It’s hard to imagine how so much time as passed so quickly. I guess it is because we enjoy developing technology and evolving it as time changes.
Yellow Magic Incorporated was born in Los Angeles in October of 1984. Back then, we called ourselves Composition Technology International and we were specialists in database publishing. We took data from databases and formatted it into pages that could be published and printed. We created many different kinds of directories, catalogs, time tables, technical manuals, guides, grocery store bar code shelf labels, and even bank checks.
At one over 80% of all paper checks printed in the US were formatted and typeset using our software.
And we developed printing technologies. We developed a font scaling technology called the Geometric Primitive Algorithm and a language similar to Postscript called the Page Description Language.
We even wrote the software to control a laser head that took input from a “Laser Artist” to create entertaining laser shows in the sky or in a planetarium.
But each and every project we undertook required a lot of custom software, and we soon learned that other than the language, for the most part, telephone directories and the process of selling the advertising for them was almost universal. We developed 3 large-scale yellow pages systems, one in the US, one in China (the first batch pagination system in Chinese – and we made our own fonts), and one in Europe. But they were custom systems and very expensive.
We had been developing on IBM mainframes and DEC VAX mini-computers, but when microcomputers appeared, we knew that was where we needed to go. We started out making contract entry stations for mainframes using TRS 80s, Kaypros, Osborne, Compaq, and other early microcomputer models.
But then the IBM PC appeared. We finally foresaw a platform that could grow into being able to support the requirements of an off-the-shelf directory application. At the time, the IBM PC didn’t have the processing power, the disk space, the memory, networking, and a lot more that was needed, but we knew that since writing a directory system would be a lot of work, we would have to start before the hardware existed so we could be ready when it matured.
And we were right. By the time we had Version 1.0 of Yellow Magic, the PC was growing into a business tool, not just a home computer. In 1988 we started alpha testing the new system, and by 1990 we had installed it in three publishers for beta testing. Then, in the spring of 1991, we announced the Yellow Magic Business Management and Publishing System to the world at an ANADP trade show in San Antonio.
It was a huge success with people waiting in line for hours to see a demo. We decided right then and there that we were going to stop doing anything but directories and to concentrate on Yellow Pages.
And in 1993, we changed our name to Yellow Magic Incorporated. To date we have licensed our software to more than 175 directory publishers in 56 countries, and support 24 languages.
With a long history like that, you can be assured that we’re ready for whatever the future holds. Our technology fully supports both print and digital platforms, CRM and sales force automation, mobile apps, and a lot more.
We’d like to thank the Yellow Pages industry, its Associations, and most importantly our loyal customers, that helped us to reach this 30-year milestone.