After becoming a father, André Flottmann dropped out of college and worked as a manager for the firm he was jobbing at. He founded PC Spezialist and wrote several article for EHZ, the IT magazine.
ITB: Can you remember your fist computer?
FLOTTMANN: It was a Commodore 64 – that must have been back in 1982, when I started my apprenticeship. In 1987 I used all my money to buy an IBM 286 with a 3,5″ diskdrive and 2MB hard drive. That was great because we had to learn how to programme on a machine with 8″ disks at the college where I was.
lTB: You finished your apprenticeship to become a IT technician and wanted to study, what happend?
FLOTTMANN: Thats right. I was planning on a 4 year degree course in IT with 2 years business studies included, that was the plan. Thomas Kruse offered my a management position at his firm “RabBit” where I used to bob a job building computers. At the same time I found out that my wife was pregnant and that I was going to be a father, at only 23. So I decided to accept Kruse´s offer and started in April 1991.
ITB: You have also written several articles for EHZ. How did that come about?
FLOTTMANN: I was always interested in the smaller dealers that I got to know by working for “RabBit” and I knew how hard it was to build up a business with competition from the big businesses. It made me feel a bit like Robin Hood as I could help the smaller businesses a little.
lTB: When you look back at 20 years in the IT business, what highlights have there been for you?
FLOTTMANN: The way the market has concentrated itself has been exciting, but so has the globalisation of it too. My personal highlight was being awarded European Retailer of the year back on 1998 at the Global Touch conference in Paris. We had proven that our concept from PC Spezialist was able to form a whole new kind of market stratergy.
ITB: How do you see the development of the IT industry?
FLOTTMANN: Around 20 years ago the customers in the IT branch were people interested in technology. Nowadays the customers are more diverse and interested in the applications, the customers have become consumers, just look at Apple who have created a whole new field.
An online anecdote: At the time when PC Spezialist entered the Germand union of franchisers we had all of our prices and delivery infos available for the partners online, through LotusNotes. The other members of the franchise union, which included heavy weights such as McDonalds didn´t have this set up. Frank Roebers and Friedrich Pollert spent the next year writing up the details that were online into our franchise book. We were just ahead of our times!