Many of you are probably familiar with Shane and his amazing beard from our Thursday webcasts. You may not be as familiar, however, with Adam and Shawn, our two other founders who do more behind the scenes and help this great company tick. All three of our founders are pretty awesome and helped build what you and I know as PDQ.com. So, today we thought we’d give you a little insider’s view to these three cool dudes and their roles at PDQ.com.
I don’t know if you knew this, but Shane and Shawn are identical twins. The resemblance is uncanny right? Most of you are familiar with Shane because he’s the star of our live weekly webcasts. But how much do you actually know about Shane outside his killer sysadmin skills? I’m guessing probably not much.
Shane is your average guy who likes pina colada’s and getting caught in the rain. But, not only that he’s an avid fine cigar, pinball, and Scotch Whisky collector. Pretty random, but awesome. He and Shawn are also the Jackie Chan and Bruce Lee of the Company, both having their Black Belts in Chu’an Fa Kung Fu.
Shane, although very successful and highly skilled and trained at what he does, did not graduate from high school and never attended college. He has his GED, but no actual diploma. Mind blown, right?
Shane …to put it mildly…disliked school and only went for two reasons…friends and drama classes. After high school, he decided to pursue a writing and producing career and moved to Hollywood, CA. Clearly, that dream never made it off the ground, but while in LA Shane took many temporary receptionist positions and, when not answering phones, poked around on the different computers just to learn more about them. After a few years of being a receptionist or data entry clerk, he wanted a change. He realized he didn’t have the passion, talent or education to make it in Hollywood but discovered a new passion for computers.
His sysadmin career really took off in 1995 as an entry-level assistant systems administrator position for Argyle Television. He quickly learned many tricks of the trade and absorbed every book about computers he could get his hands on. From that point on Shane started several other businesses, worked as a sysadmin consultant for different banks and the Department of Defense. He eventually teamed up with Shawn and Adam to start what you and I now know as PDQ.com.
I couldn’t step away from my interview with Shane without asking about his glorious beard. You’re welcome. Shane’s beard started out as a lazy way to get out of shaving since his shaving kit got thrown away. After about three weeks he actually started to like the new facial hair and his resemblance to Opie from Sons of Anarchy and decided to keep it indefinitely. When asked if he’ll ever shave it he said, “Never say never.”
Shawn and Shane were born in South Korea to a very surprised mama. You may be wondering why South Korea? Well, their father was there studying martial arts in hopes of opening his own school in the United States. Shawn and Shane’s mom didn’t know she was having twins until an hour and ten minutes after Shane; when Shawn decided to make his grand entrance. She only had just over an hour to process that not only was she having twins, but twin boys…now that had to be quite the pill to swallow.
Shawn, like Shane, hated school because of the hard time he had focusing. He also has a GED but has no formal higher education. Shawn was and is a daydreamer. He told me, “A creative mind is a fun place to be trapped.” He also enjoyed drama in high school and on December 26, 1993, Shawn moved to Hollywood with Shane and had hopes of making it big on the Silver Screen.
Just a few short weeks after moving to California, Shawn and Shane found themselves in a real-life game of Shake, Rattle, and Roll. On January 17, 1994, Shawn woke up to his waterbed shifting and swaying back and forth as the infamous Northridge Earth Quake rocked that part of the state. This quake actually changed the course of Shawn and Shane’s career goals. Many of the businesses in the area sustained major damage so they decided to take some various temporary jobs available helping companies reestablish themselves. One of these jobs required them to move damaged computers. While spending hours moving each machine, they became curious and decided to go buy a computer of their own. It was a Mac and they quickly learned all they could about the operating system.
Blazing new paths
From that point on Shawn started down a similar systems administrator path as his brother Shane. He worked for Mattel Media Software on their helpdesk team, assisting customers who needed help dressing and accessorizing Barbie using their software. Someone had to do it right? Soon thereafter, Shawn had several different government contracting positions training employees on IBM Tivoli and his experience and success eventually lead him to start PDQ.com.
Shawn is a major fan of the Jazz, Utah’s professional basketball team. He recently discovered a new hobby and love for boating. He likes spending time with his family and cute wife. Here are some other random facts about Shawn. He had his first root canal in high school and 50% of his teeth are, “store-bought,” meaning false. He went completely bald at 19 and enjoyed only 16 years of thin, wispy, unmanageable hair.
Adam is a humble genius and is the brains behind our software. He is the main developer here at PDQ.com and surprisingly doesn’t have his college degree either. He met Shawn and Shane when he was in High School and they’ve maintained their friendship ever since.
Adam got his first computer in 1983 from his dad and just decided to start “playing around” with it. The short version of the story is that he discovered that he really had a passion for computers and didn’t require a college professor or diploma to tell him that.
Adam is a workaholic. He lives and breathes PDQ… our software… not the chicken. Although, when he does decide to be adventurous and set aside his work hat, he likes to play board games with his family and enjoys different Escape Rooms. One of his favorites is up in Park City, UT.
I asked Adam if there was anything he’d like our customers to know about him and he replied in a very matter of fact manner, “My social security number.” Sadly, I won’t be giving that out, but folks that is Adam for you. He has a great sense of humor and is pretty witty. Adam used to write a lot of our blog content and if you’ve never had the pleasure of reading his stuff, you’re missing out.
Adam is so cool that he’s practically a superhero around here. The disappearing kind of superhero. He’s rarely seen and often no one in the office knows if he’s dead or alive…a wax person or robot…civilian or the Flash. In fact, it’s the new office joke that Adam is PDQ’s equivalent of Big Foot…we only catch glimpses of him and when we do…you simply blink and he’s gone. He’s the myth, the legend…the computer programmer.
Good things (founders) come in threes
I’m sure many of you have heard of the “The Rule of Three.” This proposition implies that objects, people or other various things that come in threes are intrinsically more humorous, satisfying and effective. This principle also rings true for Shane, Shawn, and Adam.
I’ve been with PDQ.com for almost three years and have the privilege of rubbing shoulders with these three rockstars on a daily basis. They have an awesome vision and sense of humor. They want every employee to feel like work isn’t work at all. Shawn often says, “We want our employees to cartwheel into work and backflip out.”
All three of our founders helped to create an amazing company to work for. Its success and growth have been remarkable to be a part of. And if you’re wondering why Shane and Shawn never graduated high school, I think Shawn states it perfectly.
“Why didn’t we graduate? Basically, we skipped class. A lot. We’d like to tell you that we spent that time coming up with brilliant business ideas or establishing theories to eradicate world hunger, but that would be a lie. No, we just hung around at the local grocery store and watched our friend Mike play video games. Not our brightest moment.”
Alyssa was an employee at PDQ.