The Birth of Blue

Written by Kim Oates on January 2014

BlueVolt marked many milestones in 2013. We awarded our three millionth $BlueBuck, delivered almost 1,000,000 courses to more than 357,000 learners, and added new functionality and features to the BlueVolt Learning Management System. Our success and growth is more than a dozen years in the making, and we’re as proud of our history as we are our future. Here’s a look back at how it all began.

Before the beginning
Ask anyone who works at BlueVolt, and they’ll tell you to ask Don Spear, CEO, to recount our heritage.  It was 2000, and the internet was starting to take hold as a permanent, and necessary, part of the business world. Don’s conversations with business colleagues sparked an idea to market tools online, with the idea that tradespeople could find any type of tool they might need to complete a job in a single, easy-to-use website.

After years serving as a leader in Fortune 500 companies, Don was not one to undertake a new business venture without proper due diligence. He and other members of the BlueVolt “incubator” team spent many months shadowing electricians and asking them what would make their jobs easier and more fulfilling.  Would a website offering tools do that?

Time and again, the feedback was the same: although the electricians were passionate about their trade and took pride in a completed job well done, they wouldn’t likely use a website to purchase tools, because their jobs were too time-sensitive to have to wait on shipping.


Back to the drawing board
Armed with this important feedback, the team reconsidered their business plan.  

Noticing a lack of quality, easily accessed online training that helped tradespeople keep up on their state-mandated continuing education requirements, the team examined this from the perspective of a tradesperson. How could training improve their lives – and livelihoods?

The first BlueVolt LMS was built to allow tradespeople to complete their CEU requirements quickly and on their own time.  The lucky strike was that the LMS launched – entirely coincidentally – just as the state requirements had changed and everyone’s credentials needed renewal. BlueVolt was up and running.


Building the BlueVolt ecosystem
From there, BlueVolt continued to evolve, each update addressing a specific customer request or pain point. Continued dialogue with the tradespeople ignited conversations about product training. If BlueVolt could house CEU courses, could it also help the tradespeople learn about products to help them do a better job?

An idea sparked: Who better to learn from about products than from the manufacturers themselves? That’s where BlueVolt found its niche: by bridging the gap between companies and the people who are most important to the success of their products—sales staff, installers, distributors and more.

Since then, we’ve applied that same approach across a wide range of industries. The result? A company comprised of smart, experienced individuals who not only know how to train and market, but who also understand what you do and know how to achieve the results you want.

What results are you looking for in 2014, and how would training support that? We’d love to talk with you about how online learning will help you increase your business’ success.



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