DISTek Turns 25: Past, Present, Future

The original DISTek office

In the early 1990s, the world was in a state of change. Germany was reunified in 1990, the dissolution of the Soviet Union happened in 1991, Yugoslavia was breaking apart in 1992, while here in the USA another presidential election cycle was brewing. It was into this world that DISTek was born on April 1, 1992. Company founder, Matt Dickinson, brought his experience in electronics for the agricultural, aerospace, and factory automation industries and setup DISTek as a contract provider of embedded electronics engineering services for off-highway equipment.

Suffice it to say that technology was a bit different back then.  As just one example, the Motorola International 3200 was introduced as the world’s first digital cell phone.  If you do not know what that device looks like, just do a quick Google search.  Of course, Google did not exist then; the company founders had not yet even met and were still doing their undergrad work.  And the world-wide web existed, but just barely.  The third website was added to the web in February 1992.  And if you were using your PC to look for this information, you would likely not have been using a graphical operating system on your state-of-the-art 66 MHz Intel 486 CPU; Windows 3.1 was not released until 5 days after DISTek was formed.  I personally give credit to DISTek for the moderate successes we have seen from Microsoft, the personal computing, and internet usage in general.  If you find the changes in technology over just 25 years a bit crazy, send me a note on my pager because – guess what – SMS (aka text messaging) did not exist until December of 1992.

In national news of the era, several high-profile criminal convictions were taking place in early 1992:  Mike Tyson, Jeffrey Dahmer, John Gotti.  A notable non-conviction led to the Los Angeles riots in late April.  But not everything was bad news.  This was the era when the winter and summer Olympics were held in the same year, so sports fans were treated to both in 1992.  The winter games showcased Bonnie Blair in speed-skating, among many other athletes.  The summer games included the inaugural USA Dream Team in basketball and the Unified Team of some former Soviet republics.  We also saw an entertaining outsider presidential candidate in Ross Perot, perhaps the first and last time a candidate has put together infomercials to air on network television.

Matt working hard!

In the early years of DISTek, two notable events took place.  The first was a move of company headquarters from Missouri to Illinois in 1994.  With that move came the opportunity for DISTek’s first explosive growth phase, doubling in size in 1995.  Yes, Matt hired his first engineer thereby doubling DISTek’s capacity.  DISTek remained at this level for a couple more years before the next phase of DISTek growth kicked in … [Click here to read The Present – Part 1.]

About Benjamin Jefferson

Benjamin Jefferson, Vice President of Technology Development, has been with the company since 2006. His 15+year career has focused on software development for embedded electronics in the mobile off-highway equipment industry. He started with DISTek as a Software Engineer focused on electrohydraulic control systems for agricultural vehicles and implements. While with DISTek, he has managed embedded software development projects and teams, has worked with the business development team, and is active with the executive management team. Benjamin’s technical expertise includes C, C++, CAN, ISOBUS, SAE J1939, MATLAB/Simulink, and Digital Signal Processing.

Share this post with your friends.........

Follow DISTek......

2 thoughts on “DISTek Turns 25: Past, Present, Future

  1. So proud to call Matt and Becky good friends. Proud of the outstanding growth and success of Distek Inc. They are strong on character and care about their people and they are also very civic minded!!!

Comments are closed.