In 1994, when the business that became Arnlea started, it’s fair to say those who started an industrial software company did so with faith and vision, almost certainly ahead of their time.
Hotmail didn’t exist and Google was just a large number. Bill Clinton was the 42nd President of the United States and John Major was Prime Minister here in the UK, while Boris Yeltsin was Russia’s President in the Kremlin.
The Church of England ordained its first female priests, while war waged on European soil in the Balkans for the first time since World War Two. In South Africa, Nelson Mandela became its first black President and Tony Blair becomes the leader of the Labour Party, after the untimely death of John Smith.
A small internet shopping site called Amazon is founded and AOL opened its doors to the Internet for ordinary Americans to go surfing.
Justin Bieber was born, and so was Tom Daley, as well as Mhairi Black, Adam Peaty, and Raheem Sterling. A British girl band, full of girl power, The Spice Girls, formed, although it would be another two years before their first hit. The best-selling singles of the year were:
- Love Is All Around – Wet Wet Wet
- Saturday Night – Whigfield
- Stay Another Day – East 17
1994 was a year before the dot.com bubble started to grow and yuppies were still walking around with mobile phones that looked like bricks, although they were starting to develop a Star Trek quality about them, as the Next Generation series came to an end.
Talking of TV, we were starting to get to know the Friends that hung out in Central Perk. It was an amazing year at the box office, with Pulp Fiction, Forest Gump, Speed, The Lion King and the Shawshank Redemption all premiering on the silver screen.
It was the year when America hosted the FIFA World Cup for the first time and only Ireland qualified, out of all the Home Nations.
To start a software company in 1994 was a timely decision, reflecting the optimism of a post-cold war world that was taking new turns and realisation that technology was the revolution that would radically overhaul industry, as well as the lives of billions in the years to come.