In 1995, based near Old Street roundabout in London, Emmanuel Cohen, Armadillo’s chairman started on the road to launch an online company data system.
Having been shown the web in April 95 by a research scientist after Tim Berners-Lee uploaded the web structure in CERN, on a subsequent visit to the bookshop, Barnes and Noble he was shown all the books on this new area.
“Imagine a huge row bookshelves, devoted to a subject that was completely new. I knew then that it was important”
Manny continues “I will always remember a weekend in November 1996 when I had to make a huge decision. I could only afford the development work on one of the access systems at the time, it was a massive gamble. Should I risk everything – my business, my house, the lot – on chasing the dream of my own online database? I decided the web was the future so I gambled everything I had. Nowadays it is hard to imagine what a risk that was. Back then, the web was untried and untested as a commercial tool.”
“It amuses me that Old Street (known as Silicon Roundabout) where we started is today a burgeoning centre for web companies. These days developers are working on a tried and tested platform. It just was not there back in the mid-90s when we launched. It was true disruptive technology.”
“I was told recently that I must be the founding father of the Shoreditch Fintech revolution. Well, I don’t know about that, but my team and I certainly helped develop the bar revolution in the area!”
What Manny and his team pioneered at the time, was a unique commercial web database. Worldwide company reports and documents could be instantly bought by account or credit card from anywhere in the world, delivered to anywhere in the world.
Users could also order the registration of companies online.
The system was launched at the Barbican Solicitors Exhibition in London in June 1997.
“It was an amazing feeling. Once launched, we went out to our clients to sell the new service. Guess what they all said. “The internet? Too slow, no security, we can never connect – it will never catch on!”
Happy Birthday Armadillo and congratulations on the first and longest running online corporate commercial database on the web.
Manny concludes ” Guess what, we haven’t stopped. We’re still innovating and are working on lots of new projects, so watch this space!”
For the full story, go to: http://news.rmonline.com/chairman/