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ACQUION: I Was There...

We didn't make millions off our stock options, but we still had fun!

Ever get sorta misty-eyed about a former workplace? I worked at ACQUION, an electronic-commerce startup that began as part of Fluor Daniel Corporation. ACQUION was purchased by Harbinger, and various portions of the ACQUION business became the Catalog Solutions Division.


Eventually, it was decided that the most financially sound thing to do was to relocate many of the ACQUION team members and shut down the Greenville, SC office.


Anytime I talk to someone who worked at ACQUION, we get a bit nostalgic. There we were on the cutting edge, on the bleeding edge of the Internet commerce wave, wondering where technology would go next. We adopted Windows 95 and Office 95 right out of the chute, migrated to SMTP/POP3 email, created an intranet site, and did all the other cool, trendy things before most other companies knew it was cool... or before we even really realized where this Internet commerce thing was going.

I moved from Greenville to Atlanta in January, 1999, 4 months after the announcement of the Greenville office closing and 3 months before shutdown.


I didn't get to see the Greenville office on ShutDown Day. But I do remember the strange feeling when I packed my cube to move to Atlanta. The feeling I'd never see this Greenville office again, combined with eager anticipation of the challenges ahead.


Still, even though I'm not there to see it now, I can remember that office...


  • ... the wide-screened, surround-sounded "Pipe Dreams" conference room, where Sales worked their magic and showed presentations on the PC (appropriately named "Dazzler.") Now, it's silent and dark.
  • ... the funky, art-deco-meets-1999 lobby, much colder now without Jeanette's friendly smile...
  • ... the frigid server room (aka, "Meat Locker") sans the combined computerized chorus of modems, drives, and fans...
  • ... the massive Delta Quadrant--our cube farm--with nary a solitary "Whoo-hoo!" piercing the quiet as another bug (or opposing vehicle, after hours) is quashed...
  • ... the coin slot-less pop machine, with Pepsi and Coke in the same unit, for free...
  • ... the couch outside the server room, which (according to several programmers) was quite comfortable for a quick nap during 30-hour shifts...
  • ... the cool server and workstation network names, since the net admin. was a fan of the X-Men... Magneto, Morph, Bishop, Cable, Spiral, Dazzler, Rouge, Phoenix, Cyclops...

... and I'll forgo all the inside jokes and references to the people of ACQUION, fearing I might miss someone. Let me just say all of you were awesome!


No need to get sentimental, I guess. ACQUION/Harbinger CSD was just an office, right?

Not to me.


My fellow Wanderers from Greenville will probably agree: it was real. It was fun. Yes, at times, it was even really fun.


And it will always be fondly remembered.