What draws individuals to database-related careers? Is it the desire to organize? The love of information? The yearning to write code? For Bob Lokken, president and CEO of ProClarity Corporation, the lure of the career was practical, not whimsical or passionate. Lokken explains, "I had just started high school when I went to visit my uncle, who was an electrical engineer for a small power company in Montana. He was grumbling about this new computer the company had purchased to perform billing and track work orders. The computer was one of the original IBM midrange machines probably a System/36. The company had moved all of their systems over to this machine and hired a 'guy who knew how to run the damn box,' whom my uncle was fairly confident would soon be running the entire company. At the time, nobody could get anything accomplished without the assistance of this newly hired individual. My uncle was complaining about this situation as if it were a bad thing. At that instant, something clicked in my head. I realized I would have a pretty good chance of making a decent living if I understood computers and databases. My interest was piqued."
Following a position at Extended Systems where he gained management and start-up experience, Lokken and four others founded ProClarity in 1995. ProClarity began with Lokken, four co-founders and a hand- selected team of people who worked hard and worked well together. Lokken elaborates, "We wanted a team that shared enough common vision, yet was diverse enough in background and experience. At our first meeting, we produced an intersection of our strengths. Three of us had P&L experience, and collectively we also had database, patent and database software engineering experience. We went to work with a vision of solving a problem for knowledge-workers and decision-makers specifically, the challenge of assisting these individuals in making profitable, efficient and effective decisions."
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