Lessons from Progeni – 1968 to 1989

3:05pm 16 September 2010

Perce Harpham
Perce Harpham FNZCS

Founder, Progeni Systems Ltd

Progeni Systems Ltd was New Zealand’s first software company, founded by Perce Harpham in 1968. The company was a strong force in the New Zealand computing landscape before closing its doors in 1989.

This presentation will cover some of the good times and bad, the “war stories” from Progeni’s 21 years of existence in NZ and especially those still relevant to the management of a software company today – particularly one based in NZ.

There are different issues for contract system development, product development and service delivery. Management structure, financial, legal, political, international and other matters determine survival as much as technical competence and competition. Different experiences will be cited and some general lessons derived from them.

About Perce Harpham

Perce Harpham first met a computer in 1957. He installed an IBM 1440 in Lower Hutt in 1961, founded the first software company in NZ (Progeni) in 1968 and managed it until the cataclysmic events of 1987 to 1989 brought it to an end in New Zealand.

Highlights were the development of the Wanganui Law Enforcement Centre, the Poly computer and establishing branches in Australia, the USA and China.