Hi. This is Charles Rich, the founder of Source360. I'm feeling the need to come up with a genesis story that overcomes all odds or follows a dream that I had when I was 10 or something really awesome like that, right? The truth is, that's not what happened. I started this company because I knew I could make software products work better for customers . . . as it turns out, it takes a team and we make digital work.
I grew up in the 80s and my father was an "IT guy", among other things. Actually, I'm sure that was not his title but, he ran some punch cards through a machine and did a lot of other technically oriented odds and ends. As a hobby, he did things like building an electronic scoreboard for our school and rebuilt cars with me by his side. I didn't know how much this was going to relate to my future, but it did. One day, he came home with a Radio Shack TRS-80 and that's how it began. I was programming by junior high (or middle school as they say nowadays). I hacked into bulletin boards (by borrowing my father's credentials) and I thought I was big time. Time passed and I thought I had done it all. I struggled in college because I pursued the wrong degree. I guess I thought that I was burnt out on computers. I soon found out that the parental figures didn't like me struggling, so I "fell" back on Computer Science. I was quickly reminded that computers were my passion and I finished my degree in record time. Then, I joined the workforce. . . as I was supposed to do. Again, truth be told, I couldn't find a job for the life of me. Instead, I got a job as a recruiter (commission only) and learned how to find myself a job . . . and I did. At this point in the story, you might be wondering "How many programmers can double as a recruiter"? I'm not going to flatter myself . . . I was just lucky to be in the right place at the right time. Making a long story short, I climbed the proverbial ladder by jumping from one corporate job to another while improving my salary by moving from programming, to consulting, to management to technical sales . . . always working for large software companies from Informix to Adobe.
The real story begins in early 2000 when I met my co-founder, Richard Davis. Richard and I were working at Vignette, a well funded startup that helped define Content Management space. They had gone public a few months prior to us joining the company. We watched Lamborghini's, Ferraris and purple hair reign the parking lot and hallways for a couple years. If there is a genesis story, this is it. Richard and I looked at each other and said, "I'd like one of those!". Knowing that we missed the pre-IPO craze, we promised each other that we would start a company one day and do it ourselves. In 2008, after a 5 year stint at Adobe, I called Richard and we formed Source 360 Group. I would be remiss not to mention Rob Williamson who also co-founded the company. We were the three musketeers in the corporate world and voluntarily went into the small business realm. We partnered with the big enterprise software companies and accumulated some big corporate customers in the first few months. And, yes, you read it correctly, in 2008. If you look back in the history books, the world was crashing at that time . . . we were freaked out but, we survived. This is mostly due to our wives' support and understanding (and income). Astute readers will probably notice that Rob is no longer with Source360. To dispel any mystery or controversy, Rob decided that he wanted to take a different direction and we embarked on a mutually created plan for Rob's exit. Richard and I purchased Rob's shares and he has been very successful in his other endeavors. He is still one of our best friends.
Fast forward to today, we've had to learn how to navigate the ups and downs of the economy, the ups and downs of partner technologies, the constant change of relationships, difficulties in employee retention/recruiting, pandemics and many other issues that small businesses face. I'd like to think we know what we're doing now, but business ownership is not for the faint hearted. We have been fortunate to have acquired a solid core team who I consider "lifers" and my best friends. We also enjoy long term relationships with our customers. All our customers know they can call me or anybody on the team and get honest answers without bias or strings attached. And if you don't know that, try me. This is how we operate - it's our culture.
Speaking of culture, this is our second genesis story . . . in 2016 we expanded operations to Central America starting in Costa Rica. In 2018, we partnered with our current VP of Sales, Hugh Barton. This marked a huge leap in our maturity as an organization. Together, we are enjoying some of our best customer and partner relationships in our history. Our decision to diversify our resources facilitated our strategy to offer financially competitive resources and the diversity that matters in today's global economy. Little did we know, this decision would also lead to lifelong international friends and partners. In this capacity, we are doing our best to be socially and culturally responsible.
This all seems "motherhood and apple pie" or "Pura vida (in Costa Rica)", right? Well, it's not the whole story . . . remember the Lamborghini? Well, the Lamborghini was symbolic for success. How we define success is vastly different than what those guys peering out the corporate window decades ago. We are quietly competitive and we have goals as a company. Our core values are squarely focused on customer success with a healthy dose of growth aspirations. As you get to know us, you'll see that growth never supersedes customer success while also being fair and financially responsible. All of us share these goals - it's also part of our culture. To accomplish our goals, we are constantly looking for ways to innovate our partners' technologies, our methodologies and our solutions to facilitate our customers' success. It sounds cheesy but, with your success, our growth is inevitable.
This was my story, but the whole team has their individual stories, but we arrived here together.
This is truly Our Story now.