1998 was the start of a journey. Here’s a recap of OutSolve’s beginnings.
1998 was the start of a journey. Forgive the first person narrative, but I cannot write this story without some personal details. I was 25 and can always relate the birth of OutSolve with another key event in my life. My first child and daughter, Molly, was born in the summer of 1998. As any parent can relate, having children changes your perspective. To that point I had been gainfully employed and married but otherwise unencumbered by responsibility. And since a new baby meant a new house, we moved into a larger house with a corresponding larger mortgage.
That’s when things got interesting.
Let’s recap – new baby, lots of debt…what to do? On October 2, 1998 Tracy Leefe-Read, Kathy Panzeca, and I walked into our boss’ office and resigned from our respective roles to start OutSolve the very next day. If there are no atheists in foxholes, there are similarly none as you leave the security of your previous job empty-handed. Each of us was leaving security for a very, very uncertain future. I recall passing Bobbie Ibieta, a co-worker at the time, in the office on my way out. I think she could tell something was up…but I doubt she knew that things were about to change for us all.
OutSolve’s first offices were a modest four room rented space in the Mid-City area of New Orleans. I recall vividly walking in the door and setting off the alarm. As we didn’t have the code, the alarm sounded the ENTIRE day. We got through that first tiresome day and began the process of establishing a business. Kathy, Tracy, and I each had unique talents – Kathy had the administrative background, Tracy was great at sales, and I knew affirmative action planning and compliance. Since I had been working with a software developer previously, I knew where we could get a new, state-of-the art software application. We just needed clients…