Friday, April 23, 2004

Favorite Customer Letter

Between 1984 and 1996 I worked for Alpha Software Corp working on their family of end user database products, Alpha Three, Alpha Four and Alpha Five*. It was a small company so I got to see all aspects of its operation. This included getting to read some of the letters users would send into the company. I was looking through my files today and found the following letter I had saved from a gentleman who wrote us in 1991 concerning his love of Alpha Four.

Dear Alpha Four Software Co.

I am using your "Alpha Four" program almost a year, since you
promoted me to buy it for a (now I see) price less $ 99

I have always wondered how in haven, could you do such a
program, I am no a programmer, and you gave me the ability to
program my one programs, and in such a beautiful way.

Its is only now, that I discovered the meaning of the
application's. What should I tell you. I am so amazed from
the power of the application, that I have played with it
"The All Night Long". I have designed a vary complicated post
with one key stroke.

I am wondering now more than ever, is it a one man idea, or
is it a team of 1000.

Do you have a computer thinking for you, how to figure
everything in such a way, and in so many options. As more as
I use it, more I realize that I haven't even touch a part of
it's capabilities, it is so amazing, that I am blocked out, I
just have no word's to describe it. Do you. Yourself, have
an idea what product you have created.

By the end. I don't see in the book any limit of the macro
memory, how much (word's) or function's can you put in,
in a macro memory.

Sincerely yours


I saved this originally because of some of the funny word choices and phrases. But now it's more than that. It's a picture back to a time when I was a lot more connected with the folks who use the software I write. It's cool I was able to make this guy so happy.

To answer his question about the size of the team, it was pretty small. I don't recall the exact number of developers who worked on Alpha Four but not many more than 4. It started out with just 2 of us but we grew as the project went along.

*While the products are great, they were never known for their catchy names.

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