About CSA

Charleston Software Associates (CSA) is my online persona for various software projects, primarily WordPress plugins these days, that I’ve thrown together over the past few years.

Short & Sweet

Charleston Software Associates is a single-man WordPress Plugin operation based in Charleston South Carolina.   The current focus is on improving the Store Locator Plus plugin for WordPress.

Charleston Software Associates was started by Lance Cleveland in 2012.  It was a pet project that formed around the desire to get back to making a living writing code instead of managing people and negotiating business contracts.  The closure of Cyber Sprocket Labs in order to escape continuous 60-hour work weeks was the catalyst.   Store Locator Plus, at the time a soon-to-be-orphaned project, provided the perfect opportunity to get back to coding.

Today, there are over 40,000 Store Locator Plus installations worldwide and over 4,000 registered premium add-on customers.   New premium add-on packs and improvements to the free base plugin is an ongoing process.   Looking to the future, I have begun working with several part-time developers as I continue working toward providing the best locator plugin in the world.

tl;dr

So Why The Lawyer-ish Name?

When I originally founded CSA way back in 2004 it was right around the time that my solo consulting gig was getting too much for me to handle alone.  I had been working with several subcontractors at that point and my thinking was that some sort of loosely associated group of programmers could work under a single moniker, Charleston Software Associates, and “hock our wares”.

That vision quickly morphed into a partnership when I crossed paths with “rock star creative genius”, Craig Coffman.  He didn’t like the name for our new joint venture, so we scrapped it all and formed a new corporation to be called Cyber Sprocket Labs.

Who, or What Is CSA Now?

Life has a way of running in cycles.  Things have come full circle and I am back to working from my home office as a “solo act”.   I wanted a simpler life where I could spend more time with my family and participate in my son’s childhood.   I wanted to code, not manage accounts or manage people.   I decided being happy doing what I love was more important than building another multi-million dollar business.

CSA is one guy writing software that I hope you find useful.

Why Keep The CSA Name?

It was easy and inexpensive.  I already had the domain name, the business name, the tax ID and all the other items needed to operate as a business.   There are advantages to doing so, such as protection from those few bad apples that have nothing better to do than file frivolous, and costly, lawsuits.    If there is one thing I’ve learned in 20 years of running a business… some people don’t play nice.

Enough About CSA, Who Are YOU?

My name is Lance Cleveland.  I am just a regular guy that loves technology and loves to code.

I’ve been very lucky over the decades and have had more good fortune than bad.   My life, both professionally and personally, has been an adventure.   I’m not sure why, maybe the stars aligned a certain way, or God, the gods, or whatever you believe in just “had it in the cards”.    Whatever the reason I’ve had, and continue to have, some very interesting experiences in my life.  So much so that many people who know me insist I write a book.

Interesting? Geeks Don’t Have A Life!

Interesting.  That is the best way I can describe it.    I’m not talking about the really cool stuff the millions of people experience like seeing their son being born or getting married in a rock-star-like wedding.   Some things that I’ve done that, in my “old age”, I realize is not normal:

  • Worked with Fortune 500 and Fortune 100 companies like Kraft, Cognos, Telefonica, Kimberly-Clark, and Arbitron.
  • Created the first WebTV compatible website.
  • Created an open source Perl module that was so popular is was replicated in several programming languages and ported to several database engines.
  • Built one of the first dozen affiliate programs on the web.  A big part of my project became part of Microsoft Clicktrade.
  • My first company appeared in Time Magazine.  Twice.
  • That company appeared on Good Morning America and CBS Morning Show.
  • Sold my first company 2 years later and was semi-retired before my 35th birthday.
  • I was on Judge Wapner Animal Court.
  • Played a police officer as an extra in The Legend of Bagger Vance.  My wife appears in the movie several times.
  • Excerpts of my articles about affiliate marketing and cyber crime appeared in the Wall Street Journal and New York Times.
  • I’ve been the keynote speaker at the USVI Economic Development Summit.
  • You can find me in a Microsoft Infomercial as the lead spokesperson.
  • I’ve been on the cover of a tech magazine.
  • My team placed second in a world bill fishing tournament in Kona in 2010 where I caught a 400-pound blue marlin.
  • I wrote a children’s picture book.  Some people that I don’t know actually bought it.
  • I’ve sat in the living room of Prime Minister Perry Christie’s house in Nassau and chatted with his wife and daughter.
  • I shook hands with Sean Connery after he opened the door for me at a great Nassau eatery.
  • Randy Moss, the NFL commentator, shared drinks and talked football.
  • My wife and I had the pleasure of cheering on the Patriots along with Steven Ridley’s family.

Those are just some of the highlights.  The interesting part is the stories that go with the highlights as well as several items I chose not to share.   Need to keep some things private.  It also keeps some surprises in store in case I ever do write that book.

So that’s the story of the guy that writes WordPress plugins for a living.

Now it is your turn… go out, find the interesting things in life and explore them to their fullest.   When you have a fun, interesting, or exciting story to tell share it on your blog and send me the link!

Thanks for your interest in CSA and my coding creations!