While working as a consultant implementing new software systems for organizations, Jon Gilman constantly received the same feedback: the newly implemented software was confusing, unclear, and their previously simple jobs were now much more complicated. Jon quickly noticed a dire need in the market. This need led to many nights and weekends working through development iterations of a software in the hopes that his brainchild would be a clear solution to the existing confusion. The name for this solution–Clear Software–was evident, as it was developed with one main goal in mind: to make users’ jobs easier. Comparing this goal to the simplicity of everyday websites, Jon says, “People don’t need a user manual for Facebook, so why should they need one to do their jobs?”
After lots of hard work, Jon decided in 2012 that he was finally ready to demo this software. On his very first demo, Clear Software was purchased! At this point, Jon jumped all in and began his full time journey with Clear Software. The company started off in the Chicagoland area and later relocated to Zionsville, Indiana. Clear Software is now also one of the many tech-focused Orr Fellowship host companies.
When asked about his career advice for young professionals, Jon responded, “No one can know exactly what they want to do right out of school, so try as many things as possible before deciding.” Current Orr Fellow Kaitlin Koenig says that along with making waves in the software industry, Jon is an exceptional leader within his own organization: “Jon creates a unique company culture that makes everyone feel valued and part of the team. He encourages individuals to run with their ideas and learn about all aspects of a business.”
When looking for books to read, Jon said he feels it is very important to read literature that is not related to your current work. He believes that switching up reading topics helps with rest and maintaining creativity at work. He particularly likes James Joyce to mix up his reading. For professional growth, Jon frequently meets up with his peer and mentor network to bounce off ideas for his business and discuss what he is going through. He also looks up to Marc Benioff, CEO of Salesforce, because of their shared interest in conscious capitalism.
Jon and his team are well on their way to revolutionizing the industry. Make sure to keep your eye out for Clear Software as they continue to grow!