If a web company says they’ve been in business for 16 years, you might think they mean in “dog years.” But I’m proud to say that Papercut Interactive is celebrating its sweet 16!
It’s hard to believe Papercut’s old enough to drive!
Growing up with an entrepreneur for a dad, I knew I wanted to work at a company that I had a part in creating - a place where I wanted to go to work. In 2001, I told Jenny I wanted to start a business. It was a leap of faith and scary at times, but she was supportive (both emotionally and financially!).
The web was just becoming a thing, and I was ready to dive in. It was a crazy idea considering that when I was a kid, a career in building for the web would have seemed like science fiction.
But print design had always been nerve-wracking to me, because a mistake added up to a lot of money in reprinting costs. With web, changes are easy and instantaneous. And it’s more of an interactive tool, not just a pretty picture.
The McCallie School started it all. I was a one-man shop, and despite many other companies vying for their business, they had faith in me and selected Papercut. That really left an impression on me and gave me an instant confidence boost. They recommended me to the other businesses after I completed their website, and it snowballed from there.
The very first year, I worked out of the house. I didn’t always take a paycheck and asked a lot of advice from people who had built a business before me. My dad turned out to be smarter than I thought he was, but don’t tell him that!
About two years in, I was able to hire a designer. At that point, I started focusing solely on development. Four years in, Papercut kept growing, and I needed Jenny’s help. I talked her into jumping ship to become the account manager. She ended up being way better than me at it, but don’t tell her that! Just kidding - she knows. I’m a dreamer and she’s a doer, so we complement each other well.
Sometimes I look back and remember just being one person and wanting more people to work with. That makes me really appreciate having others around now.
Over the years, Papercut has grown to become an extraordinary company. It’s been slow, conservative growth at a manageable pace that kept us from getting too big too fast. We’ve seen other web companies come and go, but we’ve been able to thrive. In 2008 and 2009, when the country was in a financial crisis, Papercut was growing.
Hard to believe, but we’re 16 years in and our growth continues. We’ve recently added more talented members to our team of incredibly smart folks, whom I truly enjoy working with every day.
Everyone at Papercut is excited to learn new things and is willing to adapt as technology and the landscape changes. And it does change. Sixteen years ago you couldn’t search the web on an iPhone. There wasn’t an iPhone!
Papercut’s had the opportunity to help some of the best companies in the world grow through digital marketing and gorgeous website design. What a great way to spend the last 16 years! We’re always expanding our design, development, and marketing services to better serve those clients, and I’m eager for more changes and opportunities. Continuing to be a part of building a better web is right where I want to be.
Here’s to a happy 16th birthday and the future at Papercut Interactive! You’re invited to celebrate with us during Startup Week next Thursday, Oct. 19. Here are the details. Hope to see you there!