The entrepreneurial journey can be full of twists and turns, pitfalls and lessons learned (mistakes) and take far more time and money than ever expected or planned for. I was solo with a grand vision of a big web app that would change the world of divorce.However, with @SplitSmart being my first significant entrepreneurial effort, the volume of lessons learned often put survival in question.
To understand the magnitude of @BrianRodgers, you must first understand the context. It was early 2017 and I was self-funding the development of a massive app. Like many, I thought I knew much more than I did. I first hired @GooWee. Good guys that developed the code to a point but the project, being my first time to pay for software development and @GooWee’s first large project, it became obvious I needed a more experienced team.
Mid 2017, I networked into @PaulWagner at @CreativeLab.TV. Paul postured himself as a startup guru with a capable offshore development team. In the end, neither was true but I paid well into six figures to figure that out. The code I paid for was complete crap, smoke and mirrors and never intended to function. But unfortunately, it took a quick lawsuit and significant expense to come to that realization.
Enter @BrianRodgers, truly a #One-in-a-Million! individual. Brian is a serial fintech entrepreneur, investor and supremely talented developer. Brian developed the first online mortgage application and sold it to Yahoo in the early 2000s and has had many other successes since then. I reached out to Brian early with hopes to integrate fintech into @SplitSmart. Then when things went south with Paul, I knew all my hopes of survival would be pinned on Brian.
At the time (and still today), both time and money were in short supply and I thought the code for the most part worked. All that combined for me to make the decision to work with what we had instead of starting over from scratch. One of Brian’s cardinal rules was to never work on someone else’s code. Through my persistence and a great deal of compassion from Brian, Brian relented and accepted my project.
On the surface we loosely defined a scope of 5 modules to finish. Not only did Brian accept this scope, but he also committed to do his best to solve problems as they came up. Bottom line is that Brian committed to get me to market. Brian hadn’t evaluated the code to the extent necessary to truly know what he was getting himself into. It was simply his confidence in his own skills, expertise and abilities of his team that allowed Brian to make such a bold commitment.
The project started and big problems came immediately. Some of the code was in AWS but other parts were on local servers within CreativeLab. Infrastructure, controllers, db, document storage, security, billing, you name it had to be overhauled and replaced. Basically none of the functionality I thought was there actually was or if it was there, it couldn’t support more than 2 or 3 simultaneous users. The entire architecture of the app was a horrible joke.
Brian and team got to work! A single controller/config file had to be rewritten and replaced with 5 controllers. A single db was replaced with each user having their own db that not only enabled mobility but was a major data security solution. Document storage and viewing was a sham and was redone. Meanwhile, there were hundreds of more minor issues that also needed to be solved along the way. Add to all of this, my lack of product/project management skills and experience.
There was a lot of frustration for all involved as timelines and work effort more than quadrupled. But, simply because of his commitment to get me to market, Brian persevered and went far above and beyond the point where any other would go. Simply because of his integrity and strength of character, Brian would not stop until he met his commitment.
@BrianRodgers is #One-in-a-Million! I am extremely #blessed and #fortunate to have had Brian come to my rescue. Without Brian’s uncommon integrity and strength of character, SplitSmart would not have the opportunity as we now do to fundamentally change the world of divorce and improve the lives of millions.
Thank you Brian a thousand times over and over for being #One-in-a-Million!