About a year ago, software developer Chris Dix had an idea, but wasn’t sure how to get started. Thankfully, he found help and support in Charlotte’s emerging startup community.

“We joined the Charlotte Venture Challenge in Spring 2018 and they helped me realize it wasn’t a very good idea,” Dix recalled.

But the Charlotte Venture Challenge experience helped to further guide Dix and Thoughtpost into developing a successful messaging solution in the company’s ChatStyle platform.

Thoughtpost’s newest product is a subscription-based chat platform for customer engagement. It creates an ease in maintaining client communications for businesses and presents a more unified voice for businesses across multiple messaging platforms.

“We’re a bridge between external messaging that customers use and the internal tools that make businesses more productive,” Dix said. “At its heart, it’s a chatbot. But what’s different in we tie it into a business’ backend system.”

How It All Began

Thoughtpost began as a provider of custom software solutions and consulting services in 2004. On the company website, it reads “originally, the name Thoughtpost came from an idea we had for a software product, something similar to a blog that would let users ‘post their thoughts.’”

But then Twitter happened.

Dix and his team of local consultants spent the next 13 years building Thoughtpost and creating a number of successful software products for customers.

As a result, in 2018, they created the messaging platform.

“The most important thing I’ve learned,” Dix said, “is that you have to put your ideas out there and let them fail. The most important asset you have is time and the worst thing you can do is waste time on a bad idea.”

Getting Out There

In January, Thoughtpost was featured in Seed the South and in March, Dix sought feedback at PitchBreakfast.

Dix credits Charlotte’s startup community with helping his success.

“I wouldn’t be where I am without the resources,” Dix said. “The network of entrepreneur resources in the community is all you can ask for and we’re trying to take advantage of all of it.”

A career software developer, Dix has enjoyed his transition to entrepreneur.

“I tested the waters as a consultant,” he said. “But I have the most job security I’ve ever had being my own boss.”

Dix is looking forward to growing his customer base and eventually expanding his staff. Managed service providers (MSP) are his ideal clients.

“This year we’re looking to focus ourselves to that MSP market and grow customers,” Dix said. “We want to focus on solving their problems and going from there. As I get more customers, I hope to get big enough to grow a little.”