This was Mike’s email to the team this morning. Phew!
After months of hard work, we can finally say the boat is in the water! *special mention to Launchcode for extra effort to get us over the finish line.
This is a fantastic feeling!
The emotionally intelligent people in our lives are reminding us, “Let’s take a moment and sit in this.”
Man, we’ve come a long way.
ClearSource started as OGGI, a completely unrelated local shipping tech solution that Mike and I tearfully abandoned a year-and-a-half ago. It bears mentioning that the difficult decision to drop the business was six short weeks AFTER Mike had already quit his exec job!
Note: I continued to work my day job to feed the money-sucking-fun-wreckers (love you, girls 😉)
For the next few weeks, Mike understandably kicked a proverbial pop can down the street while he continued working on his MBA at the U of C. That’s when an assignment to do a “digital assessment of an industry you know well” created a spark.
From that first glimmer of a gap in the sourcing and procurement process, a big hole was revealed. Anyone who’s squeezed into a small cave opening to find a massive cavern inside understands what I’m saying.
“The industrial supply industry has a sourcing and procurement process that hasn’t changed in 30 years!” He explained to me over the phone. After a few back-and-forths, I was sold.
This was June of last year.
We re-engaged with our friends at Launchcode, who had helped us with the recently abandoned delivery solution, and we were off. Countless meetings and interviews later, here we are with a working beta version of the product that we had envisioned!
When we think about this accomplishment, it’s not simply the development of a web app or software that we’re excited about. There’s a bigger vision here.
The remarkable thing is, that we’ve found a way to bring together companies and information from a siloed and competitive industry; one that doesn’t lend itself to collaboration. By extension, this hyper-competitive industry is so focused on internal competitors that it can’t align to fight disruption from outside players.
By being a support for the industry and solving pain points at every level, ClearSource becomes a trusted partner that allows the industry to function as it always has, but now with an online interface that today’s professionals are craving.
In a larger sense, we feel that we’re giving the industry a bat to swing back at the disruptors. Because at the end of the day, local distribution provides intrinsic value that the disruptors cannot. From invaluable process insight and product knowledge to the peace of mind knowing that you’re going to get the actual product you paid for.
When you’re a contractor working with a local distributor you know that the manufacturers have vetted and authorized the distributors you’re working with. Now all three groups come together on a platform that fits in the digital world.
Sit in this we shall.
But not for too long. There are data sets to upload, bugs to fix, and features to build.
HUGE shoutouts to the folks listed below who’ve done the heavy lifting and have shared insight along the way. We hope all of you take the time to celebrate this accomplishment too and understand how much you have shaped the function and direction of ClearSource.
We are deeply appreciative of your time, patience, efforts, and faith in us. Here’s to more collaborations!
The movie credits so far include:
Our bosses: Lisa, Jamie, Kate & Kennedy
Launchcode: Robbie Butchart, Alberio Bathory-Frota, Kourtney Huget, Michael Kissinger, Dan Guo, Jeckson Schwengber, Gustavo Farias
Thin Air Labs: Dr. Katie Greene, Andrew Browne
John Stroh – Alberta Innovates
Richard May – IRAP
Sam & Dorothy Janzen
Larry & Kevin Hunt
Zafar Jaffer & Kevin Larsen – Gowling WLG
Loren Falkenberg & Frank Walsh
Mat (ERP) Vanderkooy
Leroy Billesberger – WeldCor
Karina Birch – Rocky Mountain Soap Company
Shawn Lawrence – TechWins
Mike House – Stollery Children’s Hospital
Pat Lor & Nadia Lachman – Penache Ventures
Norbert Doyle – WeldWorld
Max Ceron – CWBA
Chad, Kevin & Claire Gjertsen – Kristian Electric
Sally Morse – Spectra Gloves
Murray Langdon – Amazon Web Services
Jacqueline & Gary Drew – Tenato Strategy Inc.
Other groups: Startup TNT, Creative Destructive Labs, University of Calgary (Haskayne School of Business), American Welding Society, Miller ITW, Lincoln Electric
And a whole bunch of others…
Look, I’m sure I’m leaving people out. But it’s late on a Friday heading into a long weekend. Let’s celebrate and get back at ‘er later.