Having been a software developer for almost 30 years, Thoughtexchange founder and CEO Jim Firstbrook believed powerful online tools could be developed to leverage the power of the internet to make meaningful group interactions efficient, inclusive and insightful.
By having people share ideas online, the software Thoughtexchange developed eliminates the issues of accessability and problems of “group-think” that occur so easily with meetings and allows for a broader, remotely connected audience. In 2009, Firstbrook began writing the software and with help from a seed investor was able to steadily grow his business.
Originally from the Lower Mainland, Firstbrook made the decision to operate Thoughtexchange from Rossland because he simply fell in love with the community and outdoor lifestyle. Being able to bike ride in summer and ski from his backyard in winter gives Firstbrook a fresh enthusiasm for work each day. Rossland’s recreation-oriented lifestyle also makes it easy to attract talented professionals dedicated to the business.
Currently, Thoughtexchange has a total of 26 employees and contractors: 11 working directly from Rossland, three who work from their homes in Nelson and another 12 who contribute remotely from the Lower Mainland and Vancouver Island. Having employees work from different parts of the province allows the Thoughtexchange team to put their own software developments into practice by connecting online.
With a recent third round of investment in the business and with new target markets opening up, the possibilities for Thoughtexchange’s success are limitless. And for Firstbrook, being able to live in Rossland’s natural recreation playground makes it worthwhile to overcome the struggles of getting a business started from scratch.