While other business owners floundered during the recession, Scottsdale software company Informative Graphics Corporation (IGC) maintained firm footing. Now, as the economy is cautiously reinventing itself, IGC has hired seven new employees and has four positions waiting to be filled. For a company with 80 employees, that’s nearly a 10 percent increase in size in a single quarter.
The story of IGC’s inception began in an average company parking lot in 1990. Co-founders Gary Heath and Martin Davis spent four hours bouncing ideas off one another; ideas focused on creating a type of software that would aid in viewing documents of different file formats.
The more they discussed the company, the more they realized they had the ability to create it.
The next day, the two met in the bedroom of Davis’ daughter and sketched out the company design on her chalkboard. With very little money and no outside loans, the company’s first product, Myriad, was born.
“Marty and I were two software nerds with a product vision, $5,000 in cash, and a whole lot of passion,” Heath says. “We knew very little about running a software product business when we started.
“If I was advising those two guys now, based on what I know today experience-wise, I’d say you just don’t have a chance,” he continues. “Naiveté really played to our advantage. We believed we could do it.”
Money from side consulting projects was invested and reinvested into the fledgling company. As the company grew, the profits were funneled back into the company. Along with this basic strategy and a desire to learn from others, IGC flourished and added more software technology in file sharing, annotation, redaction and content publishing to its list of products.
“What made (the company) work was getting the gracious advice from others with (expertise in) sales, management, marketing, public relations, etc.,” Heath says. “We figured that if someone asked us about software, they would be fools not to take our advice (being nerds and all).
“The same logic held for the stuff we didn’t know much about; we thought we would be fools not to follow their advice, no matter how crazy it seemed at the time.”
As the company grew larger, Davis and Heath went their separate ways in the late ‘90s.
“Marty wanted more of a lifestyle company and I felt, as a technology company, we had to continue to grow,” Heath says. “So, as the company hired more employees, Marty left to start his own consulting business.”
Since then, the company has grown substantially. More than one-fifth of IGC’s customers are Fortune 500 companies. Heath stresses the importance of a quality staff to a company’s success.
“The secret sauce for every company is its people,” Heath says. “IGC became a company because two guys had a vision. It became successful because a whole lot of people (our employees) executed that vision through responsiveness to customers and partners and innovation. They are the ones that really made, and continue to make (the company) successful.”
As part of the company’s latest integration with Microsoft SharePoint, two of IGC’s newest employees are former Microsoft employees, Deidra Jow and Doug Skinner.
“What makes really great companies is finding qualified people who have a great skill set, but will also marry well into the culture of the business,” Heath says. “We interviewed a bunch of people and took them through various scenarios relevant to the culture of our company.”
So what’s next for this growing computer software company?
“We’re looking into using our technology for the redaction of medical records,” Heath says. “We’re looking to establish partnerships and bring more software into the health care industry.”
- 4835 E. Cactus Rd, Suite 445
- Scottsdale, Arizona 85254