Lee Konowe was founder of American Software Club, a mail-order
software company. American Software Club sold software for CP/M,
Atari 8-bit, TRS-80, Apple II, IBM PC, Commodore 64, and other
platforms. It started out with a sort of Columbia House "software
of the month" model, where you automatically received a "choice of
the month" software package each month — which you could keep and
pay for, or return at no cost. Later the company switched to a more
traditional mail order catalog model.
The company was founded around June 1981. In an article about
software clubs in InfoWorld magazine, the company said it had about
2,000 members by the end of its first month. By February 1983 it
claimed 10,000 members, and by September of that year had 15,000
This interview took place on June 7 2017 for me, and June 8
for Lee in New Zealand.
"Very quickly it occurred to me that there was a need to put
people who were producing software together with people who were