Back in 1981 we opened our first office in Seattle’s Pike Place Market, developing software and training programs for state agencies. We worked on Apple II computers (remember those?), and some RadioShack machines, too. Our customers liked how our software made their jobs easier. Over the next 25 years the company grew, we moved to the South Puget Sound area. We continued to grow.
We reached a tipping point in 2008. Owners Rick and Lisa Gifford had sprinted hard to keep pace with the demands of the growing business. As sales increased, the hours required to manage operations and finances and employees became more and more demanding. Like many successful entrepreneurs, Rick and Lisa faced a crisis of management -- focus on the customer or focus on operations?
Reality sank in that there simply wasn’t enough hours in the day to work any harder. Lisa was sacrificing what she really loved: the face-to-face time with customers where she provided them great solutions. Rick was getting pulled from his true calling: to create awesome computer programs that made a positive difference in people’s lives.