This October, we celebrated our 30th year of helping people get the most of their Apple computers. When I started, it was the twilight of the Apple II and still dawn of Mac. It seems like yesterday we shipped our first upgrade, posted our first “how-to” manual and video, and built the first processor upgrades for the Mac, memory modules, hard drive, and SSD with the goal of making great Apple computers even better.
My first computer, nearly 40 years ago, was a door prize raffle ticket stroke of luck that changed my life. My mom made sure that this Atari 400XL wasn’t just for games, but primarily for learning. It had a cassette deck for data storage and learning which meant programming. As a kid, I actually did my first ‘real world’ programming on a TRS-80 shortly after... great days.
I think back to the 1984 movie War Games that drove me online... My first Apple in 1984 and my beloved Apple IIGS in 1987... and the eureka moment when I was frustrated with the process of upgrading my Apple.
Being 14, I needed my parents to drive me back and forth for any Apple service. I was frustrated by an unnecessarily long process and poor customer experience. Why did I have to jump through these hoops and be without my computer for what I’d discover was a five-minute upgrade?
Back in the 80s and 90s, we had great computer journals with incredible information resources. Our local Woodstock ‘News Depot’ carried the full gamut and those publications gave me the information to decipher the hardware that made these Apple computers work. My online ‘exploration’ (cough, cough) hacking habit brought some large bills with AOL and nationwide BBSs... The same folks I interacted with on these services also needed upgrades and I could save them time, money, and trouble by showing them the way — and our DIY support days began.
I had no grand plan or business model. It was about giving the most people the best opportunity to benefit and upgrade. It’s something I feel even more strongly about today. We’re here to deliver on quality, innovation, reliability, support and service at a price that can’t easily be beat.
New is good but making what you already have better than new — that’s great. What could be better than you being empowered to do-it-yourself. If I look back over the years, OWC is not only a DIY Mac improvement leader...we were the first. It’s not just making the upgrades and enhancement solutions available, but also pulling back the curtain and educating customers.
As OWC has expanded, we’ve stayed focused on our customers’ needs. We revel when we can do what supposedly “cannot” be done.
In 1992, we began shipping industry-first, bus-powered hard drives.
In 1998, OWC created the first viable G3/G4 ZIF upgrade line with OWC upgrades which more than doubled performance of Apple’s Macs for under $300.
Come 2000, we introduced the best FireWire drives on the planet after customers complained about the inconsistencies of what others had offered.
In 2001, we worked with Ryan Rempel to bring you XpostFacto providing OS X support for Macs of which Apple decided not to support. And it ran OS X faster on OWC upgraded Macs than new Macs of the day. 2004 was the age of the AGP processor upgrades – then came the G5 and Mac Pro.
In 2010, we launched the very first Sandforce based SSDs, which made Solid State in Mac truly worthwhile... no slow downs, no compromise, unbelievable speed end-to-end.
2013 brought us into Thunderbolt... and in 2014 we introduced “the best Thunderbolt 2 Dock” available period... followed in 2017 by our Thunderbolt 3 Dock and now going into it’s 3rd generation, “best dock” design 2018 iteration.
You, our customers, are the center of this. When you speak, we listen, and seek to deliver what you’re telling us you need, solving the problems in your workflow that you need solved. Technology is merely the tool, our purpose is you and learning faster, working faster, expressing more creativity, and exploring.
Technology has changed incredibly in these last 30 years and that change accelerates... but what has not changed is that we exist for our customers. We are here for you and absolutely because of you. Thank you for allowing us to earn your trust through the service, reliability, and quality you deserve.
As we embark on over the next 30 years, I look forward to OWC being here doing its part as you find your own “eureka” moments.
Founder and CEO, OWC