People say you can’t stand in the way of progress. I wouldn’t dream of doing so, but it would be nice if once in a while it slowed down and let me catch up. I don’t consider myself old but it’s staggering to think how much the world has changed since I started in the tennis industry. People discuss at great lengths the changes to the game over the last 25 years, but what about the industry from a different perspective.
Its 22 years ago, almost to the day, that I started work as a Development engineer at the Dunlop Slazenger Sport International – research and development department. Production of tennis rackets had already shifted to Taiwan and we were responsible for designing new and exciting tennis rackets and associated components. Hand sketched product and tool drawings were prepared at full scale, then cut up into A4 sized pieces and faxed to an office in Taiwan. (Don’t you miss that Fax dial tone?)
Six months into the position and the office went all high tech, installed five computers and “networked” them together. We even had an email address to share (firstname.lastname@example.org) and on occasions could be found searching an empty internet using Alter Vista. In 1994 I installed the company’s first full 3D cad surface modelling system and my love/hate affair with IT began.
Skip forward ten years to February 2005 and I’m on the brink of launching my own custom tennis racket brand via the Internet. The “bespoke” and “complex” design of the site cost me about the same as a new VW golf and stumbled often to process orders in the correct way.
3 Years later, the website is way out of date and in dire need a new CMS based system (apparently). Another small fortune handed over to a new developer and the business is all set for another few years. Unlike the VW golf I could have bought in 2005, apparently you get nothing for a “one owner”,” genuine low mileage “website.
Website number three launched in 2012 and was the first to have the Angell logo and has been pretty unfaltering over the last three years. Testament to the new improved methods of website building and original developer I believe.
So that brings us to the here and now. Welcome to freshly completed website number four. Modern, solid back end structure, responsive design and infinite flexibility it should, in theory, be future proof. But as with everything in this day and age, it was possibly heading towards “out of date” the moment we launched it.