Feeds

Techscape: A Wordwise veteran

Moir of a technologist or an entrepreneur

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

High performance access to file storage

Interview The argument has been raging since Thomas Edison started General Electric: Is the technical brain behind a business or product capable or even competent enough to manage the operations and growth of that business?

Some people would say Edison was the “World’s Worst Entrepreneur“ and that without significant outside managerial talent GE would not exist today.

This is probably true.

Charles Moir was a British technology whizz-kid who was a witness if not active contributor and participant in the birth, infancy and early days of British technology. He was a 17-year old schoolboy at Oundle, near Peterborough, when Hermann Hauser and Chris Curry of Acorn fame came down to reconnoitre talent and gather intelligence on what they heard was a robust, early-days computer curriculum exciting the minds of youth.

Meeting these two (eventual) legends was a turning point for Moir. By age 21, he had written a word processing program called Wordwise which sold “many copies making me very wealthy.”

His software was “elegant” he says and perhaps this was the source of its wild popularity. “I’m a bit of a perfectionist and firmly believe in simple design over complexity,” Moir declares vigorously. Hmmm, is he a Mac man then?

“Yes, in some respects, though ironically our current products launch on Windows.”

Moir built his company, then called Computer Concepts by placing small ads on the back of computer magazines and then simply started taking orders for Wordwise and hiring staff, eventually building the company to around 40 people.

By age 23, Moir had enough money from his Wordwise invention to buy Gaddesden Place, a hilltop manor house designed by the notable James Wyatt in the late 1760’s.

To the manor born

That he bought this house in 1983 and still uses it as his home and office is the first sign that we’re not speaking with some tech geek spendthrift who buys a string of big houses and Ferraris until destitute as so many of the Silicon Valley and other tech oases’ moneyed did.

What a level-headed, financially-sensible investment for a young man.

But not all has gone according to plan for Moir. Zy.com was an online, web-based, website builder which at one point was getting more than 14 million hits per month. Moir says, "The 'Dot Com Crash' came and we couldn't get new investors - they backed out at the last minute." El Reg has covered the collapse of this dot-com business here and here.

High performance access to file storage

Next page: From little acorns

More from The Register

next story
Android engineer: We DIDN'T copy Apple OR follow Samsung's orders
Veep testifies for Samsung during Apple patent trial
Windows 8.1, which you probably haven't upgraded to yet, ALREADY OBSOLETE
Pre-Update versions of new Windows version will no longer support patches
OpenSSL Heartbleed: Bloody nose for open-source bleeding hearts
Bloke behind the cockup says not enough people are helping crucial crypto project
Half of Twitter's 'active users' are SILENT STALKERS
Nearly 50% have NEVER tweeted a word
Windows XP still has 27 per cent market share on its deathbed
Windows 7 making some gains on XP Death Day
Internet-of-stuff startup dumps NoSQL for ... SQL?
NoSQL taste great at first but lacks proper nutrients, says startup cloud whiz
Microsoft lobs pre-release Windows Phone 8.1 at devs who dare
App makers can load it before anyone else, but if they do they're stuck with it
US taxman blows Win XP deadline, must now spend millions on custom support
Gov't IT likened to 'a Model T with a lot of things on top of it'
prev story

Whitepapers

Mainstay ROI - Does application security pay?
In this whitepaper learn how you and your enterprise might benefit from better software security.
Five 3D headsets to be won!
We were so impressed by the Durovis Dive headset we’ve asked the company to give some away to Reg readers.
3 Big data security analytics techniques
Applying these Big Data security analytics techniques can help you make your business safer by detecting attacks early, before significant damage is done.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Mobile application security study
Download this report to see the alarming realities regarding the sheer number of applications vulnerable to attack, as well as the most common and easily addressable vulnerability errors.