A decade has passed since I co-founded CustomScoop back in the summer of 2000. It’s hard for that reality to sink in. It hardly seems like it has been that long since I worked with my wife and a few others to cobble together the morsels of an idea into a product we could actually be proud of.
Today, CustomScoop is a thriving enterprise with a really talented team running the show. I’m no longer engaged on a daily basis, but rather serve in a broad advisory capacity as Chairman. I’m grateful to all of the individuals who have helped make CustomScoop the success that it is. My wife was our first customer service rep — and so much more. My business partners have contributed immeasurably — plus they’re just fun to be around. The team we have assembled — past and present — has given their all over the years. Our professional and informal advisers have been candid and helped us navigate the path to becoming a “real” business. Our various vendors, especially Rackspace Managed Hosting (a partner for the full 10 years), have helped make the product possible. The resellers of our product have helped introduce whole new markets to our services. And none of this would have happened without great customers that have put up with growing pains and occasional hiccups to help us to continuously improve our offering.
Without all these people, CustomScoop would be but a memory.
Of course, a lot has changed over the years:
- CustomScoop started out in the spare bedroom of our apartment, with my wife and I cramming two desks into a very tiny space. Today, we have very nice office space in a real office building in Concord, NH.
- Bill Clinton was President.
- September 11 was still a year away.
- The Red Sox had gone 82 years without winning a World Series. They would go four more years before ending that streak.
- Blogs were not part of the conversation — online or off.
- In early pitches, we often had to explain what “online news clipping” was.
- My wife and I had no children. Today, we have two great sons.
- Some of my colleagues at my various ventures were barely or even not yet teenagers.
- I still resorted to a dial-up modem during my extensive travels. Talk about a painful experience.
- I wore a pager on my belt.
- I had hair.
- I was still often the youngest guy in the room. Today, it’s not uncommon for me to be the oldest.
- The CustomScoop product itself was a daily email and a simple list of clips in the customized user area on the web site. Today, the ClipIQ suite includes a wide array of functionality to make information gathering, media analysis, and reporting powerful yet simple and effective.
Tonight, we will celebrate the 10 year milestone with the CustomScoop team at our house with a simple cookout. It has been a great ride — one that I could never have envisioned when we started. I can only imagine what the next decade holds.