much brainstorming and planning, I opened Calibre Computer Solutions in September 2004. It was a very part-time venture. I hired a couple part-time technicians, who handled computer calls while I was working my full-time job.

Over the next few years, I changed jobs two times, all the while slowly growing and expanding Calibre. One of those jobs was in Evansville. Although it was an enjoyable position, the distance from my primary client base posed several challenges.

I finally returned to Princeton as full-time store manager of the now-closed All-Star Rentals. Being closer to home allowed me to better serve my clients and assist my technicians.

Calibre continued to grow as our marketing and referrals attracted new clients. I really needed to be at the office full-time, but I just wasn’t ready to give up the security blanket of a full-time job.

One day, Brad, the district manager, called me up to his office. He informed me that I was being let go. It took me by surprise, but it was the shove I needed. I was now free to be my own boss and pursue my dream to build a stellar business focused on serving clients in the best way possible.

(In case you’re wondering, Brad and I parted on good terms and are still good friends to this day.)

Faced with the “sink or swim” decision, I hunkered down and expanded my knowledge and skills in technology, business operations and marketing. I’m proud to report that Calibre is still going strong 10 years later.

Over these 10 years, technology has dramatically changed. Here are a few highlights:

  • In 2004, most computer users had a Windows XP machine. Some still used the Windows Me operating system, which Microsoft doesn’t like to fess up to creating.
  • We’ve seen XP finally laid to rest, suffered through Windows Vista, rejoiced at the release of Windows 7, and cried at the miserable failure of Windows 8 and 8.1.
  • Apple debuted its iPod player in 2001. Throughout the following 13 years, it has become the de facto brand of portable music player.
  • Cybersecurity threats have increased, requiring more diligence than ever by computer users to keep their personal information safe and secure.
  • Email has proliferated, along with spam messages. Google unveiled its free Gmail service in 2004. It’s now one of the top free email services.

Had you asked, “Scott, would you have imagined ten years ago that you would be doing what you’re doing now?” I would have said, “No.”

It’s been an amazing journey. I’m looking forward to what the next 10 years will bring.

Scott Hartley, President/CEO

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