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Phillip Crews founded Cerious Software in 1992 as a software consulting firm. While continuing to work at his full-time job, Phillip worked part-time doing freelance UNIX, VMS and Windows system programming for companies in the US. In 1993, Phillip used his first significant Windows application, Mandelbrot for Windows, to learn the ins and outs of Microsoft Windows programming.

In 1994, Phillip decided to develop a retail product for Windows, called ThumbsUp!. Phillip chose to market ThumbsUp! as shareware, because he liked the idea of "try before you buy," and this also allowed him to distribute and advertise with very low costs. In that fledgling business run from his home, cost was a major consideration!

A trademark search turned up no other computer products with that name. However, several months after the release of ThumbsUp!, another North Carolina company called Phillip to tell him that they had applied for a registered trademark on the name, which they had used for a couple of years.

After an on-line contest to select the new name (which generated quite a bit of publicity for the program!), Phillip changed the name to ThumbsPlus. Phillip examined hundreds of entries from users on CompuServe, AOL and the Internet.

In July 1994, Phillip quit his day job to pursue Cerious Software and ThumbsPlus full-time. He also hoped to start getting some sleep. In late August, Phillip moved from his house into a real office and hired Laura Shook to help with the business, which was growing rapidly due to the success of ThumbsPlus.

During the next year, ThumbsPlus sales continued to rise. In July 1995, Phillip hired Jeff Hurley, who organized the incorporation of Cerious Software, Inc. in September 1995. Cerious Software has continued to grow. We now have six employees and have made it through three expansion moves (within the same office building) to accommodate our growth.

Cerious Software, Inc. is dedicated to the continued development and support of ThumbsPlus and plans to continue expanding. As well as continuing to support and improve ThumbsPlus, we also have plans for new products.

Here's tae us.
Wha's like us?
Damn few
and they're a' deid.

-Scottish toast
I will do everything I can to ensure that Cerious Software never becomes the kind of place where someone says: "What we need to do is to develop a core of people with a vision for the planning process." (I actually overheard this at a restaurant recently.)

- Phillip

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