Although replying to "Lore Harp: Better to Give Than to Receiver" (People & Innovations, October) might be interpreted as acknowledgement, defensiveness, emotionalism, and more, it is, in fact, none of the above. The issue involved is deeper than hitting Lore Harp. It is the implication that, after all, a woman couldn't hack it, and I take exception with that. There are numerous companies that have, in fact, gone out of business (and Vector Graphic is not one of them), and I don't recall that any of those company presidents have caused as much stir or have been given as much attention as I have.
I have always believed that is better to take a risk and try for the moon, and then enjoy the exhilarating feeling of height once your risk as been rewarded with success. However, one must inevitably make a decision: leave while you are on top or stay and do everything you can to battle market forces and politics beyond your control. I made the latter choice, and I find it both frustrating and infuriating to be the subject of National Enquirer -- like journalism.
Just for the record, I was never a perennial student, I was never ousted, nor have I fallen yet. Under my leadership, Vector grew from zero to $36 million, never losing money. The initial capitalization was $6,000 in 1976. Venture capital of $725,000 did not come until 1979, when Vector was well on its way to becoming a major contender in the industry. The investors certainly made a handsome profit on their 96? per share investment that appreciated to $13 per share in October 1981. Follow-on venture capital did not come in until December 1983 and January 1984, when investors knew what they were getting into.
INC. is right. Maybe I should have left earlier, but in my book, a good fight for my company and principles was more important to me. It takes guts and perseverance, and I haven't lost either.