“The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step.” - Lao Tzu
Over the course of our history, few things have been as challenging as the selection of a name. We wanted something short and memorable, unique and sophisticated. How about this? Domain taken. How about that? Domain taken. Round it went over a couple days, as the search for a name became the search for a short available domain. Finally, there was gavant.com, and we could get on to real business.
In 2012, we held a company contest for a good after-the-fact story for the origin of "Gavant". There was a single entry and it was one that only a software engineer could produce — As presented in the individual parts of the name, where GAV stands for gross asset value and Ant is an Apache build tool, we leverage custom software to build value for our clients. ...We continue to welcome alternatives.
Our first website
A software engineer with inspiring graphic design talent is a rare breed, and we assuredly fell shy of the bar. So we went to one of those popular $50 template sites, browsed the catalog for an off-the-shelf design and started writing copy. We came to appreciate the irony of selecting something off the shelf despite our premise that off-the-shelf is inferior to custom development in business process and workflow.
A friend of ours started an IT company around the same time as Gavant. Within months of our completed site, we happened across his site and observed a striking similarity in his design. Lesson learned.
Our first client
In 2002, a friend and colleague of ours was doing some work for an early-stage nanotechnology company. They were setting up their office and needed someone to help out with the networking and general IT. While that wasn't really our thing, you don't get to be picky on your first client. The bigger issue was that they really didn't have the funds to pay us, so they proposed a barter arrangement. They would provide us with office space and we would provide them with ongoing IT.
As they expanded, we moved around to different parts of the office and eventually different floors in the building. Seven years later, our client relocated and we assumed the lease. Gavant's founder unwittingly returned to the very location he sat when we first moved in.
Our first employee
The work starts to pick up and things are busy. As we tested the limits of how far an individual can multiplex across initiatives, it would become obvious that an extra hand could only help the cause. We figured a 4-month contract would be the safe way to go and was a perfect fit for the job we had at the time. That 4 months went pretty fast and we realized we couldn't lose the extra hand. And so we extended our first job offer.
As of 2016, this individual has remained with Gavant. And as irony has it, he's a software engineer with inspiring graphic design talent.