The HardSoft Story: from the 80s to the 90s, and beyond.

7th September 2020
Phil and Andy Morgan in 16984, 2012, and 2018

HardSoft was Co-Founded by brothers Andrew and Philip Morgan back in 1984.

More than 35 years later, the brothers are still working together, having seen many changes in technology, as well as a couple of recessions, and now a global pandemic!

We asked Andy and Phil to tell us their story.

Wiz Kids in the 80s

When they first started back in 1984, Andy was 16 and Phil was 14. There weren’t many computer shops around, which meant you couldn’t really buy a lot of software, you couldn’t actually buy any software at all. Phil used to play on the Atari Commodore 64 and he wrote a video game called Movie Producer. The brother’s Grandad was very influential and supportive of the brother’s endeavours, as was their Dad, but their Mum wasn’t quite as encouraging of their plans – probably being cautious for her sons!

The original company name was Silly Software and it was a very small cottage industry, trying to make the boys some money. They’re not sure they actually made any real money though. So it wasn’t the best start.

Then ITV then got involved, and they made a documentary about the brothers which went out on Christmas day, in 1987 (we think). and they then went off to see their bank in Borough High Street to secure some funding.

So, they were the IT Wiz Kids of that generation. All those kids that think they’re Wiz Kids now, Andy and Phil were the originals!

Tech Changes in the 90s

HMV and Game, all stores like them, didn’t exist when Andy and Phil started out. It was all mail order, you couldn’t buy games, there was no outlet for them. So the next step for them was to get a computer and Amstrad had brought out their PC word processer. It was a computer running CPM as the language, with a green screen and it came with a dot matrix printer, but it couldn’t do anything other than word processing.

The brothers put in an ad in Computer Shopper magazine and Phil then went on a week-long holiday to Turkey, but Andy remembers the phone didn’t stop ringing! They were handwriting everything at that time, and Andy was busy having to handwrite quotations. He was leaving home at 6am and finishing work at 9pm or later, he couldn’t keep up with the quotations – which then had to be posted or faxed to customers!

As soon as Phil came back from his holiday, the brothers quickly realised that was a proper business. They had “messed about” for almost five years, being Wiz Kids in the world of computer games, but they quickly moved on from being Wiz Kids to running their computer leasing business and employing engineers quite early on.

For many years, they were educating people, trying to spread the message that you can actually lease a computer rather than buy it outright. And now, 35 years later and with more than 5,000 returning customers, HardSoft continues to grow.

Watch this space for another update on the HardSoft story from the 00s to the 2020 Covid-19 pandemic and beyond.

If you’d like to find out more about leasing computers for your business call our team on 020 7111 1643 or email sales@hardsoft.co.uk