SansWrite is a wholely
owned subsidiary of
Outlier Technologies, Inc.

To find out more, visit www.OutlierTech.com.

about us

 

The Inspiration



During the summer of 1990, between my freshman and sophomore year in college, I worked part-time for my father in his home inspection business. As a 19-year-old computer science major, I never thought setting up ladders, testing outlets and flushing toilets would help shape the next 20-years of my life. But what I have since learned is you never know when or where inspiration will come.

As my father’s trusty assistant, there was a lot of downtime between my menial tasks. It was during this downtime that I would observe my father moving from room to room, carrying his storage clipboard. Now I have to admit, at first I thought

Storage Clipboard
my father walking around with an oversized clipboard was a bit strange. But as I observed him more, I became intrigued with this multi-functional tool he carried. It provided him a writing surface for collecting information,and a convenient place for storing his reference material, notepad and pocket dictionary.

At the end of the inspection, there was even more downtime. After going through the entire house, my father would spend what felt like an eternity writing up his final report. And to make things worse, he seemed to write up many of the same deficiencies on every inspection. I mean, how many times do you need to see someone write “recommend downspout extensions to move water away from the foundation” before you start thinking there has got to be a better way?
Var Business


So I began using this downtime to conceptualize a software application that would streamline the processes of writing up a final report. It would include a library of common deficiencies that my father could simply select, as well as access to reference material, a notepad and spell check. Best of all, the report would be printed rather than handwritten, making it more legible and giving it a more professional appearance.

However, there was one problem with my concept. In terms of form factor (shape, size and weight), a laptop was just not a good substitute for the storage clipboard. I just couldn’t imagine my father balancing a laptop in one hand, and typing with the other, while walking around during the inspection.

Fast forward to 1995. I had graduated from college and was working as a developer in Cincinnati. One day as I flipped through VAR Business magazine, an article caught my attention. Although most people look at this picture now and see an oversized Blackberry, what I saw at the time was a “computerized” storage clipboard – and the rest, as they say, is history.

 

My Developer Hat



Several years ago, I received an unexpected package in the mail. It was a baseball cap with the words “Developer Hat” embroidered on the front. At first I thought it was just some sort of promotional item, but there was nothing in the box, or on the box, to indicate who sent it to me.
My Developer Hat


Later that day, I was “Skyping” with a couple of my developers in our Tallahassee office. We were discussing several enhancements to the SansWrite product, and one of them said, “We need you to put on your developer hat.” Now admittedly, I did not catch their hint, and they just allowed the discussion to continue without as much as a chuckle.

You see, for a number of years, I had joked with the developers about not having as much time to wear my developer hat, and that I was slowly losing my development skills. I was wearing a lot of other hats as the company continued to grow, and was relying on the developers more and more to continue with product research and development.

At the end of our discussion, the developers asked me if I had received anything in the mail that day. With some embarrassment, I reached over and put on my Developer Hat.

 

A Fantastic Team



SansWrite has been extremely well received, and has grown from a one-man-show to a thriving software company. I am no longer the sole developer, and am supported by a fantastic team of dedicated people who have taken the product far beyond what I ever could have imagined 20 years ago. What I enjoy most about my job today is seeing what inspires others, and how their inspirations continue to shape and grow the SansWrite product.