The Man Who Built A $1bn Firm In His Basement

Mr Rodrigues says he wanted to do something for a living that he really liked and along the line, his family and friends all thought he had lost his mind.
"Everybody thought I had gone completely nuts," he says. "They were saying 'what's wrong with this guy? Is he having a hippy moment?'."
Mr Rodrigues, a successful IT consultant, had woken up one day and decided to quit the day job.
Instead of doing lucrative work for other people, he was going to retire to his basement and develop a best-selling computer product.
The significant problem was that he didn't have any ideas. But to the worry of his wife, and scorn of his mother-in-law - who lived with them - he was undeterred.
So back in 2001 he shut himself away beneath his house in the Canadian city of Mississauga, and started to try to dream up something.
"My goal was that I wanted to see what I could produce if I did something I really liked," he says.
"I didn't know what I was going to do, but I thought I would give it a shot."
After a month of working "crazy hours", Mr Rodrigues had come up with his first fully formed idea - a software system that allowed the user to control his or her mobile phone from their laptop.
Naming his company Soti, sales of the system started to grow slowly, until 12 months later Mr Rodrigues got a phone call out of the blue from one of the UK's largest supermarket groups.
The UK firm placed a "huge order" for 20,000 units.
Soti has never looked back; and while most people have never heard of the firm - because it sells its mobile technology software systems to companies instead of consumers - it today has annual revenues of $80m (£62m).
This is despite Mr Rodrigues not needing any external investment. The business remains 100% owned by him and his wife.
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