This is a guest post by Grey Frandsen, our company’s co-founder and inspirational guru.
Dear PICnet Family and Friends:
10 years ago Ryan Ozimek and I set out to create a company to serve organizations with brave and selfless missions.
Our objective was clear: produce highly-functional and cutting-edge technology solutions for organizations that typically were more focused (and rightfully so) on their own critical missions – tackling challenges like homelessness, refugee resettlement, education, emergency response, social justice, community development, cancer treatment, etc. You know, really important stuff.
Funny enough, though, we didn’t start with a product or silver-bullet solution. We set out only to help these organizations do more for less so they could make a greater impact. Our work for our first great client led to a second amazing client. Our second client turned into numbers five, 10, and so on. As we grew, so too did our understanding of the market, our clients, their challenges, and what PICnet could do to continue to serve a growing number of fantastic organizations. It actually worked.
To be sure, thought, this vision was pretty unique in 2000. Serving charitable, non-profit and international NGOs wasn’t exactly sexy. It wasn’t where the IPOs were being offered or where the angel investors wanted to spend a lot of time. In fact, Ryan and I were viewed as “the goodie-two-dudes” by those setting out to make big profits in other, more glamorous arenas. Better for us, we thought, even if it meant we’d be charting our own course in unknown territory (like Albania, Uganda, or Indonesia). Read more »
It seems like only yesterday that Grey Frandsen and I were sitting in BJ’s Pizza near UCLA in Westwood, California, talking about a concept we believed could provide the world with insight into local politics from around the globe. It was March 20, 2000, and the concept was called the Political Information Center Network.
Being an efficiency snob, I thought we needed a shorter name. Grey, with loads of experience from the NGO world and a taste of government experience, thought the acronym “PICnet” might be fitting, because, as I can clearly remember after a long debate on the matter on the steps of my apartment building in Westwood, “it’s the one the sounds most similar to ‘picnic’, and I like food…so I vote for ‘PICnet’.”
The rest, they say, is history. Well, you can actually see a little bit of history of PICnet courtesy of the Wayback Machine’s image of our early test site on May 11, 2000!