The long and short of it... "Been there, Done that".
Studied Engineering (EISE at the University of Regina in Saskachewan) for three years before running out of resources. I did well academically, but good marks don't pay for your education.
Started my entrepreneurial efforts by writing music notation software for the Commodore 64. Followed that by inventing and publishing a paper slide calculator to determine the notes of scales and chords. Continued by writing and publishing a music tutorial.
Vending seemed like a good idea... at the time. I started a candy vending company called "InnoVendor". Later, I started a gourmet coffee vending company called "More! Gourmet Coffee".
Insurance and financial service sales, vacuum sales, fax and copier sales, window and yard service sales, and various attempts at marketing different products were all attempted along with the other ventures.
The last large capital intensive venture was a golf product manufacturing and marketing venture. The product and the company was called the Universal Drink Caddy (Ltd). The UDC was a cool product that was invented, designed, and financed in Calgary, produced in Beijing, trans-shipped through Hong Kong, and sold locally in Canada. It involved roughly 15 investors and two years of effort.
While I gained a lot of experience from these entrepreneurial efforts, I ultimately did not succeed financially with any of them.
Relational database development for a national hotel chain, a national records storage company, and a national facilities maintenance and construction company followed. PC purchasing, setup, and support for various individuals and companies also helped pay the bills. Hotel facilities management software and chartered airline personnel management and scheduling software was developed in an attempt to pursue digital entrepreneurship.
Formally, I worked at co-op Engineering jobs throughout Canada; Bell Northern Research, Canadian Astronautics, Gulf Canada Resources, and SaskTel. These provided experience in ISDN R&D, mainframe and mini programing, RDBMS setup and programming, telecommunications in all forms, RF technology, several languages, Flexible Manufacturing Systems, PLCs and robotic control, and a multitude of other skills.
Eastern Canadian computer support for Relax Inns (later Travelodge) moved me to Toronto. DB development for Command Records moved me up the development ladder.
Next I worked in Canada and the U.S. with a company that provided supply chain management solutions to very large manufacturing companies. This is another way of saying "where do I get stuff, where do I put stuff, did I make enough new stuff, and have I sold and delivered stuff". So I have contributed to the making of a lot of stuff. Let me note for the record that it was always really great stuff.
And now... (drum roll) ... I am working for myself in a company formed by myself and several partners. We do Oracle DBA work, Supply Chain consulting, and internet/intranet development. It's all very exciting. Naturally there will be more on this in the "Ventures" section of my page, but you'll just have to go there an find out about it, won't you.
On the whole, I'm a Jack of All Trades and still a master of some. I've done driver and interface development, flexible manufacturing, process manufacturing, database development, software design and coding, sales, company creation, multi-platform and multi-language systems integration, and of course, vacuum sales. After nearly eight (8) years living in the heart of Manhattan, I'm now a temporary Texan living in Austin.
I know not what the future holds, but it sure looks great from my vantage point!