I have served in a wide variety of roles during my career in the technology industry. At various times I have been a software engineer, user interface designer, database administrator, IT manager, development team manager, systems architect, product manager, executive manager and company founder.
After taking the leap from corporate position to self-employment in the late 90s, I quickly learned to be very flexible and acquire whatever skills were needed to make my company succeed. Armed with a highly inquisitive mind, I found myself delving into sales and marketing processes, financial and investment issues and customer relationship management. I learned how to build a team of incredible people and how to keep them happy and achieving their personal goals.
I learned how to be a leader.
You can see my complete resume by visiting my LinkedIn page.
On a more personal note I have been happily married for about 35 years and am a proud father of 3 fantastic adult children. I am an avid cyclist and will use any excuse to knock out a quick 20 (or 60) miles on the bike and also enjoy backpacking and camping.
Began my career as a self-taught programmer, landing my first job as a database administrator in a manufacturing company, developing PC based software to track key components the company produced. I also worked for a large Los Angeles based law firm as their IT manager, writing software and supporting automation through the late 80s.
In 1989 I landed my first job in a commercial software company - Nantucket Corporation, makers of the Clipper xBase compiler. I served in IT as well as contributed to the development efforts of Clipper 5.0, the last version produced before the company was sold to Computer Associates.
Once the sale of Nantucket was complete I moved to Symantec's Peter Norton Group in Santa Monica, CA. I was senior software engineer and managed small development teams for a laptop utility product as well as individually contributed on multiple popular products as an engineer and also user interface designer.
After the 1994 Northridge earthquake (we lived in Northridge, CA at the time), we decided to move east to the suburbs of Washington, DC, in Northern Virginia. I worked for a brief time in the telecom space as an Information Architect, then moved to Thomson Publishing's new technology group where I served as a Systems Architect, designing and building out online solutions as the web began to take off.
In 1998 I created a Windows based product for creating, conducting and analyzing the results of web based surveys called WebSurveyor. In 1999 Tom Lueker joined me and we decided to make WebSurveyor an online service. In 2000 Bruce Mancenelli joined us and helped bring in some angel funding and provide executive leadership.
Within a few months we landed a small angel round and started hiring to support customer service and sales activities, allowing me to focus on improving the product. I wrote extensively about building up the company initially on my blog - Quitting the day job and Getting through the tough times.
In 2001 we started a string of cash flow positive months that ran up until the sale of the company in 2006, including winning a couple of Inc 500 awards as well as awards for operating as an ethical business.
Throughout that period I served in the capacity of CTO as well as Chairman of the Board. My ego never got in the way of finding the right solutions to problems and I learned a tremendous amount about cultivating great teams, focusing on customer happiness and engineering practices that found the right balance between speed of delivery and quality.
In 2006 we decided to sell WebSurveyor to Austin Ventures' Private Equity Group, which also acquired Perseus Development (a competitor) and formed a new company called Vovici. I was named the CTO of the new entity and helped navigate the company through the merger of the two organizations. I left Vovici in 2007, taking a little time off and then focusing on new ventures.
For 3 years I dabbled in angel investing and new startups. I took up Ruby on Rails as a development technology and used that as a platform to create a startup called SharedStatus (which ultimately was closed) as well as Just Donated, a California based vehicle logistics company. I sold my interest in Just Donated to my co-founder and it continues in operation today as a profitable business using the back office software I created for it.
For just over three years I worked for IT Cadre, serving as Executive Vice President of Product Development. I was responsible for creating a mobile platform for helping companies connect their employees called EasyGrouper. I personally did the bulk of development on the web technology, hiring and managing mobile developers for both iOS and Android client applications when not contributing on consulting engagements for IT Cadre's core business. I also dabbled in iOS development as well.
In April of 2015 I formed AlisonWeb LLC.