July 13, 2022
Commodore 64 computer memories (Meet Mark and learn the origin story of m3 Networks)

Techcess Technology Podcast episode 49: The Tale Of Techcess (See show notes for lower bandwidth version)

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the m3 networks origin story - tinkering with a commodore 64 computer 

Listen as mark from m3 Networks tells us the story of how m3 networks (and techcess!) came to be


We're about to take you on a retro journey in this episode. We'll learn all about a young Mark Riddell and how he and the rest of the m3 Networks crew (Techcess team) originated.

So, as you've hopefully already learned about us, m3 Networks is a Perthshire-based IT business that provides innovative, cutting-edge solutions to businesses of all sizes.

With over 10 years of experience in the industry, m3 Networks has a proven track record of delivering tailored solutions that meet the specific needs of each and every customer.

So that's the sales pitch.

But what about the people behind the business?

What do you know about us?

We suspect nowhere near enough, so for this episode. Mark is going to share the origin story behind the m3 Networks IT support business as it exists today.

(Want to download your free copy of m3's IT services buyer's guide that Mark mentions in the episode?)

You can do that by clicking here: 



Click this is you're hard of hearing and want to just download and read the episode as a PDF:


In an area with restricted data? Click this for a smaller sized version of the episode.

In this episode you'll learn:

  • What first got Mark interested in computers
  • The young version of Mark offering 'tech support' 
  • Redundancy and the aftermath, including Mark and Mary
  • The three key areas m3 work on with new clients
  • How you can actually meet Mark in person

Episode transcript preview

You would have probably already seen the link to the PDF above.

Here's a very quick sneak preview of that transcript of episode 49

"Meet mark the commodore 64 loving tech whizz - episode 48 transcript"

"And as the years went by, computers got more sophisticated and my obsession grew and any free time I had was spent either using a computer or learning about them..."


Scroll down to read the full transcript on the bottom of this page or click the link above to get a printable version!


Want to get more 'Techcess' in your business?

Book a free chat with Mark!

Get more valuable technology insights from m3's blog pages, here.

Mark Riddell's technology podcast "Techcess" is an m3 Networks production. Mark and the team have created this podcast to help you and their clients understand how technology can help them in their industry and business, including helping them with cyber security solutions. To find out more about Mark Riddell and the rest of the m3 team, visit them here and follow them on Linkedin.

If you want to get in touch about technology or cyber security, just address an email directly at Mark here. He'll be very happy to hear from you.

Thanks for listening! If you enjoy this episode, make sure you follow the podcast via your favourite app.

Fancy giving the Techcess technology podcast a review and rating? Click here - https://www.techcesspodcast.com - and select the menu item 'Reviews' 

Episode 49 full transcript


In today's episode of Techcess, I thought I'd actually take some time to properly introduce myself.


Now, it only just dawned on me recently that I haven't actually spent much time talking about me and that's because it's not really be something that I would naturally do anyway. And the whole point of Techcess is to give information to business owners out there about how they can make sure their business has the right technology and security in place to enable their business to be more successful.


But I'm fully aware that people like to do business with people that they meet, like, know and trust.



And I haven't really spent much time introducing myself or talking about my background in order for you guys to get to know me a little bit better. So let me know properly introduce myself and my business. I have always loved computers. And messing about with my Commodore 64 computer fills my earliest memories.


Now, if you're too young or too cool to know what that is, it's a really old computer and it was the first computer that we owned in the family.


And as the years went by, computers got more sophisticated and my obsession grew and any free time I had was spent either using a computer or learning about them. And I even built my own when I was just 16 and when the internet became more commonplace than trees and it deepened and the world opened up to me and I loved all the new things that you could learn and practise and even started building websites written in notepad.


And when it came to IT support and fixing things and providing, I guess, customer service, that kind of all came in my teens, where once people started to get computers and houses and PCs became a little bit more affordable, I was starting to get asked by the neighbours and mum and dad's friends about "can you have a look at someone's computer - they're having a problem with it" and that kind of stuff.

And I started doing that just because I like fixing things, but then people started giving me money for it. It was ten pounds here, twenty pounds there and I was like, I can earn money from doing this and enjoy it at the same time.

Because seeing a problem, working to troubleshoot it and fixing the problem is ultimately how my brain works. I am a problem solver and I guess if you are natural problem solver and you have that logical problem solving mindset, then it is a fantastic industry to go in because that is one of the core skills that are required. So you could say that a career in IT was a fairly obvious choice for me. So after studying a computer networking degree at Perth College, I started off working self employed for a few years, doing domestic support work just in the local area. After a few years, I moved on to working with an It support company based in Dundee.


And I really enjoyed the job. The problem solving creative solutions and seeing the difference I was making to the companies that I worked with was really rewarding. But while I loved my job and the clients that work with, unknown to me, this business wasn't working out financially. And then one day, myself and the other founders of m3, Mark and Mary, were told we were going to be made redundant.


And then we realised that we needed to go and do this for ourselves. So in August 2009, which is the very next day after being made redundant, we set up m3 Networks and haven't looked back since. I remember sitting around Mary's kitchen table trying to work out what we were going to call ourselves and my six month old daughter Chloe was sitting on my knee. Of course, she was completely oblivious to the fact that with no idea how we're going to pay the bills that month, and she was sitting laughing away, bang on the laptop keyboard. It all happened very quickly.


Kind of still feels that yesterday, but since 2009, we've grown in exactly the way that we kind of hope for. We have our own team now. We have dozens and dozens of businesses in the local area and across the UK further afield that see us as a trusted It support partner. And my whole team are personally invested in each and every business that we work with and we celebrate our customer success as if it were our own, because really it is. And we know that we've played a part in helping each businesses to reach their goals and hit their targets and that's a great feeling. There's a little bit more about me and my backstory and how it came to be where we are now and m3 Networks and how we got started. It's usually the other way around. I think for most people, when they start a business, you know, people have time to think about it and plan it and we were the opposite, we hit the ground running.


We had a handful of clients that came with us from our company that we used to work for and, yeah, things just went from there. And of course, we're in the banking crisis back in 2009 still, so the first few years were pretty slow and it's really in the last five, six, seven years, that employee has really grown a lot stronger to the position that's in today. So now that you know a little bit more about me in the business and how we got started, I thought it'd be worthwhile talking about what happens if you're ready to explore working with us, particularly what happens in the first 90 days of working with a new customer. So here's some important information that you need to know.


My team and I will work on three key areas and number one is learning as much as we can about your business. Because as I've already said, the more we know about customers business, the best place we are to serve them and provide the right advice for their business.


Number two is fixing any outstanding problems that are left behind by the old IT company. I think it's fair to say that I don't think we've taken on any new customers where there hasn't been some hangover issues from their previous It company. Because let's face it, if there was no issues in IT company was on the ball, you probably wouldn't be moving to us in the first place, right? Sometimes there's lots of issues, sometimes it's just a few issues and quite often there's issues that your team have been holding back because they didn't feel like your previous IT company was someone that they could talk to or could help with their problems for whatever reason.


And then number three is creating your technology strategy. Because here at m3 Networks, my hope and our team's hope, is that we expect to work with you for years to come. We've got customers that we work with even in our previous life prior to m3 Networks with relationships going back 15 years. We're not here for a short term quick, but we're here for a long term partnership. So the goal in that first ninety days is to make sure that we set you up for success and you're going to get to know what we can and can't do and with realistic expectations. We also outline what we need from you and how to be a great partner because we're going to examine every part of your It set up. Because as I said, the more that we know, the better.


And we make sure that we document everything and then we'll even ask about things like your website hosting and examine any specialist software that you use in your business. Because even if we are not directly supporting these things, we still want to know how it works and who is supporting it. Because at some stage you're probably going to ask us about it in the future. So we need to know about every single service, a third party vendor that you're currently using. Of course it will mean there's a little bit of work for you and your team, but I promise it will be worth it. And you only need to do it once.


And once my team has all the information, we're going to analyse that and we're going to make sure that we understand every aspect of your technology. Because any IT company that doesn't do this is simply not doing their job properly. And then we're going to talk to your team. We want to find out about what the existing problems are, what frustrates them, what makes their job more difficult. And we'll also review anything that your previous IT support provider told them couldn't be done, fixed or created. And there's no promise we can make it happen but of course we want to try. Your first 90 days working with me and the team here at m3 Networks we are going to reset everything and I don't mean reset everything from a configuration point of view, but we're going to reset the playing field if you like, when it comes to your IT systems and then we're going to get everything set back up to the highest level it needs to be and that's where it's going to stay, where we maintain things and then, and only then that we are going to begin our strategic and forward thinking working together and this is unique process for the client and we can tell you more about that when we talk and how we deliver that through account management.


So if you want to get in touch with me you can reach out and call us at 01738 237001, that's our main office number. Or feel free to connect with me on LinkedIn. The URL to my LinkedIn profile will be in the show notes below and if you visit our website at m3networks.co.uk you will see a link, it's all over the website to book a 15 minutes call with me which is completely no obligation, you can pick that in my calendar, a time that suits you and it'd be great to chat. So all it's left for me to do is to say have a great day and we'll see you next time.


Techcess is a podcast from m3 Networks

Transcript provided by Podknows Podcasting