Mr. Dixon sold his first web development company da Vinci multiMedia to St. Louis startup EC4Business dba "SteadyRain" in 2000 and joined the management team of the minimally invested re-startup to retool the business into a web site development and hosting company. The small client base obtained in this acquisition notwithstanding, the business model Mr. Dixon had worked and perfected during 1995-2001 was the clincher. The model created a sustainable business with an emphasis on professional customized design, an efficient production process for quickly custom designing web interfaces or templates (making a multi-thousand dollar web site cost thousands less for any size business or organization) and an in-house built content/communication management system on the web servers so sites could be set up quickly. This gave SteadyRain its initial and enduring success, and it still operates out of offices in down town St. Louis and focuses on the large market there and now in other states and surrounding areas. Since these days this business has improved upon the model logically, improving their in-house technology architecture using open-source software libaries, advancing search engine optimization skills and site marketing and focusing on all of the little details that can fall between the cracks. Mr. Dixon is proud to say his business model (when there were very few to none for this kind of business) survived the "dotbomb" or NASDAQ bubble implosion and was funded for very little compared to the many millions spent on dozens of dotbomb busts in St. Louis during the same time that were focusing on the same market.
Humanspan was also started in 2001 by Mr. Dixon and an initial team of two employees and contractors to scale this overall web solution model nationally by reducing the setup costs for small businesses (less than 50 employees) and non-for-profits. National expansion was done through applying this model to trade associations and professional societies, and gaining subsequent marketing exposure to those vertical industries. He believed that by saving non-for-profits thousands of dollars by providing a web solution that solved or simplified organizational publishing efforts, membership communication, membership acquisition and retention and other operational benefits to small, overtaxed staff members, great trust relationships could be established.
To this day, Humanspan's best customers are members of trade associations or professional societies and we also currently service and support three association management companies and have a number of state-level member organization customers. Mr. Dixon himself has worked with six association management companies and nearly one hundred associations and professional societies of all industries at state, regional and national levels since 1995. In most instances where he no longer works with them, it is because he evolved the solution within their organization and through education and success made them no longer reliant upon him or Humanspan's services. Paid public speaking engagements on the emergence of digital solutions was also a part of his involvement with trade associations.
Since 2003 there have been numerous partnerships with association management companies and other businesses where Humanspan assisted in providing the web site/hosting/support solution exclusively. Currently Humanspan has a rich mix of small business, middle-market and association customers in Missouri, Illinois, Arkansas, Colorado, Virginia, and in the Washington DC area.
The first web site built and hosted professionally by the Managing owner in 1998, a state association in Illinois, is a customer to this day 20 years later. We have a number of other customers who have been with us for 12-17 years. Having a mutually beneficial, successful relationship is our overall objective.