The mid 1990's was a time of great opportunity! The Internet was relatively new and nobody could have dreamed it would become what it has today. Not knowing what was in store, thousands of entrepreneurs chased after dreams of IPO and millions of dollars from this upcoming technology. We were no different.
In 1995, one of the Five Technology partners was spending winter break from college working as a limo driver in Aspen, CO to make a few extra bucks. He ran into a few guys that were interested in funding an interactive kiosk guide in town, so the crew picked up and moved to Aspen to complete the project. In these days there was no mobile phone let alone mobile technology, only the recently upgraded, high flying 28.8 modem that connected to the Internet via a phone line. The kiosks were strategically placed and offered a comprehensive guide to those visiting Aspen looking for dining, entertainment, ski rentals, and more. Think Google Maps of today, but much slower and a whole lot less portable.
A programmer, a graphic designer, a database admin, a network specialist, and a business/sales guy started their quest for the next big thing. We would no doubt be millionaires by time we were in our 30's, but it was going to require 16 hour days working for a dream rather than a paycheck. A whole lot of dreams fell short as part of the infamous dot com bust, instead we ran into a kiosk patent that put Admartek (us) and everyone else out of the kiosk business. Down but not out, we salvaged a healthy start on a content management system (unheard of in those days) and a new project to rebuild Aspen.com.
Our core competency is utilizing Internet technology to build things, so we relied heavily on partners for marketing and new sales. The SMC, or Site Management Console, was one of the first content management systems available to SMB, and it turns out business owners were getting weary of paying their website company $100 every time they needed a simple update to their site.
In addition to word of mouth and referral sales, we were building great relationships with partners such as Blue Tent Marketing who were sales and marketing machines. We focused primarily on making the SMC better, and our partners helped to bring our SMC subscriptions to close to 400 websites.
Our partners were treating us well but the open source CMS era was upon us and competition was introduced to the proprietary CMS. The open source CMS was free to download and seemingly a logical move for any website development company with skilled developers (see more on The True Cost of Open Source CMS and Web Developers and Engineers are not the Same for more on open source CMS topics).
The time had come to go after the market directly with our own sales and marketing team. Five Technology was now a real conversation.
Aaron Weiche (now with Get Five Stars) had made a decision to move on from his previous endeavor and was actively seeking a loan for his Deep Six Marketing business plan. Intrcomm Technology (us) was looking to hit the website design and development market with our direct sales and marketing initiatives.
We desperately needed each other so we partnered to form Five Technology, a technology company that builds business class websites and helps to market them online though search engine marketing services. Over the next couple years Five was able to build a fantastic portfolio, bringing our website design and Internet marketing services to a whole new level.
With our headquarters in a suburb west of Minneapolis / St Paul and remote offices in Vail and Aspen CO, we continually strive to stretch the limits of technology for ourselves as well as our clients. If the business of the future is a distributed model with a central headquarters and remote clients, staff, partners, etc., dispersed throughout, then we've got a jump on that trend. Through online software, incredible leaps in technology (bandwidth, storage, software, etc.), and a team knowledgeable in the entire spectrum, we are prepared for this "Internet thing" to evolve even further.
Five Technology is still working relentlessly to build relationships with businesses needing a partner in technology. We have not abandon small clients that have been with us through the years any less. Our growth continues to increase moderately year after year, regardless of the market conditions.