That’s me age 5.
Since CallBrix is a service for startups and entrepreneurs I thought you might be interested in the story behind the service.
We’ve run the service CallBrix in the UK as LazyPBX for 3 years, the service has gradually grown and improved since it began. As the product grew and changed I felt LazyPBX did not reflect the real nature of the service, hence the name CallBrix.
This is the story behind me and this website.
I come from a family of artists in Dun Laoghaire, Co. Dublin. My father was a teacher in NCAD but married late so retired when the family of 5 children were all young. As is still the practice in some higher level institutes in Ireland staff were kept as part time indefinitely. Because of this my father retired with no significant pension and the family pottery studio was the only other source of income. So I guess entrepreneurship was ingrained in all of the family from a young age. There was always more emphasis on the ‘making of stuff’ than the ‘making of money’, and I guess that has been absorbed by me too. I made callbrix because I enjoy making stuff that people like to use.
I studied Electronic Engineering at Carlow IT, then Coventry University graduating in 1993. I subsequently worked as a GSM Engineer with Ericsson, then contracted to various companies in different parts of the world.
In 2004 I my wife was expecting our 3rd child so we returned from Slovenia. In 2005 I started with a ‘simple’ Internet telephone service called freespeech.ie, which still runs today.
Then late in 2007 I took my first foray into niche micro-business service creation with a virtual switchboard solution in the UK called press1 (as if I didn’t have enough to do – we had three young kids and my wife just started a food business). Like all web-telephony services this is pretty static in form, meaning it’s limited in what features can be added or the order features can be added. And if we added new features it would become too complex. We had customer calls like ‘can we add another level to the menu’ or ‘can we check time after a caller presses 1 on the menu’. I knew we had to do something a little different.
In 2011 website technology had come a long way and I thought it was time to re-visit some old ideas for creating a ‘snap and build’ web tool to build a telephony service (influenced by some of the big service creation applications I had used in ‘the old days’). Together with my team of developers we began discussing a solution which would be user-friendly, high-performance, flexible, resilient, scalable and adaptable.
A solution was developed and finally in late 2012 I began taking on beta customers in the UK under the brand LazyPBX. The LazyPBX platform continued to be enhanced and refined over the following years into what we now call CallBrix. LazyPBX still runs in the UK and we have some good customers, for example Deckers (UGG) which use the system for 20+ department stores all over Europe. But with the onset of Brexit the future in the UK is uncertain, it’s certainly going to make it more difficult for a small business to run a cross border business.
This was incentive to effectively re-brand LazyPBX for the Irish market as Callbrix. On the face of it may seems trivial to take a ‘website’ and ‘duplicate’ it but it’s a complete telecom solution and there’s a huge amount of localisation required for a small team.
I now live with my wife and 5 children in Co Waterford. I work from home most of the time and all my ‘team’ work remotely. I certainly know how useful it is to have a system like callbrix.
Thanks for reading. I really hope you enjoy using Callbrix.