Do it right the first time, do it fast, and have fun while you do it.
The Early Years (1979 - 1998)
Completed the Dutch equivalent of high school with straight-A's, subsequently did three years of Teacher Training and got certified in that with straight-A's too.
Next, studied a few years of Eductional Sciences at the University of Amsterdam, had only average grades and did not like it at all, mainly because of the (far left leaning) political climate. I dropped out of college because I wanted to get into IT. I'm fluent in Dutch, English, German and French.
I started Sidha Computer Systems (SCS) with some friends in Amsterdam in 1979. This was a membership automation service for nonprofits. Greenpeace was one of our early customers. We sold SCS after a few years.
Then I worked for a while for the Dutch distributor of the first portable (rather luggable) CPM based computers: Osborne and Kaypro. 5 inch B/W screens and 100K floppy drives. Learned dBaseII there though. Those were the times we walked to school barefoot. In the snow. Uphill, both ways!
Next I started Micro Instructional, and I produced audio manuals for people to get up & running quickly with home computers, and productivity software. That company was sold to a large IT publisher/Distributor called SoftKey (now called Wolters Kluwer) where I went to work. I was there for a few years and continued working with the audio tapes but also supported Lotus 123 and Lotus Symphony. Got to work on the first Mac with Lotus Jazz, Lotus's spreadsheet for Apple.
Then worked in the IT department of the Dutch Postal Server for a few years. Installed Token Ring networks and hooked up IBM PC's to the big iron mainframes they were running.
The Later Years (1998 - Present)
I joined Sunbelt International as Managing Director late 1988 in Paris, France. At that time, Sunbelt was the first and largest distributor of Digital Equipment's VMS System Management tools in Europe. I helped build the company to approximately $5 million per year in revenues and in 1993 co-founded and opened the US subsidiaryin Clearwater, FL. Noticing the emerging Windows NT market, in mid-1995, we tailored our product offering around this new market and the company's success catapulted. Sunbelt Software's revenues were $8 million in 1998 and $13 million in 1999. In 2002, total revenues were $18M and Sunbelt had made it into the Inc. 500 Magazine list of the five hundred fastest-growing, privately-held companies.
In 2010, Sunbelt was sold to GFI software, a portfolio company of Insight, a $3 billion Boston-based hedge fund. I'm now serving as the company's publisher and editor of Sunbelt Media Services, a division of Sunbelt Software that produces four major online newsletters, including WServerNews, WXPnews, Win7News, and SunbeltSecurityNews.
I have co-authored three books about Windows System Administration-the first being "Windows NT Power Toolkit." Released in October 1999, this book reached #4 on Amazon.com's USA bestseller list the first week of its release and #1 in the UK. The second and third books also reached Amazon's Top 10 List. In 2003, a new book about Windows XP was published.
Released in April 2011, I have written a brand new book titled "Cyberheist". Cyberheist was written for the owners and management of Small and Medium Enterprise businesses on the perils cybercrime.
In late 2010 I founded my latest venture KnowBe4 after realizing that the human element of security was being seriously neglected, Sjouwerman decided to help organizations manage the problem of cybercrime social engineering tactics through new school security awareness training.