Champion of Endless Optimization (CEO) at Digital Opera & Raceday. Happy stoic, aspirational minimalist, recovered big hair 80’s rock star. Author of “Star Fire Kids – Midnight Blue Express”.
There are a lot of people I love dearly. I love my guitars. I enjoy old cars and snowmobiles that can still be driven like they are new. I adore hiking and being outdoors.
But building a business? That’s really what I enjoy doing every single day. Business owners are just different. They take risks. They stress over every detail. They are often misunderstood. They see opportunity almost everywhere. I am proud to say I am one of them.
After a year of college, I got offered a paying job playing my guitar and singing. For the next decade I practiced, recorded, traveled and performed all over the midwest. Through out that entire time, I either had my own band or my own business producing and engineering recording music. Audio engineering led to digital audio, which led to learning to write software.
I was drawn to start working as a software designer and developer programming in C/C++, where I found my love of building a business started with deciding what I wanted for my own company: Randomworx.
Randomworx’s first project was developing a database for Yanni so he could market to his fan base. We also developed software for the University of Minnesota, connected DVDs to internet databases for Simitar Entertainment (all the Godzilla movies!), and hosted websites for hundreds of companies.
In 200-2004, I merged Randomworx with an ISP/Development company and served as the Chief Operating Officer. We had 20 employees and clients like 3M, American Express & Target.
Digital Opera was really started around 2005, but it took a few more years for the internet to catch up and allow me to create the different kind of digital company that I had always envisioned. We have No salespeople. No central office. No employees. Constant learning is required, but college degrees are not. Creativity & design are a way of life, not just for work. Processes, when done right, are dead sexy. Relationships over clients. Cultivated wellness. Marketing that boxes outside the think (feel free to read that last one again!)
Did it work? Oh hell yeah. Changed my life, and the lives of a lot of other people: In 2021 just a handful of Digital Opera clients had $18 million in online sales.