When and how I quit DBE Software, Inc.

Mr. Luiz Siqueira, currently the President of the Company, always wanted to take control of the product, so as to present himself to the world as the responsible for its development. He has even printed his photograph in brochures and fliers. Today he claims that when we started the US adventure Data Model Designer was a primitive MS-DOS product, and that due to his effort it evolved to a full grown and mature software. This is a lie. Yes, when DBE Software was founded DB-Examiner was a MS-DOS product. It was developed in Brazil, and back then (we are talking of 1992) to find MS-Windows workstations was unusual, at least in Brazil. PC development was rare, and Mainframes reigned all over Brazil. But it worked, the results where stunning, and more than 30 satisfied big Brazilian customers are the proof of my statement.

But when DBE Software Inc. was founded the Windows 3.x development was under way, since I had already hired two brilliant guys (Marcos and Raphael) who where in charge of its development (as well and other product of the Data Workstation suite called Data Architect). Soon after I stopped all efforts to sell DB-Examiner here, relying on DBE Software financial support, they suspended payments, claiming financial difficulties, and ordered me to fire those guys. With that decision they delayed the Windows 3.x development for at least 3 years.

His plan to control the software began in 1995, when they hired a programmer in the US. They introduced him to me, and I recall the first time I met him he came with a huge documentation manual, telling me: "This is the documentation of the last system I developed". I thought to myself: "well, this guy for sure knows how to document a system; let's see if the knows how to develop one". Today DB-Examiner has no internal documentation at all.

But from the very beginning Mr. Siqueira made it clear this guy, Gabe O'Neill, was going to work with him, following his direct orders, and was his protégé.

(... more to come ...)

In July, 1998 Mr. Siqueira told me he was having frequent meetings with Mr. Jody Miksch., a former executive of DBE Software, who now was a well paid executive of a rather known software company. He would try to sell DBE software to his company for roughly US$ 2 million, just to pay back Paul Sterbutzel loan, and negotiate a side deal for the executives of DBE Software, so "we" (he included me in this transaction) could make any money. I though that was another of his common illusions, but just in case I began to record, in tape, his phone calls.

He kept on insisting, and in September, 1998, during one of my visits to DBE's headquarters, he told me that he was going to meet with Mr. J.M. and his head of development, a guy from Australia. I told him I wanted to join him, so we went to have lunch at a restaurant by the Potomac, nearby the Marines monument. We did not have lunch, but some drinks instead (JM paid the bill with his amex card), and I realized this was not a fantasy. They insisted on the US$ 2M tag price, the side deal, and the rest of it. Everybody agreed Mr. Sterbutzel should not make any monye out of this. I began to feel worried.

Soon after my last visit to DBE (December, 1998), just before they completed the development of the last W32 version, Luiz called me saying he was about to sell the company, but that each of us should negotiate his or her own side deal. As he was talking about a substantial stake (about $500 grands) I decided to hire a lawyer to represent me, since I did not want to do the stupid thing I have done 10 years ago when I signed the papers with DBE based on trust.

( ... more to come ...)