Technology’s come a long way, baby

Technology has come so far since the 1950’s to our virtual world

 

Technology’s come a long way to enable working in a global environment. Candace Cox shares her story of technology from growing up in the ’50s to CEO of a virtual company.

 

My first hand-held calculator, Texas Instruments

Growing up in the 50s and 60s, my Dad showed me the new glass-enclosed clean room of mainframe IBM computers in his insurance office building.  He was learning to code using paper and pencil. Then in 1970, I received my first “computer,” a Texas Instruments hand-held calculator ($89!) to take to college.

IBM Punch card readers

In the early 70s at the university there were no “Intro to Computer” courses in the business college so when the assignments came to code and use IBM punched card readers, teams found one in the group who 1) could code, 2) knew how to stack the IBM punch cards, and 3) could read the printout 3 days later.

 

Technology's come a long way

Step right up!

Graduating in 1974, with the EEOC laws now in place, 400 seniors in business (99% men) were lined up for a chance at a limited number of corporate interviews. To satisfy quotas, letters came to me from manufacturers and pharmaceuticals, asking to interview.  No jobs required computer skills. I took a job as a Pharmaceutical Rep aka Detail Man (teaching doctors and pharmacists how to prescribe ethical drugs). Imagine a marketing major advising surgeons how to save a life. Like a few others, I was the first woman to serve as a ‘detail man’ in a pharma sales territory.  I got in the door at times due to curiosity on the part of the doctors and at times dealt with harassment.

Microfiche readers

On to pursue an M.S. in Marketing and as a Grad Asst to the department, I used a manual typewriter for case study papers using Wite-Out correction fluid; and microfiche to scan ads in the newspapers for the seasonal sale cycles of house brand products. Microfiche machines can make you nauseous. They swirl. But it earned a co-authorship of an article with my prof, published in an academic journal.

Fortran and Computer-based Research Services

After graduate school I worked in marketing research with a well-known Luggage manufacturer.  We designed surveys, monitored societal trends, served as secret shoppers, held focus groups of consumers, and analyzed results – all with paper and pencil.  I learned Fortran. We subscribed to a research service that charged by the minute. If you forgot to SAVE at the end of your query, your results and billable time were lost and expensive!

WordStar and WordPerfect

In 1980, now marketing director at a university, we produced profitable seminars for the college of business led by faculty for working professionals.  We used rented direct mail lists without access to the alumni database.  Invoices were hand-typed. Desktops used WordStar and WordPerfect.  In the 80s we added a Certificate in Computer Literacy.  I could have used that much earlier.

 

Technology's come a long way

Launching a Company in 1992

It was time to go it alone, starting UNIVentures, Inc. Equipped with a door as a desk, a fax machine (aol dialup), a desktop computer, and a desk phone, I called on regional corporations and government decision-makers to bring them qualified content experts with platform skills. Starting with a talent bank of 200, I expanded to over 9,000 global experts and clients over the years.  Improved technology to work in a global environment as a virtual company made it all possible to be a woman-owned small business.

And Freedom reigns

 

By Candace Cox, CEO UNIVentures, Inc. When Knowledge Matters

 

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