In 1994, while still students at Purdue, Mike and Troy started an initiative to duplicate and distribute Debian Linux CDs. The Free Software Foundation had, up until that time, exclusively been distributing Debian on CD – but since they packaged Debian with many other FSF softwares, they were charging significantly higher prices than other Linux distributions (such as Walnut Creek, Slackware, etc.). Mike and Troy wanted to make a Debian-only CD distribution available to the masses at a lower price point.
This initiative was initially funded by Harvey Taggart, Don’s dad. He invested $200 for a CD printing/copying machine. Though there was no lack of passion for the work, the guys quickly realized that they had gotten in a little over their heads. They were both married, both had to finish their degrees, and they also had jobs at the university. So the initial $200 seed funding was returned to Harv. The sweat and “glory” of entrepreneurship just had to wait.
Years went by as Mike, Don, and Troy graduated and got “real jobs” to provide for their families. But whatever is the drive that keeps entrepreneurial dreams alive, it kept its traction. There was unsettled ground ahead, and they were determined to be the ones to settle it.
By late 1999, Don had returned from working in New Zealand and Australia, Mike and his family had returned from Intel in Oregon, and Troy was settled into his job in Indianapolis. Under these conditions that entrepreneurial drive became unavoidable, and thoughts of “what kind of company would we start?” began filling the empty spaces of the founders’ thoughts. Back then dot-coms were a dime-a-dozen and were well-funded. But the idea that kept coming up was a service-oriented technology firm – a company where we could serve folks (and help them achieve their own vision and dreams) by writing software.
So, in 2000 Don, Troy, and Mike began dreaming about what a great consulting firm looks and (more importantly) acts like. On August 16, 2000, E-gineering, LLC became an entity in the State of Indiana. Around that time, Troy introduced Andy to Mike and Don. It was evident that the “fit” and the timing was Providential. So, just a few short weeks later Andy became available, and the company had its fourth founder.
All the founders had some experience with (and in) consulting firms. So initially, they were driven by contrasts: if they ever built a consulting firm, they wouldn’t do things that way; they would do them this way. There were many such situations that were becoming the negative space on the canvas, defining the firm. But what was needed was the more positively-stated dreams, visions, and strategies for a company. They knew they couldn’t sustain a company merely by not doing things this way or that. They needed direction of how E-gineering would do things – how would E-gineering define itself to the rest of the world?
At the heart of the vision for the company was, from top (vision, strategy, initiatives, and goals) to bottom (coding and billing time) was this:
How do you build and run a company that glorifies God and adheres to the golden rule?
They wondered, “Why weren’t service companies like that seen more often?” So, they moved forward with the clear conviction that if you always do the right thing, then everything will work out for the best.
The company mantra for those early years was “integrity, excellence, and people/relationships” – and it has never changed.
In 2003, an opportunity arose for Nick to join the company. It was clear he was the perfect fit for E-gineering’s business development needs. With vision and goals aligned to the other founders (both personally and professionally), Nick became an owner shortly thereafter – filling a void at the ownership level.
Having leadership in place that guides and financially backs the type of company E-gineering was striving to be, the company has since focused on hiring talented, like-minded folks who personify “the E-g way.” The result? An extremely strong team who enjoys and supports one another as they go about serving clients’ technology needs in a way that they believe is right.
In 2021, the owners were finally able to realize a long-term dream and – more importantly – establish and ensure the future stability of the company: they formed an ESOP and converted to a 100% employee-owned company now known as E-gineering, Inc. Now every employee at E-g is an owner. The original owners are now officers and directors for the company.
If you’d like to have an even-deeper glimpse into who we are, take a few minutes to read this Merry Christmas and Thank You message to employees.