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Class of '77

We aren't the only business that's taking a look back at its first quarter-century.

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This story appears in the May 2002 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

If today's entrepreneurs could travel back in time and start a business in 1977, they would hardly recognize Stephen B. Holben's world.

Sure, some of what they'd find would feel familiar-the new Star Wars movie coming out, and, hey, this is the year Elvis dies?-but what would seem strange is starting your company the way Holben, now 57, did. You would be without the aid of e-mail, a cell phone or a fax machine. There's no Staples or Office Depot. FedEx delivers to only a handful of cities. There aren't even a dozen business incubators in the country (today, there are over 900). With the exception of your fresh copy of the debut issue of Entrepreneur, you'll have to go through this mostly alone.

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