Terrapin Networks was founded in 1990 in Traverse City, Michigan by Tim Gillen.
Tim started Terrapin specifically to bring business-first technology support to small businesses throughout Northern Michigan.
Tim says, “I come from a long line of small business folks, back to both sets of grandparents. In my early teens our family moved north and purchased a marina at Glen Lake, and I eventually partnered with a brother in taking over the business from our parents.”
His first computer system was purchased in 1985 for the business he had at the time, a tool sales business. After a few years he had everything in his business tied up in the simple computer system and hand-held device he used daily. It was the “IT”, the business’ technology, and the entire business was pretty much laid up when it was down.
And like any IT system, then or now, at some point it quit working.
So Tim went to the local computer place and asked them to fix it. The hard drive had failed – that happened a lot back in those days – and five days later he found himself still calling the computer place and asking for a status update.
On day five, while begging to get some quicker attention, as his business by now was quite paralyzed, he was told, “And this this I’ll never forget,” he says, “The man on the other end of the phone said, ‘Buddy, we all got problems. We’ll get to it!’, and down went the phone.
Now they may have been pretty busy, I don’t know. Maybe it wasn’t really their fault. There were precious few choices in the area at that time, and that may have contributed to their lack of urgency. But this much was clear: They didn’t get it. They weren’t keyed in to what the impact was for me. At no point during our conversations did I ever get the feeling they were “with me” in my distress.”
They were technicians. Computer guys. Techs ‘fix things’ – they don’t always see business like businessmen do: the dollars that are at risk with payroll, competitors nipping at your heels, and promises that have been made to your customers, staff, and financial backers.
Says Tim, “I saw that gap between business and technology as a real need. That led me to start Terrapin Networks in 1990 (originally as Terrapin Computers), with a constant emphasis on how technology can be a real engine for business success.”
Tim has been a frequent guest on WTCM Talk Radio 580 over the years, primarily on the Ron Jolly Show and Afternoon Drive; he’s also made many appearances on WPBN TV 7&4 in the “Tech Matters” segment during the “7&4 News Today” morning show.
Interested in booking a consultation with Tim regarding your small office tech, and how Terrapin can assist? Click here to schedule a call!
(To keep things simple, throughout this document I’ll refer to your organization as a ‘business’, and the users of your services as ‘customers’; if you don’t see your outfit that way, just substitute “organization’, ‘patrons’, or whatever else your internal terminology is.)
Now, about your business.
Where do you want your business to be in the next three years? The next five years? These are common questions any of us involved in running a company have on our radar. They are the basis of any business technology decision; principle number one is that all technology decisions are first and foremost business decisions.
The role of technology is to get your business up the road to those 1-, 3-, and 5-year goals, driving efficiency and profits along the way. When properly thought out and implemented it will do just that.