The Short Version:
Designer, Developer, Co-Founder and Partner at The Able Few; a Ruby on Rails development studio in St. Louis, MO.
The Long Version:
I was born to a middle class family in St. Louis, the 5th of 6 children. At a very early age, I fell in love with music and art in every form I could find. With two brothers who where 7 and 8 years older, I was constantly exposed to and influenced by things beyond my years. I credit this to giving me an insatiable appetite for everything new. My brother Chan with his massive Jazz and Avant-Garde collection, his painting and sculpting. My brother Brian and his constant strive to push himself and test his abilities, as well as his artistic abilities. I can remember finding a piece of paper in his room, where he had drawn his girlfriends name in about 100 different ways. I credit this for making me love design, and he had no clue that it would make an impact on me. I started to draw names, letters and forms. That eventually led to me exploring the craft of graffiti and mass communication.
My father, was a military man who served as a MP in the Air-force. He instilled in me the backbone to stand for what I believed in, to own my mistakes and never run from the punishment, and to be prepared. Growing up, he was also the muse, never shying away with his unique and sneaky dry since of humor. He taught me the real meaning of sacrifice.
At the age of 17, I dropped out of high-school. I had started to teach myself HTML and Photoshop and fell in love with the web. Dropping out was a decision that I would long regret. I never attended a university or college.
By 20, I was married to my closest companion with our first child on the way, taking freelance jobs and making my own way. I had gotten a head start on my peers and possibly a better education given my station in life.
When I was 21, with +Kevin Kelly and +Matt Dale, we started The Able Few. Young and naive, we were going to take the world by storm, and we started to. Soon after, I met +Spencer Markowski. Spencer and I continued on as TAF into 2005. We didn't really know how to run a business. We knew we loved to build, and that was all.
We had both received life changing job offers by clients and counterparts, and decided to go into the market for a while, all the time keeping TAF going at night.
I ended up at Adamson, and served as Technical Director in the Digital department. Desperately wanting to work with Spencer again, I convinced the partners to grant me the privilege of working with my closest friend and partner. We tried to make our dent in the agency and felt we could never break down the traditional barriers of the agency.
In late 2008, I had come to the realization that my ideals and bull-headedness were never going to bode well in that sort of environment. January of 2009, I resigned and went back out on my own fully, only to be joined very quickly by Spencer. We were our own bosses again, and this time, we had more experience, a deeper understanding and a better vision of what and where we wanted to be.
Now in 2011, we are still at it. With an office in St. Louis' Cherokee district, building and designing the software and web applications that we want to, that follows the convictions and ideals we have. With our 5th hire and our sites set on growth, we are aiming to build a digital studio that has every bit of passion and conviction that lives so deep in us.
I try to live my life in the constant pursuit of a better way.