I promise to keep this short, but please promise me you will keep reading. I hope to make it worth your time. When I was 20 years old, I had the good fortune to meet Russ and Pam RuBert. They focused the direction of my life in a way that has made my life story unique and in retrospect, incredible. I accepted a job with Russ and Pam as a software developer. I was writing video games for Bonobos, a rare breed of chimpanzee. The video games I wrote would collect research data, and would later be used to help prove scientifically, that Bonobos have language skills. After working for Russ and Pam for 7 months, I moved to Atlanta to meet Dr. Duane Rumbaugh and his wife, Dr. Sue Savage-Rumbaugh. Over the next 7 years, my life would be focused on assisting them with their research. I also had the incredible opportunity to spend time directly in contact with Panbanisha and Tamuli, the little sisters of Kanzi (the most famous Bonobo in the world). Of course I knew Kanzi well, but Panbanisha and I became great friends throughout our early years in life.
As part of the research, it was necessary for us to provide a food reward when successfully completing computer tasks. And the world’s first RS-232 relay controller was created with the help Tom Maier, a long-lost friend I hope to reconnect with again someday. Tom helped me bring my controllers to market through Nuts and Volts Magazine, where I published a series of articles on “The Computer Controlled World”. In October of 1995, National Control Devices was born. Soon-after, I learned of this incredible thing called the Internet, and I began building my own web site. I registered ControlAnything.com and ControlEverything.com and used these web sites to display my products.
After working with Bonobos for 7 years, my business was starting to fly, and I needed more time to focus on creating new products. On September 16th, 1999 I returned to my home-town in Missouri and began building my business with the help of a few local people. We made good use of ControlAnything.com and ControlEverything.com over the years, and grew to thousands of customers worldwide.
On November 7th, 2015, we re-branded ControlEverything.com to introduce plug and play modular hardware to the automation market. Though I am deeply proud of my web developers, I was never quite happy with the way ControlEverything.com worked. So we rebuilt the site on Shopify to help get us through. With ControlAnything.com aging badly and the ControlEverthing.com operating on Shopify, I always felt we could do better. My web developers are insanely good, but it was time to redirect their talents. I decided it was time to put all of our work in one place. Being a small company, we don’t have the resources to properly maintain two web sites. So in January of 2017, I gave the order to rebuild everything at ncd.io using a WordPress foundation. While this was an unpopular decision with my developers, I had spent a month consulting with experts and evaluating the platform. I even built a demo site to show my web developers. Reluctantly, they agreed to pour their heart into it. And they did pour their heart into it, we all did. 2017 will go down in the history of our company as the most difficult year we ever faced, trying to concentrate our work in one place. ncd.io opened on Monday, August 14th, 2017.
In September of 2017, ncd.io was discovered by Microsoft’s Kent Stroker, a legend in the IoT community, IoT evangelist, and the greatest friend NCD ever had. Kent flew to Missouri to meet us and we went to work together on the FRIDG-E project. Kent introduced us to many members of the Microsoft Azure team, and was the driving force behind our trip to Boston to attend and display our products at Microsoft-hosted IoT in Action. Microsoft graciously introduced NCD to the industrial IoT community in Boston during a 40-minute demonstration of converting a standard refrigerator into a IoT appliance named FRIDG-E using NCD plug and play hardware. This was our first public appearance as a company.
NCD and Microsoft continue to collaborate on various projects and will be re-appearing together on February 13th in San Francisco as the IoT in Action world tour continues.
We hope you enjoy our new site, we believe it to be an acceptable upgrade to ControlAnything.com and ControlEverything.com. Thank you for reading this and please let me know what you think. Feel free to drop me a line anytime ryan at ncd.io.
CEO and Founder
National Control Devices, LLC
Formerly known as: