In 1999, my father, Dr. Mark Gladnick DDS, asked me whether he needed to put his practice on “The Internet.” We launched his first dental website a month or two later, and it worked well for a long time. But by late 2005, it was looking a little dated and behind the times. I had moved on with my career, working as a Sr. Software Engineer for various Internet companies in the San Francisco Bay Area, so my dad considered some of the established dental website companies and got some bids.
He called me to see if these bids were reasonable. They were not; he was being taken to the cleaners. Aghast at this flagrant ripoff, I told my Dad I would rebuild his dental website for free rather then force him to pay $25 – 35K for a dental website (just the setup costs mind you). After all, he did send me to college and feed and cloth me for two decades. It was the least I could do. What I thought would be a nice favor for my Dad was about to become a bigger project.
Almost immediately after starting development on my father’s new website, two of my uncles, also Dentists, got wind of this and asked if I could make them dental websites too. Applying some of the techniques I learned in Silicon Valley working on large-scale web applications, I came up with an idea: write one piece of software that would work for all three dental websites. After all, this would save me the time of creating three different websites from scratch, and they all had similar needs. We could customize each website, but under the surface everything would run on the same code. At this point, friends of my uncles’ who were dentists began approaching me, asking me if I could help them too. It seemed like I had a budding business on my hands.
A handful of dentists wasn’t enough to make me quit my day job, but it certainly made me think about it. Over the next couple of years, our customers referred friends who referred their friends, and we grew organically and steadily from online traffic or referrals from other websites and online dental communities who discovered us.
Eventually, we hit critical mass, and I quit my six-figure salary as a Silicon Valley Software Engineer, left the Bay Area altogether, and moved the company to Denver.
In the past year, we’ve tripled our staff and doubled our revenue and we continue to experience rapid growth. We’ve worked with almost 200 Dentist to help them market themselves online. We moved into the Galvanize tech incubator in early 2013. We’re looking forward to future and helping all of our customers continue to grow and expand their practices.
Please feel free to give me a call any time – I think you’ll find that just like our very first customer, you’ll be treated like family.
-Jeff Gladnick, Founder