Employee Feature - August
John Forbes | CEO & Founder, Centerbase
CEO, FOUNDER OF CENTERBASE
John Forbes knew he wanted to start his own company when he was only four years old.
John’s first entrepreneurial venture was selling gardening seeds door-to-door in his childhood neighborhood. He carried that same spirit with him to college when he started his own landscaping business, and today, he still carries that same ambition and passion with him as the CEO and Founder of Centerbase.
"I think every entrepreneur has a lifelong dream to run their own business."
“I’ve always had a love of running a business." John explained. It’s challenging, it’s exciting, and there’s no politics."
But John didn’t always work for himself. For 11 years, John worked in sales in the technology industry. He began his career as a sales representative at IBM, eventually moving to a small, fast-growing tech company in Boston. After becoming the regional director of the company, he finally decided to take the leap and start his own business.
“I was always looking for what I was going to do - where my next opportunity was,” John recalled.
John’s first company, Progression Technologies, drew on his extensive expertise within the technology industry. He started Progression Technologies as an engineering software re-seller, and developed the company for several years before realizing the potential for a platform like Centerbase.
It was at Progression Technologies where the seed was first planted in John’s mind for an all-in-one management solution.
“[Centerbase] was made for my business, but I knew there was a bigger market for it - I wasn't writing a software just because my company needed it,” John said.
Managing the different moving parts of his own company made it apparent that there was a need for a system that could handle every aspect of a business while making it easily accessible from any location.
"Companies require so many different programs to keep up with information. So you end up with the same information in multiple systems and trying to keep them all in sync is a nightmare,” John explained.
"Our idea was to create something that could be essentially a database. It’s a system that allows you to put information into it no matter where you are.”
John founded Centerbase in 2003 as a CRM platform to assist in his daily operations at Progression Technologies. However, after recognizing the potential for Centerbase to meet the needs of several types of companies, John sold Progression Technologies in 2014 to focus solely on Centerbase.
Since then, Centerbase has catered to the needs of small-to-medium law firms and offers a comprehensive, cloud-based data management platform for all practice areas.
After 15 years of working with Centerbase, John’s favorite part is being able to solve problems and work with an idea from start to finish.
“I love to understand problems and create a solution - and to do it better than everyone else. That’s my win. It’s not necessarily about making money or getting recognition.”
Although Centberase has been around since 2003, it continues to evolve and grow to meet the ever-changing needs of law firms. John looks forward to the future development of Centebase, viewing his leadership as another avenue through which the company may build its success and longevity by sustaining long-term relationships with the most important players: Centerbase’s Clients and Partners.
“I would love to have more time to spend just working with our Partners and Clients to help them solve the problems they have - and then working with the company to achieve that,” John said when describing what he most looks forward to.
Until then, John and his team continue working every day to refine Centerbase as both a product and company, paving the way to a bright and promising future for Centerbase.