Oral history with Gary Harpst

Thumbnail Image

View/Download File

Persistent link to this item

View Statistics

Journal Title

Journal ISSN

Volume Title


Oral history with Gary Harpst

Published Date



Charles Babbage Institute


Oral History


Gary Harpst describes how he and two of his friends from Ohio started a company called TLB ("The Lord’s Business") to produce accounting software for one client and then produced an accounting package called Solomon for CP/M-based computers and later for IBM PCs and their MS/DOS clones. Harpst discusses the business philosophy and ethics of their business and how the three founders maintained their relationship and developed effective joint decision processes over a period of more than 25 years. He describes the strategy for selling to and through CPAs rather than directly to end users or through retail stores. After going through a major business drought, the company created Solomon IV and the business started to grow again. Finally, the three partners decided to sell the business to Great Plains rather than to rebuild the product for the Internet.


Transcript, 37pp.

Related to



Series/Report Number

Funding information

Isbn identifier

Doi identifier

Previously Published Citation

Gary Harpst, OH 383. Oral history interview by Tim Bergin, 7 May 2004, Needham, Massachusetts. Charles Babbage Institute, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis. http://purl.umn.edu/107346

Suggested citation

Harpst, Gary. (2004). Oral history with Gary Harpst. Retrieved from the University Digital Conservancy, https://hdl.handle.net/11299/107346.

Content distributed via the University Digital Conservancy may be subject to additional license and use restrictions applied by the depositor. By using these files, users agree to the Terms of Use. Materials in the UDC may contain content that is disturbing and/or harmful. For more information, please see our statement on harmful content in digital repositories.