The Story of FreshBooks

March 24, 2008

Once upon a time there was a disorganized web designer who worked from home and used Word to create his invoices. This web designer found he was spending too much of his valuable downtime wondering who owed him money and how much…it was a stress on him and a waste of energy.

Then came the day the web designer went to send an invoice to his client. In creating a new invoice (using an old invoice as the template) he forgot to rename the file and saved over the original invoice. Upon realizing what he had done he snapped saying, “I’ve had it – there has to be a better way”.

This fateful day happened in early January 2003, and the web designer spent all his spare time the rest of that month building a web application his clients could login to to view their invoices – something that looked professional and would tell him which clients had looked at their invoices so he could save time following up with people en route to collecting his money.

Today that service is called FreshBooks and in case you haven’t guessed it, that web designer was me. I’m pleased to report that FreshBooks is now publicly available and is used by over 300,000 people. We’ve built a business solving our own business problems, and the good news is, we’ve got more problems to solve.

That’s today’s FreshBooks history lesson. As an entrepreneur I find it’s good to recall your history from time to time to remember why you’ve chosen the road less traveled and to remind yourself that the way you see problems – because it’s a unique perspective – is hugely valuable. Thanks for reading.

about the author

Co-Founder & CEO, FreshBooks Mike is the co-founder and CEO of FreshBooks, the world’s #1 cloud accounting software for self-employed professionals. Built in 2003 after he accidentally saved over an invoice, Mike spent 3.5 years growing FreshBooks from his parents’ basement. Since then, over 10 million people have used FreshBooks to save time billing, and collect billions of dollars. A lover of the outdoors, Mike has been bitten so many times it’s rumored he’s the first human to have developed immunity to mosquitoes.