Through the years

The story of how Rustici Software came to be.

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Mike Rustici realized there was never going to be an easier time to go out and start a business of his own.

  • Mar 25, 2002 – Mike Rustici registered for a business license. He called our company Rustici Software because it was the first thing he thought of when he went out to register a company at the town hall.
  • Rustici Software started out just doing freelance web development — whatever work Mike could get his hands on. The business strategy was “wander until you find a niche”. He did work for PureSafety (Mike’s former employer), a physical therapy company, a real estate company, a mortgage broker, McKinsey & Company, and a web developer.
  • Office location: Mike’s spare bedroom.
  • Funding: Rustici Software was started with money from a Crayola crayon piggy bank full of pennies that Mike had saved since 6th grade (because he knew that the bank would take his coins if he opened a new business account — $339.79) plus $95 he won from a Super Bowl bet on his childhood favorite, but then underdog, New England Patriots.
  • August: As Mike was changing his email address on the ADL SCORM newsgroup, somebody messaged him to ask if he knew anybody who could help with SCORM. Mike said, “Sure, I can do that.”
  • September: The first SCORM project was a success!


We start getting more "SCORMy"

  • Mike continued to do freelance work, and picked up a few more SCORM conversion jobs.
  • Mike created the first version of SCORM Driver.
  • The first LMS projects began.
  • Tim Martin came on board as Mike’s business partner. The plan was for Tim to work part time, and spend the rest of his time developing his career as a woodworker. During the workday, Tim worked in Mike’s spare bedroom. They routinely bumped heads when they’d both lean back in their chairs — tight quarters!
  • They were routinely selling RSECA (Rustici Software Extended Content API) for content conversions.
  • Tim focused on general software, while Mike worked on SCORMy things.


Ice cream and the beginning of SCORM Engine

  • We bought for $850 (!) from someone who registered it speculatively and wanted to get rid of it before it expired. At the time, it seemed like a big, lavish expense.
  • Work on the first version of the SCORM Content Player (SCP), the predecessor to SCORM Engine, began.
  • Expenses labeled “Cold Stone Creamery – Board Meeting” began to become prevalent.
  • We added SCORM 2004 support to RSECA.
  • We decided to rename ourselves “Learned Solutions,” and our code started to have “LS” prefixes. The name didn’t stick — and we came to terms with the fact that we’d be stuck telling people how to pronounce Rustici for years to come.
  • We proposed to the United States Marine Corps that they buy our SCORM Engine instead of building one themselves.
  • Full-on development of SCORM Engine with SCORM 2004 support began. Mike worked on this full time, while Tim did the work that payed the bills.
  • 70% of income for the year came from SCORM.


...and then there were three

  • We interviewed John Hayden at Cracker Barrel. Tim’s order of chocolate milk convinced John that we’d be good guys to work for.
  • Mike, Tim and John all attended Plugfest 9, where Mike was a presenter. We delivered an in-person sales pitch to United States Marine Corps, and offered back to ADL if they wanted it.
  • Articulate partnered with us to handle their SCORM support.
  • Implementation began with the Navy and the Marines. The full version of SCORM Engine was completed.
  • Mike was invited to participate in the ADL Technical Working Group on SCORM evolution.
  • August – Our official office Mom, Jean, joined us. Jean was our savior!


The awards begin...Test Track is born


We finally figure out how to pronounce "Rustici"


We hired Joe and a few others

  • Again, we won the Future50 Award from the Nashville Area Chamber of Commerce- 3rd year in a row.
  • We won a BusinessTN Hot 100 Award.
  • We hired Joe Donnelly (our first employee entirely dedicated to support), Brian Rogers, and David Ells (who will later go on to lead development at Watershed LRS)
  • We outgrew our existing office, so we rented an additional one, two doors down.


SCORM Cloud is born

  • We won Nashville Business Journal’s Best Places to Work in Nashville! (The first of many…)
  • For the 4th year in a row we won the Future50 Award from the Nashville Area Chamber of Commerce and won the BusinessTN Hot 100 Award for the 2nd year.
  • We hired Ben Clark (standards guru Extraordinaire)
  • After months of content creation, a new version of (the current version) is launched with massive amounts of free content and resources. We’re still adding new content and resources to this page today.
  • SCORM Cloud was launched.


The year we started messing around with Tin Cans


...more new faces and the eLearning Atlas is launched

  • Once again, we won the Nashville Business Journal’s Best Places to Work award. This was the third year in a row!
  • We hired some non-developers, including ChrisTammy and Jena (who would later spearhead Jenafits).
  • surpassed 1 million visits.
  • SCORM Cloud reached 100 active, paid accounts
  • We moved into another new office, right across the street from our old one. This one was custom designed, just for us.
  • The E-learning Atlas is launched. This is a free tool that we created for the e-learning community. It catalogs as many e-learning companies and products as we could find, including which e-learning standards each one supports.
  • We hired TJ.


10 years in business!

  • For the 4th year in a row, we won Nashville Business Journal’s Best Places to Work.
  • In May, we hired Andy as “The Juggler” to help encourage adoption of xAPI.
  • We released “SCORM Driver Free for Non-Commercial Use”.
  • Rustici celebrates 10 years in business with a 10 year old’s dream party — our very own carnival!
  • (now was launched.
  • Brian Miller joined us and for the first time, we had two employees with the same name…Brian Rogers and Brian Miller. Since Brian Miller is the newest employee of the two, we resolve to just call him Bobby to clear up any confusion. Some opt to just call him “B Miller”.
  • The Tin Can API .9 spec was launched before mLearnCon with th Tin Can API version .95 to follow soon after.


Jenafits and Tin Can API v1.0 go live


We continue to rack up awards


We "Escaped", hired some more incredible people and won Tech Company of the Year


The year we joined the LTG family and introduced Content Controller

  • We won the Nashville Business Journal’s “Best Places to Work” award for the 8th year in a row!
  • In January we were acquired by LTG. Watershed received investment money from LTG, and officially split from Rustici Software.
  • We moved into our new office! 20,000 square feet, right down the road from our old office.
  • We launched a new product, Content Controller, a web-based application that lets you centrally host, manage, distribute and track eLearning content.
  • We welcomed Sam Cayford, Ryan Pfeiffer and Andy Whitaker came back to Rustici after a short time spent with Watershed after the split.


More new faces and lots of speaking engagements at industry events


The year we updated our company and products to support the evolving industry


We provided more than just learning standards support to our customers this year

  • We introduced a new tagline, “eLearning technology experts” as the problems we solve for our customers now expands beyond just SCORM and xAPI (or the learning standards).
  • We released Rustici Engine 2019 adding support for video, audio files, documents and links plus the ability to create custom reports using a new reporting extension.
  • We announced our first content connector, GO1, allowing customers to search and import content using a pre-built integration to Rustici Engine.
  • Content Controller won a Brandon Hall award for the work we did with Cognizant.
  • Events continued to keep us busy as we exhibited at iFest, DevLearn and ATD ICE. We also shared our industry expertise by speaking at ten conference sessions.
  • We were named one of the Nashville Business Journal’s Best Places to Work for the tenth time.
  • We welcomed five new people to the Rustici Software family: Michaela Powell, Sara Topic, Liz Poston, Miles Price, and Joshua Turner.


The year we adapted during a pandemic and eLearning became more relevant


We reopened the office as a hybrid workplace and launched cmi5 CATAPULT

  • A dedicated team of Rusticians delivered the exciting new cmi5 testing and development tools to ADL, known as Project CATAPULT. This was a big step forward to help increase adoption of the cmi5 spec and ultimately xAPI.
  • We held our first virtual Hackathon and created some killer prototypes, from a customer portal to enhanced onboarding tools, all while jamming out to
  • We transitioned back to our office after a long hiatus due to both COVID and the great coffee flood.
  • We shipped Rustici Engine 21.1 and Content Controller 3.2 product releases.
  • SCORM Cloud saw record utilization, and hit a huge milestone of delivering over 3M registrations in a month (a few times over).
  • We once again made the list of Nashville Business Journal’s Best Places to Work for the 12th time.
  • We welcomed six new people to the team in 2021, and we couldn’t be happier to have Nolan McDonald, Elizabeth Mohr, Matt Byrd, Ruvim Kondratyev, Cameron Cohu and Peter Overton with us. We also hosted our first (and hopefully not last) Hiring our Heroes intern, Levi Anderson.


We turned 20 years old and hosted our first virtual user summit

  • We celebrated the company turning 20 years old with a dunk tank, Cold Stone ice cream, jousting, soccer darts, board games, Saugy dogs and more.
  • We talked a lot both at conferences and webinars throughout the year.
  • We hosted our first virtual user summit this year, Rustici: The Gathering, with a full agenda of 28 sessions across 3 days featuring a ton of Rustici speakers, customers and some of our friends in the industry.
  • We kept on schedule for our product releases and shipped Rustici Engine 22, Content Controller 3.3, introduced Content Controller Launcher and even improved our customer delight score (99.8%!) compared to 2021.
  • We once again made the list of Nashville Business Journal’s Best Places to Work for the 13th time and were named a Tennessean Top Workplaces winner.
  • 2022 brought a lot of new faces to Rustici as we welcomed eleven new people to the team including Natalia Bearden, Nathaniel Sop, Ashton Garcia, Nick Carver, Cody Johnson, Brandon Jackson, Tim Verrelli, Ryan Sunde, Jeremy Haase, Caleb Hall and Devanie Volk.


Introduced new SCORM Cloud plans, xAPI 2.0 became a standard and we took home awards

  • We updated SCORM Cloud pricing for this first time in 13 years and added a new Tester plan. We also released new features in Content Controller 4.0.
  • 2023 was a big year for xAPI as xAPI 2.0 became an  IEEE standard, the first open-source specification to be approved as a standard. We also celebrated xAPI’s 10th birthday.
  • This year marked our second annual user conference, Rustici: The Gathering. Along with 14 client speakers, this 3-day event also featured multiple industry experts and 30+ Rusticians sharing their expert knowledge and even some hot chicken.
  • We talked a lot and had the pleasure of leading 12 sessions at various industry conferences and events.
  • Along with being awarded the #1 spot in The Tennessean’s Top Workplaces in Middle Tennessee, we also continued our Nashville Business Journals’ Best Places to Work streak for the 14th year, were a Best in Business award finalist and received a Brandon Hall Learning Technology and Development gold award for our work with AICPA & CIMA.
  • We welcomed four new people, Ryan Shea, Noah Bond, Josh Darpino and Sean Moore, and saw the team grow to 52 amazing people.

Learn more about Rustici Software

Interested in learning more about what makes us unique? Get in touch.