I have spent the last 40 years creating and growing technology companies. During this time, I have established and sold a number of businesses within the software technology industry. These ventures have varied in size, from self-funded startups to entities that received over $60M in venture funding and employed more than 500 individuals.
## What is Next?
After 40 years of building companies from scratch, I'm now coaching technology startups to give back to the entrepreneurial community.
Reach out to me at: [email protected]
## My Hobby Business
While I love spending time with grandchildren and playing golf with good friends, I must "create" to breathe. So, the MakeWithTech YouTube channel has evolved into a new type of company. A place where people "learn together." This unique learning company now consists of an educational blog (makewithtech.com), a community (forum.makewithtech.com), a YouTube channel (youtube.com/c/makewithtech), and a site where 3D printers users can create new models without having to learn a complex CAD tool (models.makewithtech.com).
Unfortunately, the models.makewithtech.com application did not meet my goals for converting free subscribers to paid members and is scheduled to shut down at the end of 2023. This is an important lesson. Always start every business with a written plan, at least a set of financial goals based on cash-focused projections. Models.makewithtech.com failed to meet my cash projections, so I shut it down instead of throwing good money after bad.
"Let's learn something together."
The MakeWithTech (formerly DrVax) community captures my love for learning new stuff and communicating it to others. While building businesses, first inside of DEC and then at three startups I founded, I had the opportunity to study topics ranging from computer technology to accounting, from education to machine learning, and motivation to organizational dynamics. Now, I explore topics that tickle my fancy and share my experiences with others.
The MakeWithTech community consists of a YouTube channel at https://youtube.com/c/makewithtech, a website at https://makewithtech.com, a user discussion group focused on home-based desktop manufacturing at https://forum.makewithtech.com and most recently. This online application allows users to select model templates and customize them for 3D printing, laser engravers, and cutters.
Models.makewithtech.com provides a unique capability for creating custom 3D models from specialized templates developed in OpenSCAD, a script-based 3D modeling environment. This two-sided business launched a proof of concept in early 2022, with an initial product launch in February 2023.
Learning the power of video and the opportunities created by new desktop manufacturing technologies has been eye-opening.
The MakeWithTech YouTube channel has grown to over 79,000 subscribers with over 5 million views at the beginning of 2023.
From 2006 until early 2018, I was the founder and CEO of DialogTech.
DialogTech provided a platform for end-to-end call attribution and conversion essential for data-driven marketers. DialogTech's platform solved one of the most pressing challenges in today's mobile-first world by eliminating the black hole inbound calls create in understanding actual marketing performance. As marketers face mounting pressure to drive leads and revenue, DialogTech's platform empowered marketers with the call attribution data needed to confidently invest in campaigns that drive calls and the conversion technology necessary to convert callers into customers. DialogTech was a strategic partner to over 5,000 enterprises, agencies, and fast-growing companies across various industries. For more information, visit [www.dialogtech.com](http://www.dialogtech.com/)
As of April 2018, Dialogtech was approaching 200 employees, with over 3,500 customers, and leveraged an investment of $60,000,000 from the venture capital community. Dialogtech processed over 50 million minutes of phone calls on behalf of its customers, managed an inventory of over 4 million phone numbers, and serviced customers worldwide. DialogTech was a member of the INC 500 in 2014.
DialogTech was sold in 2021 to Invoca, a competitor in the Voice Analytics marketplace.
In 1999, at the beginning of the Internet explosion, I founded a company to provide safe Internet access and home-school connections to elementary schools. Edventions place centrally managed servers into 130 schools, expanding to 40 employees. In 2001, when the technology marketplace faced a significant crash, Edventions was sold to Edison Schools, an early participant in the charter school movement.
## Metamor Technologies
In 1985, I founded Metamor Technologies, which focused on assisting companies in transitioning their mission-critical computer systems from yesterday to today. Metamor employed more than 500 professionals in 4 cities who serve a wide range of clients from the banking, telecommunications, health care, insurance, retail, and services industries. Until April 1997, Metamor was a privately funded and operated company. In April 1997, Metamor was sold to Corestaff, Inc., as described below. Metamor Technologies was a consulting company that provided technology transition services to diverse clients. Metamor provided training, client-server development, database and OAT development, internet/intranet services, LAN/wan integration, and IT data center outsourcing services to facilitate technology transitions. My management and technology expertise contributed to Metamor's annual growth rate of over 60 percent. Metamor was listed among the top 25 Management Consulting firms in Crain's Chicago Business Daily. In 1994 and 1995, Inc. Magazine ranked Metamor as one of the 500 fastest-growing successful businesses in the United States.
During this time, I was a leading authority in business strategy, technology transitions, client/server computing, operating systems, networking, and software development methodologies. In addition, I wrote a monthly column in the Chicago Computer Guide magazine. I was often called upon to speak at industry symposia and seminars throughout the United States and in Europe. Attendees for these functions typically include MIS managers and senior corporate executives from major domestic and international corporations. Throughout my career, I have led hundreds of seminars and classes ranging from hours to days.
At Metamor, I provided systems and management expertise to leading corporations, including Alcoa, Arthur Andersen, EDS, GTE, Globex, Hughes, Perot Systems, Quill Corporation, and United Health Care. My assignments included the following:
* IT strategy development.
* Reengineering corporate technology architectures.
* Technical analysis of corporate networks and application architectures.
* Performance analysis.
* Capacity planning.
In addition, I worked effectively with people at various levels in their companies – from end users and technical staff to CEOs.
Until August 1998, I served as Metamor's President and CEO and supported the business as a Business Strategist, Chief Technologist, and Director of Marketing. Much of his time was dedicated to implementing an acquisition and expansion strategy.
## Corestaff Merger
In March of 1997, I worked to orchestrate the acquisition of Metamor by Corestaff. This transaction was originated to provide capital for the rapid expansion of Metamor from a regional to a national firm and to provide liquidity for Metamor's stockholders. In addition, my role expanded to include the strategic acquisition of companies forming the system integration division of Corestaff.
Post-acquisition, Metamor continued its growth with an increase in revenues of 62 percent in 1997. The acquisition strategy, which drove the Corestaff merger, was implemented with over ten acquisitions. When I left Metamor in August of 1998, Metamor Technologies was poised to complete the year (1998) with over 52 million dollars of revenue. The overall system integration group comprising ten plus acquired companies had 1998 revenues of over 250 million dollars.
In support of the enhanced expansion strategy, Corestaff changed its corporate name to Metamor Worldwide and its NASDAQ trading symbol to MMWW.
Chicago Area Entrepreneurship Hall of Fame, sponsored by the University of Illinois at Chicago, Lord Bissell and Brooks, and LaSalle National Bank.
Finalist in the KMPG Illinois High Tech awards
Metamor Technologies – Inc 500 1994 and 1995
Ifbyphone/Dialogtech – Inc 500 2011
## Personal Timeline
YouTube Channel and Community
Cloud-Based Marketing Technology Software
2005 – 2019
Ideation, founder, CEO/CTO
Photography, writing, thinking
Looking for my next project.
Quantitative Hedge Fund
Role: Interim COO
Jemmco was a hedge fund specializing in dollar-neutral equity-based statistical arbitrage with over $600MMM in the market. I assisted the founder in managing the fund's back-office operations while recruiting a permanent COO.
Educational Technology Company
Ideation, founder, CEO/CTO
Edventions provided elementary school technology solutions via an industry-first "split ASP" architecture with centrally managed servers. In 2001 Edventions was sold to Edison Schools.
Consulting and Systems Integration Company
1986 – 1997
CEO/CTO and Founder
Metamor, which began as ISA (Irv Shapiro and Associates), grew to over 500 consultants servicing Fortune 5,000 companies worldwide.
Digital Equipment Corporation
1980 – 1985
Software Services (Consultant and Manager)
Digital Equipment Corporation employed me for more than five years. In my most recent position, I was the Manager of Digital's United States Data Communications Expertise Center. In 1984, I was presented with the Key Contributor Award for forming this Center. In 1982, I was Digital's Realtime Systems Data Processing Manager on site at Sun Electric Company. I received the Digital's Residence award for my six-month involvement in this project. In 1981, 1982, and 1983, I was cited for the quality of my consulting efforts and received Digital Excellence Awards.
1978 – 1980
Microbus provided small businesses with accounting and inventory management systems delivered on Alpha Micro minicomputers.
1977 - 1978
Family Printing Business
Bachelor of Science (Computer Science)