|NEARLY NORMAL SERVICES EXPLAINED
Nearly Normal Services is, in fact, me, Tom Vincent.
The business needed a name, I once had a terrific Australian Sheepdog named
Nearly Normal, and things just sort of fell into place after that.
I've been working with FileMaker Pro since about 1992, at which time I was
completely mystified about all things to do with databases.
It was the typical self-taught, trial-and-error ordeal that most of us in the technology
racket went through in those days.
As Technology Director at the late, lamented Life Magazine, I used FileMaker to
solve problems and organize things.
As Studio Manager at Merkely Newman Harty, an ad agency, I used FileMaker to
streamline production and make the agency lots of money.
The great leap to FileMaker developer didn't happen until 2001 or so.
That's when I fell in love.
FileMaker provides a marvelous environment for building useful and powerful
software machines that take care of the tedious and repetitive tasks that keep
people from focusing on their real jobs, which often involve things like making
magazines, or shoes, or the legendary widget.
I actually enjoy building things that people use. One of the surprise bonuses of this
job is going to a client's site and seeing people using something I built for them.
It took me by surprise the first time it happened.
I got this feeling of pride, or something very much like it, when I came upon my
FileMaker application being used and relied upon to make someone's day
a little easier.
My work focuses on clarity and ease of use, cluttered interfaces don't do anything
very well. Most of the real elegance and creative architecture is often under the hood,
buried in ERDs, field definitions, custom functions and things like that, but when you
build in thoughtfulness and quality throughout it will show through.
It also turns out that Nearly Normal Services' clients are terrific to work with
and understand the process and how valuable it is to their businesses.
For all of this I feel very fortunate and hope to keep doing this for quite some time.