Before starting the predecessor of Lightspeed Voice in 2004, Brad Fuller worked for other IT services companies. “I thought things could be handled better in terms of customer need,” he says.
When he started that first business, it provided network security, managed services and more. But over time it divested its IT services clients and went after something else.
Through third-party vendors, Fuller identified internet telephone service technology as a burgeoning field, and his company started offering a telephone service. The initial service was shaky, and the company lost customers in the process. “It made us take a deeper look at what we were doing,” he says. In reaction, the company “hired better people” and “put processes in place from sales to support.”
Today, that company, Lightspeed Voice, is growing rapidly. It did $2.86 million in sales in 2016, up 43% from $2 million in 2015. It also puts a premium on customer service with its cloud-based voice solutions clients. “We really focused all of our efforts on providing an excellent service,” he says. “
Fuller says the company is heavily involved in insurance industry, serving thousands of insurance agents in 49 states. The industry represents about 85% of Lightspeed’s client base. And since the 25-person company serves so many agents, “we know what works and what doesn’t,” he says. “We became experts.” A key Lightspeed goal? Continue to infiltrate the insurance industry.
Fuller says one of the best lessons he’s learned serving at the helm of the company is to let go. “Letting go doesn’t mean you ignore what someone is doing when you hand the reins of responsibility over, but it means you don’t have to be obsessive about that responsibility,” he says. “Let other people be good at what they do.”
— Grier Ferguson
Name: Brad Fuller
City of residence: Englewood Beach
Twitter handle: @LightspeedVoice
Employer: Lightspeed Voice
Birthplace: St. Petersburg
Years on the Gulf Coast: 38
Marital status/children: Married to my soul mate with two great kids: Mia, 7 and Marco, 4.
Alma mater/degree: Monsters University
Best place to network: Tradeshows
Messy desk or clean workspace: Depends on the day. It usually has some “character.”
Eat lunch out or at your desk: Eat out
Best business lesson ever learned: I’ve learned a few goodies:
Listen to your critics – rarely will anyone else be as brutally honest.
The people who may seem the most crucial to your business are many times the ones holding it back.
Never take credit for something you didn’t do.
Weirdest job you’ve ever had: I worked at the USDA Department of Entomology as a technical assistant performing mosquito control research. My job entailed, in part, of bloodletting live chickens and filling membranes from giant jugs of fresh cow blood to feed the various species of mosquitos, spawning and growing thousands of mosquitos at a time, setting up various experiments and analyzing the results – I even acted as a human test subject on multiple occasions with sometimes less-than-ideal results. My name was published in a research journal as a contributor to a very complicated and lengthy experiment. It was a really cool place to work!
A website that makes your job easier: I’ve got nothing original here…Google.
App you use the most: I enjoy reading the news; although it always seems to be the same recycled junk regardless of the source. Otherwise, I’m constantly rotating my games.
One thing you do every day: Wake up.
Community group you’re most involved with: Lightspeed Voice has created an initiative called “Hometown Hero”, which allows us to reward free or heavily-discounted telecommunications services to deserving community and charitable organizations in hometowns across the country. Most recently we provided free business call forwarding services to the victims of Hurricane Harvey.
Favorite off-hours activity: When I’m not spending QT with the kinfolk, I like to tour our local breweries and imbibe some fresh suds.
Two people, dead or alive, you’d like to have dinner with: This is not two people, and they’re not even real; but if I had to choose, it would be Rufio and the Lost Boys from the movie Hook – imagination is the creator of all.
What you would be doing if you could pick another career: I would like to be a commercial pilot flying small aircraft locally, possibly as an air taxi between larger airports, or maybe a tour guide.
Top item on your bucket list: My dream is to own a seaplane.
Your happy place is: My Blue Bubble, in the Flamcave, on the Cloud with a pile of kids, the wife, video games and family movies. Doesn’t get any better than that.
Your biggest fear: Being involved in some sort of accident where I’m trapped – but the radio is on – while Morgan & Morgan commercials are on demonic loop as I slip in and out of consciousness. It’s a terrible nightmare.
Favorite Ted Talk: Dan Pink: The Puzzle of Motivation
Skill you’d like to learn: Nunchucks
Who would play you in a movie about your life: Batman
Describe yourself in three words: Colors outside lines