In It Together
I.T.’s Elaine Hodgson on Covid, Innovation & Thriving Once More
Thirty-five years ago, Incredible Technologies began as an optimistic startup. Richard Ditton and I started this company by building software on ancient hardware. I borrowed money from my parents to help get us off the ground. My office was the family room. I was optimistic, but I was also realistic. Deep down, I wasn’t sure if this would work.
In the years that followed, we found success. Then failure. Even when we thought we made it — after we released the first-ever version of Golden Tee Golf — we thought we might not make it to see another.
Those mistakes and experiences ultimately paved the way for future successes and other products. New, yearly installments for Golden Tee; the launch of new, ambitious products like Silver Strike Bowling; PowerPutt and many others along the way. And now, 35 years later, Incredible Technologies has built hope into a company that employs more than 250 people across multiple industries and states around the country.
In the past six months, however, our lives, industry and plans have been thrown into chaos. The Covid-19 pandemic has closed locations, greatly altered the amusement industry’s earning potential and impacted our lives — both professionally and personally — in ways that still feel unimaginable.
But it also shows our resiliency as a group. Not just our company, but the people who have supported this industry from the start. Operators. Location owners. Players. I feel a renewed sense of camaraderie, albeit through great discomfort and sadness, that provides hope at a time where it can sometimes be hard to find.
The motto we adopted when the pandemic began, “In IT Together,” applies not just to our employees but to everyone involved in the games and experiences we try to create. We are a battle-tested, resilient bunch that has navigated recessions and other life-altering moments over time.
While the timing and future of what happens next might be out of our control, I will continue to reiterate our continued support for the industry that gave Incredible Technologies its start.
We recently purchased a new facility that houses the entire amusement team — a place we hope that will allow for current and future product designs. At this moment, we are not getting smaller. In fact, we are currently hiring more creative, productive people to help execute the visions we have.
Our latest version of Golden Tee, Golden Tee 2021, will launch this fall. It’s an update our team completed almost entirely from their homes and one we’re still incredibly proud of. We are also working on bringing new products to market, including Retro Raccoons, which will debut before the end of the year.
I can also say that we are working on one of our most ambitious product launches to date — an announcement and release that has been years in the making. We are committed to creating great games into the future — well beyond the present uncertainty — and this announcement will only solidify our commitment to this industry moving forward.
We are also listening closely to our customers’ feedback. Never has their voice mattered more. Their suggestions. Needs. Struggles. Ideas. All of it is helping us refine what we do and who we are.
We are taking measures to improve our communication and transparency as a division — something that will last through the pandemic and beyond.
I am extremely grateful for our employees and their efforts despite battling such unique, challenging circumstances. I am also incredibly thankful for our customers and the support we have received over the past 35 years.
This year, that support means more than ever. And we will do everything in our power to help this industry thrive moving forward.