Yes - I was strong opponent of communist rule.
I took part in student strikes of 1980s, I was distributing political, anticommunism pamphlet during Marshal Law of 1981. Never went into political activity, though. Open science and free enterprise was were I imagined my role.
So, when 1989 June came - I decided to do with the freedom something long lasting. Almost exactly around June 4th and first free elections, I went to then “West” Berlin, bought my first PC and that was the start of my business. I was 30 at that time.
Finally, after 40 years we could not only tamper with unwilling authorities - we could really start doing normal, honest, open business.
I started in my kitchen and the first activity was to use DTP tools (I was also proud to have the first legal Ventura Publisher software in the town :-)) to typeset newspapers and books that started to mushroom after the elections.
Then years of hard work came, we embraced Internet, we were one of first small ISP in the city of Lodz, started to build first websites. Then I came to Canada and later to States to work and to learn about the real business... Started to understand the fundamental role of the Web, started to create real business applications - all via web oriented methods.
Today my company has 80 people, we went public 1,5 years ago, and we are working also on international scale, we are growing in an organic way ... We will also celebrate our XX years this year. We will have the formal celebrations in September at Arthur Rubinstein Philharmonic Hall in Lodz - feel invited :-) I will announce the exact day soon.
There is also a shadow part of the story. It is about how slow the path to freedom goes through the minds of people. During these XX years the most important problem we faced can be described by this very sentence: "We toppled the system but we still carry its genes" (Kapuscinski)
So, as we celebrate the freedom and better Poland, we still, from time to time feel this shadow, this "sediment" that still resides in minds of so many people. There is still a long path ahead of us...
We are still not fully the “society of citizens”. The demons of the past are still haunting many. Poland still did not came back to the ideas of multicultural, multiethnic society it was before II WW and for hundreds of years before.
I just have my 50 birthday – it is June 7th. I guess all these days I will have time to ponder on the history we witness, both private and public. And I will continue to dream about Poland of our forefathers, when so many different people, of different faith and ethnicity lived in peace and with open minds....