Good Done Great & The Rise Of B Corporations

By the time I co-founded Good Done Great, I had already seen my share of poverty. I’d spent my formative years in Thailand with a father who was an Air Force pilot-turned missionary and a mother who was an early social good entrepreneur. As my father tended to the spiritual needs of the congregation, my mother spent her time providing job skills and entrepreneurial mentoring to a thriving cottage industry. I witnessed first hand how this type of support complemented and often exceeded the impact that the church could achieve through utilizing contributions from their members. What started out as her little business soon prospered, and the money often-times became the main source of income for our family. It was then that I realized how critical business engagement was to solving many of the world’s greatest social and environmental challenges.

I returned to the United States after high school, attended college, and then later completed a masters degree in international business studies. I held the expected jobs in the corporate world with expanding responsibility and challenges and yet found myself increasingly anxious to do something with greater social impact.

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A Good Done Great Personal Story: It tastes better with Spinach

I recently traveled out to Good Done Great’s Tacoma, WA office, just south of Seattle. Just a few months into my new role as the VP of Technology Services, my goal was to get to know my West Coast team as our fast-growing company is becoming an industry leader in Corporate Social Responsibility software for large corporations (think Fortune 500 and 1000 companies).

On the way back, I was able to connect in the Atlanta airport in-between flights with our VP of Strategic Partnerships, Christina Bowen (who just so happened to be on en route to meet with an incredibly large credit card provider in DC that will remain nameless). Christina, based in our Denver, CO office, and I were so excited to be able to catch up. What are the odds we would have a layover at the same time in the same place?! We headed up to the Gordon Biersch brewery in Concourse A, with only 32 minutes before boarding started for our flights. We sat down, hoping we could get quick service. Sadly, I had to ask hostess for a server after waiting 10 minutes. As the clock ticked down, only 22 minutes left, the server came by and took our order. When a few minutes passed by and we didn’t have our waters, I started to wonder what was going on. 17 minutes left. Our server came by to tell us that their computer systems were down, they weren’t able to take any orders and recommended we find another place to eat. We just about died laughing at the entire experience, considering both of us are in the business to ensure our own client’s success.

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South Carolina Business Update Featuring GDG

John Warner of Swampfox, a service which connects entrepreneurs to the business community, featured us on his weekly roundup of the latest and most revolutionary business happenings in South Carolina. You can listen more here.

Good Done Great Begins First Ever Capital Raise for $2.5 Million

After five years of funding our company entirely through client revenue (aka bootstrapping), we are now ready to take on external investment. Why now? Here’s why:

Other People’s Money
Earl and I have seen too many cases when a company took money too early – before they knew exactly what the company was really about. This has worked very well in some extremely rare cases, but mostly it’s a recipe for excessive spending on experimentation and learning about what a company should be doing. At GDG, we were adamant that we weren’t going to experiment with Other People’s Money. We were going to learn our lessons on our own dime. And now that we have, we’re confident that any capital we take on, will be Other People’s Money that will be used effectively.

Product Market Fit
Having learned our lessons, means that we’ve now found product market fit. We know our market, what the right products are, how to price them, how to deliver them, and how to support successful clients that generate a lot of value from our products. We are rightly seen as industry innovators and leaders, and we want to take that success and amplify it to benefit many, many more great companies and givers. The buzzword for amplification is scale, and it takes capital to scale. Now that we have product market fit, we’re ready to scale.

Iteration and New Products
In addition to wanting to accelerate what we’ve already done, we’re not content to just replicate a successful model. We want to continue innovating on our products through a continuously iterative process. At the same time, we’re also ready to build and deploy new products. There is huge potential not only in CSR, but in creating tools that serve givers. I don’t want to give too much away, but the tools we’ve been building for CSR have a broader appeal than the Fortune 500 market we’re serving now, and we want to build new products for a broader, multi-sided marketplace. All this equates to a quicker rate of R&D than what an organic growth budget can accommodate and to achieve it, we need capital.

The Best Team
The people at Good Done Great are some of the best out there. We’ve hired some great people recently. To execute on our plan, we’re going to need to continue hiring great people at a faster rate than what organic growth can provide. Our team is the most valuable resource we have and to grow this team, we’re going to need capital.

We’re excited to take on additional funding and benefit from the experiences our new investors and collaborators will bring. This is a big step for us, one that we take with lots of confidence in our team’s ability to deliver great results, both for our current stakeholders and for our future shareholders.

Silicon Harbor Magazine Features New Leadership

Silicon Harbor Magazine did a great write up on the two key members who have recently joined our senior leadership team, Paul McElhinney and Rebecca Guthrie. We are all so delighted to have these two tech veterans join GDG. You can read more about their backgrounds in the Silicon Harbor Magazine article posted about them here.

GDG’s Charleston Office Hits the Waters of Daniel Island Marina

The time has come for the Good Done Great team to transition from our open office workspace at the Charleston Digital Corridor to a semi-permanent home at the Daniel Island Marina. What began in the fall of 2010 as our one-person Charleston office is now an 18-person team of software developers, project managers, and sales and marketing executives.

In addition to the much-needed additional space, the Marina office, located on the beautiful water of Clouter Creek, provides several amenities including a dock and outdoor seating. You can find a few of our team members cruising the waters enjoying the cool breezes and wildlife including dolphin pods and egrets during lunch and after hours.

Another way to increase employee engagement and communication among our different departments is our 2 o’clock dock walk. Every afternoon around 2PM, the entire office takes a 15 minute break to stretch our legs and take a brisk walk around the marina. Employee Engagement isn’t just about philanthropy, it includes wellness too!

We’re excited to be in our new home and enjoy the beautiful Lowcountry environment!

Head over to our Facebook page to check out photos of our new location.

GDG Opens its First Office in Downtown Charleston

Many big companies got their start with a few people in a garage but not Good Done Great. In fact, Earl and David, Good Done Great’s founders, like to joke that GDG’s beginnings were so humble that they were two guys who didn’t even have a garage. They worked from home, David in Tacoma, WA and Earl in Charleston, SC.

No one can accuse us of being conventional, though. David liked doing his development work at a standing desk, while Earl performed product demos and conducted client calls propped up in his bed. Earl would joke that he was working so hard he was getting bedsores.

Until now, all our team members have been working from home, but as we’ve been growing, we decided that it makes more sense to have an office for people to collaborate in person. We’re excited to open our first office at the Charleston Digital Corridor, and The Post and Courier even did a little write up about it too. You can read it here.