Microsoft was just coming out with computers. Gaming and color graphics were coming out, so we decided to start with games. Pac-man was becoming popular at the time, so our idea was to create exciting games for kids that educated them about Bible stories. These were complicated projects, coded in assembly language.
Dr. Kim created a music department, an art department, and a coding department. Finally, we completed our first game: “Samson and Delilah” on the Commodore 64. We were so excited about the technical accomplishment, but we had no business experience. When we went to sell them, we didn’t know where to go or how to market them. We had no business or marketing experience – after all, I was an engineer.
We got a contract and delivered the product, but never got paid. But we believed we could learn from our mistakes, and we had a lot of energy and talent, and we could build a company. Dr. Kim’s drive to create the company was strong. She created the saying “He Can Do, She Can Do, Why Not Me!” to inspire us. If other companies could be successful, why not us?
By 1983 I had left IBM where I had full benefits and a good salary, to work for this start-up company with no money. Our group would sit on the floor looking at Wall Street Journal articles while Dr. Kim cooked us all dinner, promising each other, “We are going to be in there one day!” We had no idea how were going to get there – it was an indominable survival spirit, fueled by our martial arts training, and most importantly Dr. Tae Yun Kim’s mission to help people. We spent months working on those Bible videos and got nothing from it, but we got experience, and that was more important.
Dr. Kim sold her house and I took my money out of savings, and we worked for months with our team to make those first products. But we didn’t have anything to show for it. We realized we couldn’t wait for years for money to come in, so we turned our attention to other things.