We continue our coverage of bootstrapping using services with Codesigned CEO Jake Weaver.
Sramana Mitra: Let’s start at the very beginning of your journey. Where are you from? Where were you born, raised, and in what kind of background?
Jake Weaver: I’m from a very small town in the middle of Missouri in the Midwest called Lynn Creek, which had a population of just 289 people. It’s nowhere near any of the tech industries today with the farming and vacation towns. There’s not a whole lot of business there.
Sramana Mitra: Where did you do your education?
Jake Weaver: I studied in Kansas City where I got a Bachelors in Computer Information Systems. After graduating from there, I started working right away with Accenture. Right off the bat, I was thrown into big consulting. I was 21 at that time. I got through school pretty fast.
This was all in the backdrop of computers and the internet coming into people’s homes in the 90’s. We got the internet in 1997 – one year before I graduated. Without having any clue what I wanted to do in life, I built my first computer towards the end of high school.
I found my path I wanted to take from there. I was in Kansas City for a while. I worked for Accenture. I ended up moving to Atlanta for various reasons and ended up working for a consulting firm down here.
Sramana Mitra: Where are we now timeline-wise?
Jake Weaver: This would have been around 2003 to 2004 when I came to Atlanta. I’ve been in Atlanta as long as I have been in the Midwest at this point.
Sramana Mitra: What is the genesis of your company?
Jake Weaver: My background was in programming and DBA. You do a lot of different things in consulting. The company I worked for had a SharePoint project. This was 16 or 17 years ago where SharePoint was just being born.
They asked me to lead that initiative to do our first implementation. I just fell in love with the platform and started using it heavily. A very small group of consultants in our company did that. We became very good at it early on and were doing really cool stuff with it.
I was at that company for six or seven years. I saw SharePoint become a dominant force in the market. I went to my boss and said, “We have to build a big team around this.” Back then, they didn’t see the value of that. I thought it was too good to pass up.
I broke away at that point and started my own consulting firm. It was a great experience. I thought we could do about $100,000 in sales in the first year. We ended up with $824,000 in revenue and $4.2 million in the second year.