Five years ago, Shawn Mims and I wrote a book called Money for Nothing: How a Digital Wrap Earns More Pay for Less Work. We did that because we felt we needed a clever way to get the attention of a market that was generally not inclined to adopt new technology – commercial service contractors.  

“Money for Nothing” was a play on the Dire Straits song that describes the lamentations of the blue-collar worker as he observes the success of the rock star.  The rock star gets the money and the girls for doing “nothing.”  We noted, however, that the rock star has a great business model – selling the stuff that makes us feel good.  

For the contractor, when everything goes well and “nothing” ever happens at the customer – no breakdowns, disruptions, unplanned emergency work – how can he or she earn a premium?  The answer was simple: give the customer a good story online demonstrating all of the great work that went into all of that boring “nothing” that is the best outcome for everyone.  The customer gets a great story that makes them feel good, just like the rhythm and rhyme of the rocker.

I am pleased to announce today that our clever play on words worked, and ServiceTrade has become the market leader for customer service technology for the commercial contractor.  Our money-for-nothing strategy has scored us some serious money for something.  

JMI Equity has joined existing investors Frontier Growth and Bull City Venture Partners in sponsoring the next leg of growth for ServiceTrade to the tune of $85 million. [read our news release] That’s not just nickels and dimes.  It is a commitment at a level that will allow us to deliver more cool technology solutions and more thought leadership to help our commercial contractor customers sell more services, charge a premium price, and hold onto customers longer. Helping the contractor build a premium brand is the something that gets us going every day.  And now we can do more than ever to fulfill that promise.

I am thankful today for my co-founder, Brian Smithwick, ServiceTrade’s CTO, and all of the terrific employees that have joined us in our commitment to building technology for commercial contractors.  I am thankful for the 800-plus customers that encourage us every day to do our best, and who also thank us for being their partner.  It feels good, like a great “Money for Nothing” song.  So let’s get after it and build something with that money-for-nothing haul.  

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