Fuse IQ's Origins
In 2001, Tim Godfrey left a startup in the midst of the dotcom (some would say dot-bomb) boom and stepped out on his own to develop websites for a variety of environmental organizations. Around the same time, Joel Meyers was seeking a new adventure after his own stint in the dotcom boom/bust cycle, working in UI/UX design. After years of mountaineering adventures together and an already inherent trust and knowledge of each other, Joel and Tim decided on an even more challenging adventure: going into business together. Both shared a desire to do good while doing well, to work hard and earn a living while also impacting positive social change. Coupled with this driving factor, after the craziness of the startup world and the tech industry of 1990s Seattle, they sought to build a career and company with proper work-life balance. And so, the two embarked on a journey as business partners, with the uncertainty they knew the future would hold, but knowing they could survive it together with trust of each other and friendship at the base.
The first order of business: naming their new venture. With both having a shared love of the outdoors and a shared zodiac sign (being born one year, eight days apart) they arrived at a name: Gemini Creative! With Tim’s experience and current base of environmental nonprofits clients, the business was quickly up and running. Joel and Tim’s personalities balanced each other well. Though possessing a degree in Fine Art, Tim was pragmatic and analytical while Joel was excellent at wielding big ideas in creative ways. Throughout the years this balance would serve them well, weathering the challenges of starting and keeping a business viable.
The first three years of the business solidified the company’s mission to bring technology expertise to non-profits and help these organizations adopt and implement the latest web technologies. Additionally they focused on creating a workplace where integrity, high quality work, and work-life balance were at the center of it all. In 2004, Gemini Creative hired its first employees, a developer and a project manager, which set the course for the next three years of intensive growth and development to becoming a full service agency. The next step in the company’s evolution as their team, expertise and focus expanded, was re-branding and renaming the company.
Fuse IQ - the fusion of ideas and technology, was born. The company’s straightforward mission was to create a “better web, better world”.
With a new name and brand, additional employees and processes in place, their work continued taking on projects they were passionate about and gave their work and energy and purpose. They were realizing their dream of building a company they were proud of that matched their values.
During that period of time they worked with great organizations such as the ACLU, University of Washington, The Wilderness Society, and Seattle Humane Society, to name a few. They also they grew to 9 employees and several independent contractors. They were poised to grow even more by bringing on a third partner and expanding their client base.
This was an exciting time and yet, as often happens in the life of a small business, difficult circumstances emerged that threatened the very existence of the company. With the Recession of 2008 landing hard across the economic landscape of the United States, clients, budgets and new work dwindled for a significant period of time. This forced tough decisions for Joel and Tim to scale back the business and their plans for growth, in order to keep the business healthy in the rough waters ahead.
These challenges forced the company to find the opportunity in adversity, to build better processes and efficiencies, seek out different and additional ways to serve their nonprofit clients. Joel and Tim leaned on their days of mountaineering and climbing together, their epic, sometimes scary adventures, that forced them to laser focus, have each other’s back and get home in one piece. It served them well.
As the recession faded and the partners reflected on their history of weathering storms, learning from mistakes, and supporting each other, they were fortunate that their dream had not only become a reality but was grounded and growing. They had founded a company on their own terms, with their mission of serving nonprofit organizations. Their focus on integrity, high quality work and affordability, combined with the trusting and collaborative relationships with their employees and clients sustained the business through tough times and through to the present day.
Today, Fuse IQ is a successful digital agency and web solutions company, focused on serving mission-driven companies and organizations with design and technology. We have a dedicated staffed based in and around Seattle and one employee relocated to Idaho. The future is bright as Joel, Tim and the rest of the team seek to fortify and expand our mission, build our expertise and better serve our clients.
Thanks for reading a bit of our story!