At the end of 1997, Klay was already out of the military and had
moved to Mobile, Alabama to do computer work for a start-up company.
Back in Hawaii, John and Dan met for the first time at the auto
hobby shop at Barber's Point. After many hours of toiling on Dan's
1972 Econoline van and John's 1970 Plymouth Satellite, the two became
fast friends. Dan completed his enlistment in November of 1998,
and by February of 1999, was working as a Java programmer and information security
consultant for Caterpillar, Inc.
Owner's rendition of a 1972 Ford Econoline cargo van
John would be the last of the three to leave the military, and in
thinking about his post-Naval plans, decided with Dan over many phone
conversations and online chat sessions to start a business. The
details about what they would actually do were left for later
discussion. John out-processed from the military in November of 1999,
while Dan was filling out an online form to create a corporation
called AO Industries that was allowed to perform "any lawful business
activity". As John and Dan explain it, there was a clear logic in how
they named the company. A and O are the initial letters of their
online handles Atorax and Orion. John, or Atorax, also pointed out
that AO Industries is just vague enough that it would probably fit any
type of business they might want to perform, as well as having the
added benefit of appearing near the top in alphabetical listings.
Thus was AO Industries conceived. Next, like any productive business
entity, it needed a purpose.
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