His first invention was in 1999 during employment at Dell. Part of Paul’s responsibilities included onboarding hires, such as providing access to Dell’s systems. Dell was hiring around 975 people a week in the summer of 1999. During this constant state of onboarding, each new hire, transfer, or promotion, required their access rights to be changed. It was during this unprecedented growth at Dell, that Paul realized the manual systems in use that the time needed to become automated, thus inspiring Paul’s initial innovation.
As Dell was a hardware and not a software company, they urged Paul to work with a startup company outside of Dell, called Dell Ventures. He left Dell on April 3, 2003, with the support of Dell Ventures, but eleven days later the dot-com bubble collapsed, forcing Dell to freeze their financial backing of Dell Ventures. This left Paul without funding and a job.
Without any backing, but now in pursuit of the Inventor’s dream, Paul searched for different sources of funding through other venture capitalists. Each one provided him additional insight to even more flaws in existing enterprise middleware, thus inspiring him to fix those defects through inventions.
Fortunately, those trips to the venture capitalists paid off, and Paul found the funding he required. However, before it could go through, he needed to get his inventions finalized with patents.
It took seven years for his first patent to go through. During that time the market adapted his patents, making it a three billion dollar industry, growing at an astounding 40% per year, with Big Tech multinationals owning the industry. Around the same time, the Supreme Court decided – in eBay vs. MercExchange – to eliminate injunctive relief by posing a public interest test that could only be overcome if you had a product on the market that was capable of the same public reach as the Big Tech multinationals.
The same venture capitalist that once promised funding knew there was no way to compete with Big Tech due to the court’s decision. They advised Paul to find a lawyer.