David Rose is the president and one of the founding partners of Brio, a boutique software firm that helps companies attain a return on innovation. The firm leverages technology to ensure clients operate better, achieve greater profit, change faster, and reach their customers in more meaningful ways. Brio’s projects have ranged from UX design to IT assessments to content management, app development, e-commerce, strategic technology consulting, and much more.
EDWIN WARFIELD: Tell us about the company’s beginnings. How did you meet your co-founder, Adam Cohan?
DAVID ROSE: My co-founder is one of my best friends from high school. We’re still friendly outside of work. We try and bring that relationship to the business and have it reflected in the culture of the business.
We’re both business-minded, but he actually went to school for computer science and had a marketing job out of school. I went to a school for marketing and had a computer job out of school. We had both been interested in web development when we were in school. In fact, I guess this was the first business we started together: we were in college, we were home for the summer and we had both done internships in freshman year and sophomore year, so the summer of junior year we said, “What do we have to do to do relatively nothing this summer?” We ended up starting a car detailing business. We would go flyer in the morning we would detail a few cars in the early afternoon and then we would spend the rest of the day hanging out in the pool. We built a website for this business—it was our first web site—and that got us through the summer. We didn’t have a lot of money but you know it was enough to buy a few beers and a few slices of pizza, and that’s really all we needed.
We knew we that we both worked well together, and after school we were both in these jobs and I called him up and I said, “Let’s have a go at this business. I think we should start a company. One of our other very close friends from high school had an insurance company. He said, “Hey why don’t you do my website?” So, it just a bunch of friends saying, “hey do this, do that” and by 2008, we had enough revenue to go in full-time.Using software technology to achieve return on innovation
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