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For the record, here's what led up to 247Toolset:

  • 1999: I built a shareware application called Project Tracker and had a few hundred sales.
  • 2001: Newsletter Ease, email newsletter software, was born.
  • 2002: After a board meeting for NLE, Cindy Rockwell asked me what I was going to do next. I told her that a résumé is only a list of things that people have allowed me to do, but it's a poor indicator of what I want to do or what I think I'm capable of doing - so I wanted to work on something that would allow a person to showcase their skills and passions. At that time, I bought the domain (which I still own). (As an aside, all of the tables in the 247Toolset database are prefixed "TB_" for this reason.
  • 2004: After separating from Jackie, I started working on something I called Ezolo, which featured a geographic search engine. I then bought the domain and built what become the prototype for the EverywhereCalendar technology that is in 247Toolset today. I stopped working on that in 2005.
  • 2006: I approached John Myers of Paragon Employment Solutions and told him of the TalentBench concept and wondered how that might work for recruiters.
  • 2008: Paragon and I worked out an agreement where I would build what then became known as the 247Toolset platform. I would own all of the IT, and they would share some of the revenue that they made through it. Unfortunately, it didn't really fit their model, and we parted ways later that year.
  • 2009: I was one of the founders of the Des Moines Tea Party, and it occurred to me that all of these passionate people were dying for a way to get involved. I started retooling 247Toolset for volunteer recruitment, and released an early version in June that was reviewed by my good friend, John LaMarche, who also purchased the first portal for $2,500 (
  • 2010: Realized that my pricing model wasn't right for the market or for the economy, so I mothballed my sales efforts until I could arrive at the right model, which occurred 4th quarter in the year.
  • 2011: Significant enhancements and 80-hour work weeks on it. Sales are regular and word-of-mouth is strong
I wanted to make two points in all of that.

1) Entrepreneurship isn't just an idea and financing and suddenly you're rich. It's evolving ideas and experiences and a service attitude and a lot of elbow grease. Everything rides on the single-minded belief that the effort will pay off. Whenever I read of people who think that business owners are just lucky folk who make their money off the backs of the poor, I'd love to sit down with them and share my story. Across the entrepreneurs I know, mine is not an unfamiliar story, and people who think "the rich" are just lucky people are deeply ignorant of the extraordinary work that makes successful folk "lucky."

2) I want my kids to know this story. I write my blog mostly for my family to have my history. Dumping stuff out of my head helps me to get ready for pulling more stuff into my head. But my chief reason is for them... someday, my kids and my grandkids will read through all of this.


by Brett Rogers, 3/27/2011 1:26:37 AM


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