Through the years
The story of how Rustici Software came to be.
- 2002 Mike Rustici realized there was never going to be an easier time to go out and start a business of his own.
- 2003 We start getting more "SCORMy"
- 2004 Ice cream and the beginning of SCORM Engine
- 2005 ...and then there were three
- 2006 The awards begin...Test Track is born
- 2007 We finally figure out how to pronounce "Rustici"
- 2008 We hired Joe and a few others
- 2009 SCORM Cloud is born
- 2010 The year we started messing around with Tin Cans
- 2011 ...more new faces and the eLearning Atlas is launched
- 2012 10 years in business!
- 2013 Jenafits and Tin Can API v1.0 go live
- 2014 We continue to rack up awards
- 2015 We "Escaped", hired some more incredible people and won Tech Company of the Year
- 2016 The year we joined the LTG family and introduced Content Controller
- 2017 More new faces and lots of speaking engagements at industry events
- 2018 The year we updated our company and products to support the evolving industry
- 2019 We provided more than just learning standards support to our customers this year
- 2020 The year we adapted during a pandemic and eLearning became more relevant
- 2021 We reopened the office as a hybrid workplace and launched cmi5 CATAPULT.
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 scorm.com 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 scorm.com 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 won the Future50 award from Nashville Area Chamber of Commerce!
- We got our pop-up booth exhibit for trade shows. We also got this fancy SCORM comic banner, which pretty much explains how SCORM works.
- We partnered with LINGOS to help out an e-learning charity.
- SCORM Test Track was released to the world, because the world needed it. It quickly became the place where the world went to test the conformance of their SCORM content.
- We got our first write-up in a newspaper!
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 scorm.com (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
- Again, we win the Nashville Business Journal’s Best Places to Work awards.
- The research phase of ” Project Tin Can” begins. This is when we were given the opportunity to help ADL come up with the successor to SCORM, and that would end up being the Experience API (xAPI).
- Craig Weiss names SCORM Cloud Product of the Year.
...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 Chris, Tammy and Jena (who would later spearhead Jenafits).
- Scorm.com 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!
- TinCanAPI.com (now xAPI.com) 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
- For the fifth year in a row, we won Nashville Business Journal’s Best Places to Work award.
- Remember how we said we were going to tear down a wall in our new office in order to expand into the adjacent office space? We did that. Our office doubled in size.
- We continue to grow our development team adding Nathan and Ervin and Tim Edwards.
- We had a quarterly quell party at Mike’s house…including Mike’s favorite, Saugy Dogs.
- We launched Jenafits. Seriously, just go read about it. If you’re interested in working with us, you want to know about Jenafits.
- April 26, 2013 – Tin Can Version 1.0 launched. We celebrate by sending canvas prints of a custom Tin Can artwork that we created to all for all of the early adopters of Tin Can (about 60 of them.)
- More awards- for the 5th year in a row, we won Nashville Business Journal’s Best Places to Work, and we made the INC 5,000 list!
- Joe finally asks for help and we hire his brother, Ryan Donnelly to help with customer support.
We continue to rack up awards
- For the 6th year in a row, we won Nashville Business Journal’s Best Places to Work and we made the INC 5,000 list for the second year in a row!
- We started “Fancy Fridays”, our version of Casual Fridays. It’s always casual here, so we had to reverse it.
- We instated our internship program, which is pretty amazing (and not like most internship programs!)
- TJ won our second-annual Chili Cook Off.
- We won COMPANY OF THE YEAR at the Nashville Technology Council Awards.
- We won 4 Brandon Hall Awards, the Grammys of the e-learning industry.
- We began the design of our next office space, a 20,000 square foot warehouse in Franklin, TN that’s being completely renovated.
- Jim Ingram and Josh Hoffman join our team.
We "Escaped", hired some more incredible people and won Tech Company of the Year
- We won the Nashville Business Journal’s “Best Places to Work” award for the 7th year in a row and made the INC 5,000 list for the third year in a row!
- We won The Tennessean’s “Best Places to Work” award for the first time (this was the first year we had enough employees to qualify.)
- We went to play “The Escape Game”, and managed to set a record.
- We won the Nashville NEXT award for Company of the Year in Technology.
- …construction still continues on our new 20,000 square foot office space.
- We got the pleasure of hiring Laura Mensel, John Mensel (who is now with LTG), Kyle Patmor, Reid Wiggins, and Catherine Colligan.
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 Department of Defense signed the updated DoDI 1322.26, advising DoD entities to procure learning tech with xAPI and/or SCORM support. We cheered the work we did to help make it happen and the fact that it’s a big win for xAPI!
- After leaving SCORM Cloud largely untouched since its 2009 launch, we gave it a face lift, rolling out a new user interface for Cloud that received great feedback.
- Content Controller won a CLO award for the work we did with the SANS Institute. Spoiler: it had something to do with the fact that, since launching CC, SANS saw a 90% reduction in time spent updating existing content.
- We were invited to speak at eight different events including ATD, ADL iFest, DevLearn and iVentures.
- We grew and continue to grow! We hired more new people and are continuing to hire new positions. In 2017, Luke Wiedeman, Josh White, Reed McLean, Avery Laster, Kirsty Goodlett, Tara Morey joined our team.
The year we updated our company and products to support the evolving industry
- We updated all three of our websites, renamed our products and updated our logo to better reflect who we are and how we support the eLearning space.
- SCORM.com and xAPI.com also received a facelift and became purely technical resources.
- Like other years, we attended and spoke at a bunch of conferences. We also exhibited at DevLearn, showcasing our new logo and brand for everyone to see.
- GDPR went into effect and we added new features to our products in order to ensure our software solutions help our customers comply with GDPR-related requests.
- Rustici Dispatch and Content Controller joined SCORM Cloud as our suite of products that allow you to export content as an LTI tool provider.
- TJ Seabrooks stepped into the role of CEO after supporting our products for six years and Tim Martin joined our parent company LTG as CIPO.
- We grew some more! In 2018, John Griner, Kyle Bellino, Philip Fallin and Cameron Gray joined our team.
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, along with companies around the world, quickly shifted to working from home, and that shift created a sudden boom in the demand for eLearning technologies.
- We participated in virtual webinars in lieu of in-person conferences.
- We shipped Rustici Engine 20.1, Content Controller 3.0 and 3.1 product releases.
- Several of our products passed the IMS certification for LTI v1.3 as well as ISO-27001 certification for security.
- We were named one of the Nashville Business Journal’s Best Places to Work for the 11th time, which was a heartwarming reminder of what we have during this challenging year.
- We were awarded a contract and kicked off a 12-month project for the ADL Initiative cmi5 Player and Test Suite.
- Tammy Rutherford took on the role of Managing Director, following a path well forged by TJ Seabrooks and Mike and Tim before him.
- We welcomed JCA Solutions to the team and hired nine new people throughout the year, including Joshua Tennies, Leo Gould, Kelley Griggs, Michael Schuetze, Lara Abdurazak, Joseph Marino, George Vilches, Dottie Lindsey and Alicia Pack.
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 turntable.fm.
- 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.
Learn more about Rustici Software
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