Chapter 1: How It All Began

http://theleanstartup.com/principles

The first steps towards our business venture ONEDECOM started at a very early stage in life. Some sceptics say that business and friendship don’t work together, however we have used our collective experience, drive and passion to build what we believe is something special for the decommissioning industry and can offer industry a new way of harnessing the decom community and knowledge it can provide to add value for others.

In our younger days, Colin and I had our first introduction at a junior football training session. We had a small altercation on the touch line, little did I know he was actually my best friend and business partner in waiting, it just took us both a few more years to realize.

Fast forward those years and our paths crossed again, this time turning up for a job at a local newsagent in my home town, where I had already completed a few month of servitude. This time there was no animosity, we clicked straight away and I now had a new companion to hit the town with. Myself, Colin, my twin bro Steve (Currently Engineering Services Manager at Repsol Sinopec) and a young Michael Arundel (Currently Contracts Coordinator at Trillium) heading into Aberdeen together, a group of friends who have stayed close all of these years.

After school Colin headed off to university to do some elaborate course in product engineering, and I headed to the pub. Don’t worry, I was entering into the exciting world of breaking up fights and getting paid peanuts that is bar management (via 1 year at college doing Business Administration, snore!!). While I was there I realized for the first time that I was entrepreneurial, building a window cleaning business with this little old guy I met in the pub. After leaving the boozer to build my empire I had to supplement my income somehow (it’s super expensive living for free with your parents), so once again Colin and I were reunited, this time at the awesome Amadeus Night Club. Although it does not look quite as cool now (https://www.flickr.com/amadeus), it was an amazing place to work, even with Colin bossing me around while he showed off behind the cocktail bar. Yeah, competing with this tall dark handsome bugger was tough. However, I have been told that 5’8″ is the average height for a guy (at least on Fraggle Rock anyways).

Heading down the highway of life, Colin and I have encountered many journeys together. From an unforgettable 18-30 holiday in Magaluf, a couple of weddings, 4 kids, a funeral and a whole bunch of other twists and turns, it was actually a bit of a surprise that we ended up building ONEDECOM together as we both careered into our 40s.

Photo by Florian Olivo on Unsplash

During that time working at Amadeus, I sold my business, packed my bags and headed to Australia for a year. On my return I was worried that I had not quite ‘found myself’, so to keep my dad happy I decided to go to University to study computer programming and acquired a first class degree. Not only did I fall in love with programming, but it fuelled my start-up mind, and since then I have started multiple businesses, some total flops, but with some successes like Mighty Wee Websites and TenderHood.

Colin by this time had continued his post graduate studies in Project Management and was well on a career path within the oil and gas industry and had moved into the new and developing field of Decommissioning. Being from Aberdeen, I had made a deliberate decision to stay away from the oil industry and progress my passion for computer programming.

We just stayed friends remotely as we both moved through our careers and I moved to Canada. Then a family visit to Aberdeen prompted a conversation with Colin around a new business start-up idea. Our ONEDECOM journey then officially began on November 2017.

To learn how that played out, you have to wait until next Friday, stay tuned!

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