E-mail veterans find their niche

If you had dropped by the old offices of SoftArc Inc. in 1991, you would have found Colin Biggin and Scott Appleton working hard to bring a new Macintosh bulletin-board system named FirstClass to market. In those days, everybody pitched in, building SoftArc into a multi-million-dollar company in five short, busy years. “I enjoyed those early days best of all,” says Colin, “but after five years, I felt it was time to move on.”

Colin and Scott left last March to form Galleon Software, committed to building small, useful communications tools that were just not being built by larger companies. “We want to give people exactly what they need,” says Scott. “We want to make it affordable. And we want to make it easy to use.”

Their first project—eMerge—began at the suggestion of another Macintosh developer who needed an application that would let them create an e-mail form letter describing their latest upgrade, customize it automatically for everyone on their customer list, and send it directly to them over the Internet.

The results were astounding, and by November Galleon Software had brought yet another SoftArc employee on board to help them bring eMerge 1.0 to market. “Roy Schulze was their manager of documentation and graphic design,” says Colin. “So we knew he had all the skills we needed to turn eMerge into a successful product.”

Even the first demo version of eMerge quickly attracted attention on the World Wide Web. It had not been online for 24 hours before it was named the Internet’s “Cool Tool of the Day.” People were phoning them with orders before they had even published their phone number on their web page.

“Things are getting pretty exciting around here,” says Colin. “It looks like a lot of people have been waiting for eMerge.”