I enjoy writing about experiences
We live in the most fascinating time known to man. Advancements happen daily, culture is at an all time high, and the fiction of Star Wars will be reality in less than a century. Endless resources of knowledge is at our fingertips. This makes life experiences ever more so intriguing, and truly unique. So you'll find me attempting to embrace those moments.
A quick summary about myself
I love to build, brand, and connect. Business is a perfect outlet for that. I've experimented with selling car parts, computer repair/build shops, agencies, M&A, SaaS software, videos games, etc. Each venture enabled me to craft a unique brand, website, and product.
Notable Projects or Businesses I've been involved with
- Variable Action: The Application Foundry Andy Fleming and I founded after Zesty grew in revenue. VA actively builds private applications and markets it's own internal applications. Est. 2011 Corporation
- Zesty: The website building application that enables businesses to free edit their website without restricting developers to create highly customized websites. Created 2010 SaaS
- Parsley: The programming language created for Zesty templating. Parsley is the most fun and challenging programming I've created to date. Created 2012
- Vestidd: An online binder for the parents and loved ones of children that are intellectually and/or developmentally disabled. Created 2013 SaaS
- EchoMTG: An online collection tool for the Magic:the Gathering card game. Created 2012 SaaS
- Zeal/Jetscram Accounts: A flexible data entry/viewing tool with instant saving all text being clickable to edit inline. Zeal was created prior to click edit text becoming the standard. Created late 2010 SaaS
- Lemonvibe: A human interactions advice platform conceived by Dennis Hong. I managed the branding and design aspects of the project. It was re-programmed by Variable Action in 2013 Created late 2010 Ad Revenue
- Bamboo: The predecessor to Zesty. Bamboo had it's own analytics system, CMS, and frontend tool set. All Bamboo websites were converted to Zesty. Created early 2010 SaaS
- Jetscram: The agency that had supported myself and fueled each of the businesses to date. Est. 2004 LLC
- Thought Bomb Studios: A game foundry established to publish micro touch games into the Apple App Store. It owns the rights to three developed games, non of which have reached the market. Est. 2009 LLC
The Paid Education Years
I've been formally educated in computer science, history, and design. Fall of 2002 I attended Northeastern University of Boston, for computer science. Of the five schools I had been accepted to PENN State, Virginia Tech, UCONN, Northeastern University, and the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth, I choose Northeastern because it was in the heart of a big city and was a train ride away from friends and family.
At Northeastern I found myself more interested in my electives (history, architecture, and design) and socializing then the roots of computer science. In CS101 I was first taught the programming language Scheme, which created a great foundation for logically thinking with little resources and tools. I excelled at discrete mathematics; it just clicked and I did not have to study it. My social habits did not support my grades at this time, so I transferred to the University of Massachusetts Boston while living in an apartment in the heart of Boston.
At UMASS Boston in 2004 I continued to pursue computer science learning C and Java. The fundamentals of computer science started to set in. One of my professors had written a Java book, in his final we had to create an operating system in 3 hours. That was challenging, and fun. The curriculum was boring me, my second semester I asked that same professor if I could replace Java with PHP in his curriculum. After a few meetings he agreed. I changed the majority of my electives to History and Political Science, skipping all classes that had to do with math. I had decided to drop computer science. That semester I created Jetnews (a blogging platform) and JLister (a content management system for car sales). Jetnews got it's own domain and became an open source project for a short time; it had roughly 20 adopters before it fizzled. JLister is still being used today by 2 auto companies in the east coast. Jetscram started charging for projects that year.
The second year (2005) at UMASS Boston I completely dropped all computer science and took design, polysci, cultural anthropology, and history courses. I could not absorb enough literature on philosophy and history. I learned how dark the world is and what drives it. I studied the truths of societies and markets, and realized a lot evil people are disguised as heros vice versa. I'll admit my professors were very liberal. During all of this studying, I continued to pursue and close projects for Jetscram, most of which were websites driven by a custom content management system called JCPanel, a flexible variation of JLister. At the end of that semester I applied to Massart and the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth for their design programs. Massart rejected me, I transferred to UMASS Dartmouth.
A side story worth mentioning. Games are a large part of our culture now, and I used to look down on this aspect of my life. While at UMASS Boston I spent a lot of time playing a cooperative assault simulation game. I lead groups of 20-30 people, branded the team, created websites and forums, designed custom game levels, and creating strategies for when we competed professionally. I realize today how much I learned about group mentality, being political, and team motivation and strategy. I learned about individual personal skill sets and how to use them effectively for team synergy. For a long time I discredited this as "Formal Education", but now I realize it helped me prepare for managing teams.
It's 2006 and I was thrown into a Visual Letterform and Design program with students that had already taken 2 years of design. The typography course was a rude awakening. I had no previous knowledge of that typography was a thing. My first art critique felt like a public hanging, an invaluable experience. I've seen people cry during critiques in Group 6 classes at UMASSD. This weeds out the weak and pushes the strong. Participating in critiques taught me how to be tactful with criticism. I fell in love with design and typography, type books quickly started out numbering history literature on my book shelves. Education was positively affecting my quality of work; by the end of the year Jetscram had completed roughly 20 paid projects. At this point I no longer needed to work a part-time job.
2007 was my favorite year. The artistic culture of Group 6 at UMASSD was comforting. The music, the people, the conversation all felt so natural. I connected very well with my professors; most of which I still talk to today on a regular basis. I started painting and drawing. I studied abroad this year in Sicily. Living in Sicily was an eye opening experience of culture and reality. You can read as many history /culture books as you want, but when you see it in person... (silent pause).
In May of 2008 I graduated from the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth with Magna Cum Laude. A six year degree program packed with invaluable life lessons and education. By this time Jetscram was doing very well. In summer of 2008 I moved to San Diego, California.
Randy is from the East Coast and grew up in New England. From an early age, he has constantly aspired to push the processes of technology and the internet to be faster and more robust. Never satisfied with established platforms, Randy excels at utilizing the newest languages and methods to their potential.
Combining his natural programming talent with his trained design eye is what allows Randy to provide a solution which not only functions beyond expectation but also looks simple and cohesive.
A true entrepreneur, Randy has founded and managed several successful businesses. These businesses have been in a wide range of industries and because of this broad background he has substantially developed his professional network. He continues to develop and influence countless businesses he has worked with throughout his career.
— A write up by Dustin Horning on Randy's Variable Action Team Page