by Chris Miles
In 1982 (I was 12) I was babysitting for a neighbor. The father had a Timex Sinclair 1000. It was one of the first affordable personal computers. While they were out to dinner and a movie I read the manual and started writing small silly programs to display different things on the screen based on IF-THEN-ELSE scenarios. By the time they got home they were surprised by what their little computer could do and I was hooked.
Hello, my name is Chris Miles. I want to share a little bit of the story behind our company. I'd have to go back to 1997 when [Miles Technologies] started, but I actually have to go alot further. It was 1982. I was twelve years old. I was babysitting for a neighbor, and the neighbor had a Timex Sinclair 1000. This was one of the first affordable home computers for people to just use for their own—whatever they were trying to do with computers in 1982 at their house. It didn't do a whole lot. It had very little memory, compared to today's standards. The parents went out to dinner, and I was at home with the kids, and [the dad] said I could use this little computer if I wanted to, and I had never seen a computer before. He had a book right there, and it was BASIC. BASIC was the language that ran on the computer. So I was reading the book, and a few hours went by, and by the time they got home, I showed them what this little computer could do. They were pretty astonished. I was writing little if-then-else things and making things pop up on the screen, and I got to tell you, right at that moment, I was hooked on technology.
I never thought about being in the industry. I didn't know anybody that was in the computer industry. It was just something that was so much fun. I really loved it. So, I kept working construction. I worked for a neighbor down the street, like I said, and then, I got hurt. I actually messed up my hand in a wood chipper and messed it up pretty good. And I think this is impactful on my life—it really changed things—because my ex-boss really didn't run his business very professionally. There was no insurance on me. When I got out of the hospital I decided that if I'm going to risk my limbs, I'm going to start my own company.
So I started a construction business in 1986, and the difference between me and other people that started construction businesses in 1986 was computers. Small businesses back then really didn't even utilize computers, and if they did, they might have done, at the maximum, maybe some word processing on it. But I did accounting, and I wrote software to do estimating, and I did computer-aided design. And I used to bring a laptop—actually before they were called laptops, it was called a compact luggable, it was this big unit—and I used to bring it into the kitchen tables of my customers, my construction customers. And I would sit down with them and design whatever they were trying to build, and it was incredible. And even today, people don't really take advantage of technology the way they should, even in the construction field and going into houses and bringing the computers with them. But in 1986, I was.
And I'd like to tell you that I then did a demographic study, and I read all kinds of things and decided that IT was the future and that I should switch and be in the IT world, but I didn't think that way. Computers were just something I loved, and I loved running my business, and the two together—gosh, it really was my passion. What happened was people just started asking me to help their companies. So I met people through my normal course of my other business, and I would be talking with them, and they'd say, “Hey, I own a mortgage company and four health clubs.” That's actually a real example of somebody I met. And he asked me to come help him. And when he asked me, I was like, “Absolutely! I would love to come help your business run better using technology.” I didn't even charge. It was something that you found that you love so much that you do it for nothing. And then months went by, and I kept helping people, and I kept getting referred—I like to think because I did a really good job, but maybe it was because I was free. I incorporated Miles Technologies, and we started helping people for real.
And quickly I started to learn, just like I did in construction, that having people that are tradesmen, people that are really good at certain things, experts, having programmers or graphic artists or specific IT technologies that we could do a better job than just me doing it and trying to do everything. So we quickly started to build a company of experts. And then we became a company where people actually come to learn how to be experts in the field with technology. So Miles Technologies, over the years—we have Miles University, and we teach our staff and help our staff become those experts. And we continue to help these companies every day. And that same feeling I had of that good job feeling is the reason why I love it even today: the customers are happy with what we do. And we try to figure out exactly why they were so happy, and the main reason is because we help them accomplish more, and that's our core focus, helping people accomplish more. Technology happens to be the tools that we use to do it.
So we are a group of dedicated, passionate people that believe that any company that utilizes our services will run better. We'd love to have you become a part of our story.