How Carl Erickson founded and grew Atomic Object from a failed dot-com Featured

9:43am EDT July 5, 2011
Carl Erickson Carl Erickson

From a failed dot-com start-up, Carl Erickson and Bill Bereza took three interns, second-hand furniture and the remainder of a lease from the ashes of that company and from it built Atomic Object, a software product development company.

Erickson had been a professor for 10 years and was less than impressed by the status quo of the custom software development industry. He saw projects constantly over budget, deadlines getting blown, poor quality and unmet user needs. He wanted to do it differently and set out to build better software.

That goal has never been fully reached – and that’s the beauty of it, as Erickson, who serves as president, pushes people to continuously grow and improve. In the early days, everyone contributed to marketing efforts, but as Atomic grew, particularly in the last few years, employees became more complacent and subscribed to the idea that someone else would do it. As a result of this mentality and the down economy, revenue flat-lined in 2009.

In December 2009, Erickson realized that decreased technical marketing participation and diffused responsibility were risks to the company’s long-term success. As a result, through a series of meetings and talks, he decided to implement a standard that each employee would create one blog post per month. In March of this year, the company finally hit this goal. While it may not seem overly victorious, trying to get about 25 talented people who are dedicated to quality but are often introverted and technical to blog is quite the feat. The results shows that Erickson’s relentless approach to leadership is to achieve what is best for the company and his tenacity for creating success, no matter the challenges or people involved.

How to reach: Atomic Object, (616) 776-6020 or