CitySoft in the News
Entrepreneur Magazine - Goodwill Hunting
2001: An Entrepreneurial Odyssey
Don't call Nick Gleason a do-gooder. He isn't too crazy about the term. Yes, CitySoft Inc., the Cambridge, Massachusetts, technology firm he co-founded with Jim Picariello in June 1997, is a Web company that hires talented Web develop-ers from low-income urban neighborhoods to design Web pages for companies, but it's an "unapologetically for-profit business." Gleason says the company's income has grown 300 percent since it opened.
Gleason, 31, grew up hearing stories about his parents' contributions to the civil rights movement. He's worked extensively in social services--everything from education and housing to health. When he found himself involved with helping impoverished people, he also discovered his "entrepreneurial mindset."
"I love being an entrepreneur. There's something about the sheer creativity and challenge of it that I like," raves Gleason. "I was going to be the plant manager of a bottle cap manufacturing company in Crawfordsville, Indiana. That was the job I didn't take to do this."
But Gleason says he'd be just as happy if he were the owner of that bottle cap manufacturing company as he is running CitySoft. "The product doesn't matter," he says. "I'm more interested in developing human resources and putting [people] to work in a productive way. It's the people problems that I like [solving]."
Does Gleason see a trend toward social goodwill among entrepreneurs? "I hope there is," he says. "I think for me it's about figuring out my values, what matters to me, and how I can integrate those values into my life--there are a whole bunch of ways to do that. It's about figuring out who you are and what gets you up in the morning and putting that into life."
Well, he sounds like a do-gooder, but you didn't hear it from us.