Today marks the official 10 year anniversary of Apposite Technologies. I’d like to say it’s been a long strange trip, but it’s actually been a pretty straight path.
Most tech start-up stories seem to begin, “Once upon a time in a garage in Silicon Valley… “ Or a dorm room at Harvard. Sorry, that’s not us. We were too old for dorm rooms, but not rich enough to have houses. We lived in apartments and condos and happy to avoid the carbon monoxide fumes, we sketched out the original plans on kitchen tables and at Westwood coffee shops. We finally subleased our first office, an extra room within a struggling animation technology company above a cheesy Italian restaurant in downtown Culver City. We always knew it was lunch time when the Frank Sinatra music started. Ten years later, I still can’t hear “Fly Me to the Moon” without heading to the refrigerator.
Our mission then as now was to make WAN emulators. Good WAN emulators. Affordable, high quality, easy to use WAN emulators, the kind nobody else was making, the kind we had needed at our previous jobs. Our vision was that everyone should be testing the applications, not just a group of dedicated test guys. And that, in a nutshell, is what we’ve been doing for the past decade.
Naming the first product was similar to naming a baby, with lots of hand-wringing, back-and-forth, vetoes, and “what’s wrong with that?” but we settled on “Linktropy” in time for its birth early the next year, and Linktropy it has remained through four generations. The original model was the 4500 because it was intended to simulate super-huge bandwidths, all the way up to 45 Mbps! Who could possibly need WAN links faster than that? Fortunately, the 4500 exceeded the design spec and actually simulated up to 155 Mbps, and we soon learned that there were plenty of people even then who wanted to simulate gigabit speed links, and quickly added the 7500 model. Of course, the original version was missing plenty of features that customers wanted and bandwidths have expanded to 10 Gbps and now 40 Gbps, and that has kept us busy for a full decade.
So what are we doing today on our big anniversary? Well… working. But come Friday we’re having a small party. If you’re in town, drop by and join us in a glass of Champagne to celebrate, or some of our favorite squid and sake. Come Monday morning we’ll be back again, hard at work on the next 10 years of test tools.
To all of our current and former employees, customers, resellers, distributors, and business partners, thank you for a great 10 years.