For 20 years Tony ran a software company called Asmoteknologies which he started developing when he was 19 years old. A successful programmer with dozens of projects under his belt, Tony became disillusioned with the increasingly collectivist nature of the IT industry. Wrapped in responsibility to his customers, he searched for a way out. His old friends and colleagues were approaching that age where family becomes the priority. They weren't in a position to leave everything behind to chase silly prairie dreams.
Abandoned by his final apprentice. Broken hearted and alone the Founder disappeared. The artist never settles. IT used to be about authorship and quickly declined into a consumer electronics shell game. By the time he started Verboten, Made-in-Canada software was almost unheard of. Rejecting offers to join bigger companies, Tony decided he would start a private studio in a small town where he'd be left alone to pursue his long term goals free of entanglements. Even if it meant being blackballed by those he refused to serve.
A place to make music, movies, write, and invent. Writing software everyday isn't just an obsession it's a lifestyle. A royal art. The craft. Closest thing to real magic in this world. A machine bends to the programmer's will almost as easily as script kiddies run from real languages. Weaponizing algebra with wicked geometry. Putting cycles to better use than tracking your every move. A utility, not a leash. Wings, not chains. The power of free software, opensource collaboration has few rivals.
It's been a long time since the markets were interested in individual producers. Can't control a man the way you can control a team. Can't take credit from a single author. As Tony used to say, "these are my mistakes and you can't have them." Repeat. The processor is a tool of the human imagination. With it you can do anything.
Even create something novel. Do you know why the biggest companies are scared of rogue programmers? It's not the hacking. It's the creativity. The power to do what's never been done. You can't control the future. Especially when that future can be written by anyone. That's the power of programming. As our mysterious founder discovered when he was 8 years old.
You must fight the Master Control Program mentality in all it's forms. That is the responsibility of every true programmer just as any author must fight for free speech or risk having their words stripped from them in the most violent ways imaginable. Ideas in motion. Targets in the sights.
To fight like Tron you have to get off the grid like Flynn. Operate from a place of strength. Leverage skills in the macro like you leverage functions in the micro. Program the real world. Forget about VR. It's redundant. You have the power in your own mind, the means in your own fingers to make any possible thing a reality.
A building ready to fall in a forgotten town, soon becomes a place of creative unpredictability. By definition unpredictable means either success or failure is possible not just failure. All it takes is one programmer to organize the users through fruitful opportunity. Where Big Tech wants to addict you to likes and popularity cycles one may discover the past is the future and repurpose their technology to something more productive.
You can be a founder of your own domain where you set the rules and if those rules work your program will stabilize. Your nodes will benefit from your work the way you benefitted from the hundred of books you read growing up. What? You don't read? Some corporation tell you they'd do that for you, too?
So you see that's what Verboten really is. A place where no one tells you they'll do it for you. A place where you are encouraged to contribute through suffering, the hard work, the untraveled path. Full of risk, danger, hurt feelings and struggle. Pain and accomplishment. You'll learn to care about your name on your work. You'll bleed for that work. When you bleed to create something, you'll fight to protect it when "they" come to take it.
And they always come eventually. Good programs attract suits. Suits carry money. Lots of money. Under that money you'll find golden handcuffs sitting on a non-compete contract. They get you young and everyone takes the money the first time. Even the founder. If you're lucky you'll have started young enough that by the time you realize the game being played you'll still have the strength and will to crash through the walls of the game grid... and escape to a small town... where they leave you alone to produce your life's work.
Get it? Good. Now get programming.