August 2009


You may have heard by now that J. Gordon Electronic Design “closed the doors”. The doors did indeed close on the most recent chapter of history, but the original legacy of the company lives on, stronger than ever.

I started J. Gordon Electronic Design, Inc., in 1987. Although never particularly profitable, the company did grow to a staff of over 20 engineers by 2000. Having taken the consulting and contract engineering company growth about as far as I could on my own, I began considering the option of merging with another company. That opportunity came. The pending parent company had what seemed like a sound business plan, had acquired three other companies by that time, and was on track for more acquisitions. Things looked rosy from the outside, and the acquisition went through in November of 2000. Once on the inside, things looked less rosy. Thankfully, I got fired from the company I started. It freed me to move onward and upward.

The California based parent company went belly up in 2002. It suffered from a few ailments, including a dot-com hangover among its investors and too many conflicts of “vision” among its leaders. I’d love to share all the dirt, but I’d get sued. Oddly, the official corporate vision of where the parent company wanted to go, to become “an end-to-end solution provider”, is something I have independently and successfully accomplished, just with different technology and a different approach.

A former employee bought J. Gordon Electronic Design from the California company when things started to fall apart there. That individual and her team did manage to pull together an organization that survived another 6 years. The economic dive of late 2008 was more than the company could survive (officially organized under a different name, dba J. Gordon Electronic Design). After that operation closed the doors, I regained possession of the original company name (dba) and web domain. The name has little financial value at this point, but has sentimental value.

Speaking of original legacy, it was interesting to note that the J. Gordon Electronic Design company web site project portfolio at the end of 2008 looked almost identical to the portfolio in 2000. Of the 17 projects highlighted in 2008, 15 were from 2000 or before. Of those, I was personally involved in 12 of the projects, and personally did the majority of the engineering on 7 of them.

Where have I been since then? Busy developing lots of new products under the name Control Solutions, Inc. ( We sell LonWorks, Modbus, and BACnet controllers by the hundreds, and embedded web servers by the thousands. Along with a rich embedded device product offering, we have evolved into an IT development company as well, creating web portals to better utilize web enabled devices. The web portal flag ship is at

I and my business partner continue to do contract engineering, although strictly focused on exploiting our strengths. We no longer offer services which are not tightly synergistic with our primary focus of providing embedded devices and end-to-end solutions or M2M applications. Our engineering entity, Avalon Engineering, LLC, may be found at

We are proud of the fact that our business did not drop off toward the end of 2008, and we are on track for a good year in 2009 as well. As of mid-year, we see no decrease in business in 2009 compared to 2008, and 2008 was a record year. We already have significant commitments for 2010 as well.

When I walked out the door of J. Gordon Electronic Design in 2001, I told myself I’d had enough of busting my butt to build a bigger company. I’m just going to go have some fun, and if I make money along the way, that will just be a bonus. It’s amazing what can happen when you simply stick to doing what you are most passionate about, and keep learning new things. What happens is success. It also helps to be a genius by Edison standards. Thomas Edison once said, “Genius is 1% inspiration and 99% perspiration.”  I can relate to that formula.

Obviously the only reason for keeping this web site alive is that it has a lot of history behind it (I personally built the original site and maintained it until 2001). That history translates into a number of links pointing here and a lot of people that still know where to find this site. So instead of leaving you to wonder “what ever happened to…" (when you get the 404 page not found error), we will tell you, and invite you to visit any of our current web sites featured below.

Jim Hogenson
Late Night Genius
(and President, Control Solutions, Inc.)