Nathan Bosseler had no idea how a simple trip to the grocery store seven years ago would change his life, or that of a former high school acquaintance.
“I went down to Safeway, I was just getting sandwich,” said the now 27-year-old.
While waiting for his Primo Taglio Italian, Bosseler bumped into fellow 2002 Eastlake graduate, Jonathan Campbell.
The two, who hadn’t seen each other in a couple of years, got to talking.
Bosseler had just earned a degree at Bellevue College and was a few months into the launch of Impact Studio Pro — a video marketing agency ran in the upstairs of his parent’s Sammamish home.
Campbell, a computer whiz and a recent Bellevue College grad, was stocking the Safeway refreshment shelves. He admittedly was looking for different work.
“He asked ‘You do websites?,'” Campbell said. “I said, ‘yeah.'”
As quickly as that, a dynamic partnership was formed.
Not long and Bosseler, an expert with cameras and the visual arts, along with Campbell, who was versed in computer programming, combined their skills to gain notable clients for ISP.
The first of those was the City of Sammamish, which the duo did the video work for events like council meetings and the Concert in the Park series.
Their performance in Sammamish earned them recommendations with other significant clients like the City of Sea-Tac, Westfield South Center Mall and the Gene Juarez Academy. That led to doing promotional and training videos for 100 more clients — all of whom Bosseler said they still maintain.
As ISP picked up momentum, it sparked another idea for Campbell. After watching the City of Sammamish program DVD players and VHS tapes to air events on Channel 21, he thought why not make it easier — create a digital software-based scheduling system that can be accessed securely and remotely.
In 2006, Campbell started to develop the first version of CASTUS – an open source, high-definition program that simplified video broadcasting. In short, it’s an interface that allows the users to go on to their computer and access their content in their library and schedule it for different times of the day, any day of the week.
CASTUS differs from similar operations in that it is completely software based, cutting out the propriety, third parties and the expense that come with hardware.
“I wanted to influence the industry in a positive direction, technical-wise, standard-wise — bring it to a more affordable level so more there’s more news, widespread media to put out there,” Campbell said.
Three different versions and five years later, CASTUS has not only gained a solid footing regionally, but on a national stage.
Last month, Bosseler and Campbell sold their program to the Texas Christian University School of Journalism. The university is using the software to broadcast sports games, live news casts and various other forms of live and recorded programming.
“It’s exciting for us because the students are learning CASTUS and operating it … that’s setting an industry standard for them,” Bosseler said. “It’s really cool.”
They also recently sold the CASTUS program to an eastern Washington cable company.
Building clientele has come about in various ways for the pair, who started with little to no business experience. Bosseler and Campbell agree it really comes down to one thing — valuing the customer.
“Our products have become successful because we’ve listened to the clients and we’ve put everything they’ve asked for into the system,” Bosseler said. “Some people would criticize us for that, saying they should be paying for that.”
Up until last October, ISP and CASTUS were operated as one. Bosseler recently decided to split them into two entities because one is a product and one is a service.
They currently run the five-person operation out of an apartment in the Issaquah Highlands. With a frozen pizza on the stove, an X-Box, Nintendo Wii and set of Rock Band drums hidden behind servers, the relaxed office environment might resemble more of a dorm room.
Bosseler admitts the atmosphere is extremely relaxed. But, he said there are dreams of obtaining a professional office space with their brand on the exterior of the building — a goal that seems more and more likely as business continues to grow.
Bosseler, a member of the Issaquah Chamber of Commerce, was also clear that no matter how large they get, they won’t go too far.
“We love Issaquah, we love our business, love the Chamber and we want to keep it here within the community and expand,” he said.