By Art Gillis
There must be hundreds of people who have fascinating stories to tell about Ken. He not only created the first company to sell packaged bank software, but he spawned at least a dozen other companies that other entrepreneurs started after leaving Florida Software Services.
I enjoyed four projects over the years involving Ken's company. The first was when I worked for a bank and engaged in the riskiest task of my career when I bought a mortgage system. My bank accused me of using the decision to find an excuse to go to Florida in February. The $15,000 investment worked for us because it was what I called a head start. We bought the software, modified it and used it years before we would have created our own.
Ken once had me to his house for lunch, just the two of us. I liked the mood and the opportunity to talk candidly. Ken had a reputation of being a tough businessman, so I spoke my mind. I asked him how the creator of an industry didn't keep his grip while other companies such as ITI and Jack Henry took over. Ken's eyes glossed over. We both stopped talking. I realized Ken was not the tough guy people said he was.