Ray Remembers When

ADDS Founding / Applied Digital Data Systems

There were five original founders of ADDS. Me, David Ophir (from our group and BNL), two guys from a manufacturers rep. firm that we did a lot of business with, and a young man of 23 who had started with a little money left from a student loan when he was 19, and by the time I met him was worth $53,000,000. He had just been on the cover of Fortune magazine. He also financed the company that developed the original UART chip, but when it came time to really tool up for production, the 1972 market slump was in full swing and second round financing couldn't be arranged, so, the company went down the tubes and the masks for the UART were sold to AMI, General Instrument, National Semiconductor and a couple others. My young friend recovered about 3/4 of his original investment. But he made it right in ADDS and another company he invested in through our president, Bill Catacosinos. (He is now the chairman of Long Island Lighting at an annual salary of about $300,000.) He made about $20,000,000 on the sale of ADDS to NCR in 1979. That is what I would have made too, if I had sense enough to stick out the bad time I had that caused me to leave. We all had the same number of shares to start, but I got snookered out of mine for about 3/4 of a million, which I spent on dumb things like kids, wives and computer stores. Oh well, if I had stayed at BNL all those years I would be retired on TIAA/CREF funds and be equally well off, no doubt. Such is the power and value of hindsight.


The founding of ADDS was even worse. I won't go into details, but I was as much the catalyst that created that company as anyone. I not only provided its name, but it was I that brought the five founders together with the financial backer. Yet if you read the "corporate history" it doesn't even mention my name. The only proof I have that I was ever even employed there is that I am named as a founder in the original "red herring" that was used when we had the IPO in 1972.