What is it about the hallowed corner of Addison and Clark Streets on the north side of Chicago that gets to me? The history, the beauty, the never ending party and social scene? The historical landmark that sits on this city block? The uniqueness of the famous ballpark with brick and ivy enclosing the “friendly confines”? The rush of history you get when entering a building built in 1916; one that has seen it all, from baseball to football – and even a recent outdoor hockey game?
I should back up. Maybe start with an introduction. My name is Jeff, and I’m a Managing Partner with an Internet Marketing firm, Addison Clark Online. I’d love to go on with a lengthy diatribe about my company, but I’ll save that for a later time.
Anyway, my business partner (Andrew) and I started up Addison Clark Online about six months ago after spending many years working for “the man” – or “woman” as it just as frequently happened to be. That time taught us a lot, but the biggest thing for me was probably that if I stayed in the rat race I would likely end up jumping out of a window on the 10th floor of the corporate headquarters.
This might sound odd, but the most difficult part of the decision to leave a cushy, well paid position with a Fortune 200 company to launch a start-up (in the midst of a burgeoning recession, by the way) was not what you’d think. It was what to name the new company. Yes, two long-time marketers with a serious case of creative block!
We went through the usual options – family names, acronyms, geographical terms, industry buzzwords, etc. We even tried to build a name out of our kids’ initials, but we were afraid that KERSE Consulting wouldn’t exactly evoke a feeling of trust and success… We settled on Addison Clark Online. We do not know anyone named Addison or Clark – at least not anyone we’d name a company after! Let’s be honest, Clark Griswold is an inspiration to all men, but not necessarily the corporate image I’m looking to mimic…
It helped that Andrew and I are both life-long Chicago Cubs fans. Baseball freaks with an appreciation for the history of the game and our beloved “lovable losers”. It also helped that our business was effectively launched when, on a trip to Chicago (and Wrigley Field, of course!) with our wives, our offer to purchase an existing eMarketing company was accepted. That deal ultimately fell through, but we were hooked on the concept and the industry. And, of course, we just had to leave our sanity-sucking corporate jobs.
So, there we were, sitting in a conference room at Initech (Office Space reference!) brainstorming company names when it hit us. Addison & Clark. We threw in the “Online” because, after all, we’re an INTERNET marketing company and it made us sound a bit more progressive and cutting edge. Addison Clark Online was born. It had the Cubbies and Wrigley Field tie-in. And, most importantly, the dot com domain name was available!
Since we’ve been up and running we’ve been asked many times where the name came from. My typical response is either to avoid the question or to make up some long-winded response about my great grandfather Clark Allen and his wife, Addison, from the motherland. And, truth be told, I probably won’t stop making up ridiculous stories whenever asked.
But, here, in this blog, the truth is out there. Somewhere behind the vines, along with thousands of old baseballs and a whole lot of wonderful history! Our hope in this blog is to have a little fun, tell some stories, talk some sports and current events, and maybe even learn something along the way. So, please, visit our site and check back here regularly for updates and new discussions. And, remember – only 31 more days until pitchers and catchers report. Go Cubs!