localS / Q&A
the ties that bind By Sally Mahan / Photo by Rob Kaufman
hen Alan Grogono, 75, added a bit of information about sailing knots to his family website, he had no idea that the page would come to attract more than 14,000 unique visitors every day — and become Apple’s No. 1 reference app for weeks straight. Animated Knots lived for years on Grogono’s website, animatedknots.com, but the company really took off when it launched an iPhone app. Q. How did you get involved in computers? A. Well, I definitely don’t golf, so I keep busy on the web. I’ve always been interested in technology. I probably owned the first large-screen computer in 1976. If it wasn’t the first, it wasn’t for want of trying.
knots and it quickly became really popular. In the mid-2000s I purchased animatedknots.com and moved all my material to that site. It generated a huge number of requests about fishing, climbing and scouting knots. At the time, my knee and hip needed to be replaced, so I was in a period of enforced idleness. My wife allowed me to take over the kitchen, so I converted it into a computer lab and photo studio. My older son is a professional programmer and the other son is in graphic design. We created Grog LLC. I’m very proud at 75 that I started a serious money-making business. Q. How is it working with your kids? A. We have fun, we talk a lot and we’re lucky we’re a close family. Having children is hereditary; if you don’t have children, chances are they won’t have any either.
Q. OK, so how does this all tie into knots? A. We started sailing small boats as a family, and my dad and granddad taught us a lot about knots, but only related to sailing. I knew nothing about climbing or fishing knots. When I made a family website, I put a section in it on how to tie
Q. What’s your secret to success? A. If you have a hobby you love, you must pursue it. My father and grandfather had do-ityourself mentalities.You don’t always have to have someone do it for you. M
SEPT 11 12-22 Around Town.indd 22
8/26/2011 12:04:22 PM