to Cyreenik book index
Back in the days when the company consisted of about 20 employees, Novell personnel used to get together about once a month for a potluck lunch, celebration of the month’s birthdays, introduction of new employees, and the chance to hear Ray talk about how the company was doing.
As time passed, things changed some, especially the company. And when the company reached the magic number of 85 employees, someone suggested that maybe the thing was getting a little out of hand with all the food and work people were putting into the meeting.
So Novell held a final, company-wide Mexican potluck, after which the meeting was reorganized into a different format. The potluck turned into a cake and milk affair and with the move to the Ogden Building was divided into two separate gatherings.
Judith and Communications Coordinator Dianna Solberg then devised the name MEMBERS, an acronym for Monthly Employees’ Meeting Before Enjoying Ray’s Speech. (But at least one Life After Novell member guesses an unofficial “Barely” for the B.)
From Novell Network, Apr ’86, p. 17
MARCH 86 MEMBERS MEETING
The meeting started with a whistle. Putting his fingers in his mouth, President Ray Noorda did a loud “wolf whistle”, proclaiming that the noise was the “Call of the LAN”.
Then Noorda proceeded to conduct business as usual for the Novell monthly members meeting. The March Members’ Meeting was slightly unusual, however, in that it was held March 25, a Tuesday. Members’ Meetings are traditionally held on Fridays.
748 North Members Meeting
In introducing the new workers in both buildings, Noorda alluded to a family theme. This all started with new employee Doug Crookston in the 748 North Building. Doug is related to Jenny Crookston, who works for Novell’s Sales Department.
After that, Noorda said that all of the relatives belonged on his right and all of the non-relatives to his left. This amused the group of employees.
After the announcement of new employees, Noorda noticed that there were a disproportionate number of new employees from the Communications Department. (Communications announced six new employees at the meeting.) He asked the group, “Does anyone have a feel for what is the fastest-growing department here at Novell?”
Maxilyn Capell [the PR manager] jumped in and responded, “Marketing, because all of the women are pregnant!” Right now there are at least three pregnant women in Marketing.
Then Noorda led the group in a chorus of “Happy Birthday” and introduced a guest to the members meeting. Ken Perkins from the Deseret News had come to visit.
Craig Burton said, “Oh, you mean the Desperate News?”
Noorda looked to the amused reporter and said, “You’ve met all these other nice people and this one BIG mouth.”
Surprisingly, Burton didn’t say anything for the remainder of the meeting.
Then Noorda settled into his discussion of the company as a whole. He said that this second quarter will be a real “momentum quarter” for Novell.
“In three years, we have met almost all of our projections and now we have set new, higher goals,” Noorda said. He said that the targeted production of $10 million is being met each month.
In addition, he said that this quarter is an important part of the business cycle for Novell. He said that this next cycle requires a lot of communications support.
He then made reference to the “Shoot-Out” which is taking place in April. The Shoot-Out will be a grand debate between Novell and 3Com. Noorda described the event as “Taking on the competition with our own bare hands.
“When we participate in seminars, people try to see who the leaders are. They know that it is between Novell, IBM, and 3Com.
“Well, we’re going to eliminate 3Com and we have a good relationship with IBM, so then there will only be NOVELL!”
1170 Members Meeting
After the preliminary phases of MEMBERS Meeting, the Novell president treated the group with some Noorda philosophy.
“Most of this quarter has been spent in preparation,” he told the crowded group in the lunchroom. “We are getting prepared for a great future.”
Noorda stressed the vast product development that has been taking place here at Novell. “Right now products are coming in fairly consistently with a consistent quality.”
He told the employees about the sales campaign that will be going on in April. “We’re calling it the ‘April No Fool, Real Saver Month,’” he said. The purpose behind the campaign is to “help build momentum”, he explained.
Noorda then touched on the issue of product inventory, saying that by next quarter most of the inventory for Novell will be out in the field—at the NetWare Centers.
“This movement will give better support and service to our customers.”
“This month will be the forerunner of several great months to come,” Noorda said, closing his speech.
Then he opened the meeting up for questions. One employee asked about the new building.
“We’re still on schedule,” Noorda said. “But no one knows what the schedule is!”
After teasing the bunch, Noorda acknowledged that the East Bay facility will be constructed by Nov. 1, 1986.
Referring to the occasional high waters in that area of town, Noorda suggested, “Everybody in this room should invest in a canoe.” Another employee hinted that there may be a “Ray’s Ark”.
Another story of that time: The Engineering department at Novell was a stronghold for Gary Larson’s Far Side cartoons.
One in particular that gained widespread circulation had the nerdy little kid going into the school for the gifted with a door labeled “Pull”, and he was pushing as hard as he could. The label of the school name would get changed by almost each displayer of it. So one for instance had “Microsoft School for the Gifted”.
to Cyreenik book index