Fred Ode in Office on phone
27 January 2020

The Year is 1985

Fred Ode in Office on phone

Me in an actual office.

I’m traveling across the Midwest in my mobile office selling the first iteration of FOUNDATION. It’s a cramped space and all sales, client and employee calls go through my car phone — attached to the roof with an antenna. My typical monthly phone bill is well over a thousand — including roaming charges — and my typical week starts in Ohio, then moves to Michigan, to Indiana, to Kentucky and then repeat.

It’s a vivid memory, one I can’t help revisiting as we move into 2020 and our company’s 35th year.

We’re a 360+ employee and 5,000+ clients company now. New technology within the industry is booming — augmented reality, AI, BIM, drones. There’s new ventures, new systems — it’s hard not to look back at those car phone days and think, “what the heck happened?”

But, in truth, the longer I’ve thought about it, the more I’ve realized that for everything new there’s been just as much that’s stayed the same. We still have the first employee I ever hired working and we even have a few clients still running FOUNDATION on our original DOS system.

It makes me thankful, both to see how much we’ve grown and how the core of the company has stayed the same despite it. It’s a promise I’ve often made, to employees and clients alike — that no matter how we change, the heart of the company remains.

And I’m looking forward to what the next 35 years will bring.


— Fred Ode