started with 10 employees in a building on Raleigh's Hillsborough Street. Twenty-five years later, the Triangle's computer software company employs more than 8,500 workers worldwide.
Jim Goodnight's appearance has changed since SAS began its meteoric rise, but the philosophy of his company has stayed the same.
"One of the reasons we have been successful over the years is that we have never stood still," he says. "I'm one of the first people that had the chance to build a company purely based on intelligence -- the intelligence of people who work here. I chose to create an environment that lets people be creative and lets people use their own creative juices to come up with new ideas and new solutions."
Those ideals took root and produced more fruit than anyone could imagine. SAS means software to most of us, but to the people who work for Jim Goodnight, it means finding the future.
"Clearly, there are some areas in this whole genomics which we are involved in," Goodnight says. "We're going to see some major movements forward in stem cell research. We're going to start seeing some cures for cancer and other diseases that we wondered for years what to do about."
More than 4,000 workers work on SAS Institute's Cary campus, while the company employs 8,500 in 53 countries around the world. While several high-tech firms struggle with the current economy, SAS continues to grow so far, this year by more than 8 percent.
The company is having its 25th anniversary party Tuesday night. Entertainment includes the Village People and KC and the Sunshine Band.
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