Entrepreneurs Journey

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Transcript, Entrepreneurs Journey | Steve Cho

Alan
Welcome back. We have with us today on the show Steve Cho. Steve is the founder of a custom software system. Here in Fremont, California called ASCC. Steve, welcome to today’s show

Steve
And thank you for having me.

Alan
So Steve, can you give us some your background where you got how you got to where you are today?

Steve
Well, it all started being being born and raised in LA, in what I call the better part growing up South Central. If you know anything about LA,

Alan
That’s the good side of the tracks.

Steve
That’s the good side of the track, right? It brings back fond memories. But I’d much rather be up here. Went to school in St. Louis Washington University for my undergrad and came back to USC for my graduate school, received a bachelor’s in mathematics at Washington University and a master’s in computer science at USC. Following that, I was working for Pacific telephone at the time. And after I finished my degree, I made a proposal question to them. What have you got for me?

Alan
And so what year did you enter the the field of going into business for yourself?

Steve
Probably by 1978.

Alan
So that computers were just starting to come into Yeah, automate, automate systems and seven eighths really a little bit before the PC.

Steve
Oh, way before the PCs. Yeah, PCs didn’t exist back then. Most systems were being run on large mainframes. And mini computers were just starting to take hold as an alternative to having having to run on the mainframe.

Alan
So you went out and said, Well, I think I’ll go put a computer company together, you bought yourself a mini computer. And

Steve
Well, because my wife and I share the same background in terms of education, we decided that we were both young enough to try something on our own. She worked for IBM at the time, as I said, I worked for Pacific telephone, we didn’t both leave our jobs at once. She left first, while I continue to, to connect, to at least earn a living. And as it turns out, we decided to try it on our own. And we’re both young enough to go back into industry if we did not succeed.

Alan
What advice would you have for person getting ready to start a business today? Knowing what you know, and having traveled the road that you traveled?

steve
Well, I would say that it’s not for everyone. But if you have a desire to be your own boss, make your own decisions, and go where you think you may be able to make a better life. Go for it. Yeah, that’s what we thought. And we tried it. And we have not looked back.

Alan
So when you started out, how did you know you get to make money. We didn’t

steve
We saved up enough to survive. About a year without if we didn’t earn a dime, we can go on for about a year. And within that timeframe, we said well, we’ll give it a try. And we went out or she went out and started to make contacts with a number of companies that we’re in the in the field. And as it turned out, the doors that were open, allowed us to go through and within about a year and a half, I left my job to join her.

Alan
So So you left a stable steady income, yes, stable income moving out to the great frontier, owning your own business. And so when you hit when you shut up for work the first day in your own company. How did you feel

Steve
Afraid, just not knowing what the future is going to hold for us. Because we don’t have the comfort now of receiving a check every two weeks. Insurance. Coverage is not going to be there. Just the stability of knowing that things are are being being handed to you.

Alan
What do you feel as six is necessary to be successful in life?

Steve
I think if you go into anything you do, what the an attitude that that knowing the uncertainty but you still want to give it a try and give it an honest try and work to that goal. Things will work out

Alan
I’m visiting here today with Steve Chou. He is the founder of the company ASCC, a computer software company located here in the San Francisco Bay Area, we’ll take a quick break and be right back after these messages.

Alan
Welcome back. I’m here today with Steve Cho. He’s the founder of ASCC computer software company here in the San Francisco Bay Area. Steve, before the break, we’re talking about your transition into the career moving from the corporate world into your own business. When you got into your own business, so what do you feel the turning point was in your career, when you felt that you knew that you get to make it?

Steve
Well, to this day? I still feel that I haven’t made it yet. Believe it or not.

Alan
Interesting. Okay. And you’ve been doing this for some what?

Steve
No, see, I want to become a Bill Gates. But I know that whenever our gates, okay. I think in terms of we’re, I think we were satisfied with how things were going. Is when my daughter was born, what year is that in 81, when she was born. That was kind of the turning point. Because at that time, my wife, Amy was with the company. And she decided that she wanted to be home more at home with with the daughter. And she started to cut back on her hours. And during the times that she was going to school. She in fact, approached one of our clients who we wrote the software for, and asked them if they were looking for someone to go in house as opposed to outsourcing for outside service like ours to come in to support the system. And they said, Yeah, they were in they were at that time looking to go in house. And I told her go out and tell her, tell them your services available. And it was no training involved. Because we wrote the system, we knew it inside out. She only wanted to work half time. And that’s all he wanted to halftime person. And she made the change at that point.

Alan
Now, Steve, you’re quite involved in the local community politics. And you have been for some time. Why are you involved? And why do you feel it’s important to be involved in the community,

Steve
it looking back at my childhood and the things that my parents taught me, they would be very surprised what I’m doing today. Because their their recommendation was, Don’t get involved. Just keep to yourself, and just make a good living, have a good family and continue to save for the future. And, and don’t make waves? Well, yeah, that was true back in the 50s. And 60s, because of the climate of immigrants at that point, was totally different than today. So, you know, growing up with that attitude, I didn’t get very much involved it during the early part of life. It wasn’t until I went to college. When that took the world opened up for me to see what how life, the real world real world was like.

Alan
So question for you. How should individuals set priorities in life,

Steve
It comes down to getting a good education in order to establish a better foundation for success in future. That was a thing that was really drilled into us as kids that if anything else happens, you need a good education. Because I grew up from a restaurant background, working in a family run business. Everything that you can imagine to be done in a restaurant I did. That’s I look back at that is a good experience taught me a little bit more about the value of the meaning of of goods and just cherishing what you do have. One thing I regret today in in not taking more advantage, because it’s all you can think of is good out of that environment, but I would have liked to have learned how to cook even more in a restaurant.

Alan
I’m visiting here today with Steve Cho. Steve. It’s been wonderful having you on the show today. We’ll be right back after these messages.

 

GROCO Staff Writer