By Linda Scherer
Thanks to modern technology, Genetibase co-owner, Anthony Nystrom, is able to work with his programmers and clients around the world from his office in Winsted.
“All communication is over the Internet video conferencing over the Internet. Sitting here in Winsted, contacting people all over the world. That is the beauty of the Internet. Your office is as large as you want it to be,” Nystrom said.
Genetibase is a contract software development company owned by Anthony and his father, Gary Nystrom of Winsted. The company is based in the Haugdahl building, where the current Winsted city hall is located.
The company is contracted out to build software systems to specifications based on the needs of a business.
“Custom software is about simplifying tasks, integrating, energizing and building systems for businesses. Sometimes they are small projects and sometimes they are large. It is both in the US and worldwide,” Anthony said.
Genetibase programmers work from their offices in Belarus, Canada, Italy, Pakistan, and the United Kingdom.
Genetibase has chosen programmers from places outside of the US for a number of reasons.
Employing programmers outside of the United States is not as expensive. But Anthony also points out, “it is the whole issue about the education system in the US.”
“Educational systems in other countries push students harder than the US to reach farther and higher goals, generally speaking. In the US, for example, mathematics isn’t even required after ninth grade. Which is wrong,” Anthony said.
Anthony and his father each have multiple degrees.
Gary attended the University of Minnesota and earned degrees in mathematics, chemistry, and actuarial science.
He worked for American Express as an analyst for 30 years, quitting five years ago to work solely for Genetibase.
Anthony also attended the University of Minnesota, and graduated with a degree in computer science and mathematics. Then, he attended the University of Colorado where he received a degree in biology and anthropology.
With a solid background in mathematics and science, it made sense, according to Anthony, for them to build products that encompass those criteria.
However, Genetibase’s new venture is heading a little off course, taking on the development role in a company that is licensed in the United Kingdom.
The brainstorming began about seven months ago, looking for an opportunity for the company to do something that no one else had done.
The idea came from the success of social platforms on the Internet like “MySpace.” What Genetibase is planning to do is extend the social experience by adding the integration of a mobile device (cell phone) to create a “virtual world” social experience with real world tangibility, according to Anthony.
The social networking site is called Next2Friends.
Next2Friends is reviewed in “Web Designer,” the magazine featuring the Hot 100 countdown of what will make it big in 2008. Number 63 highlights the Next2Friends online social community focusing on mobile technology.
“The software was developed to run on cell phones and it all functions right now and thousands of people are using it all over the world,” Anthony said.
One software application is called “Live.”
Using “Live” software, it is possible to video stream capture an event with your cell phone and send it online while it is happening.
“We are archiving it for you and grandma and grandpa. In real time and order. A DVD can be made of it later,” Anthony said.
Another application for Next2Friends is known as “Tagging.”
It uses an ability that all cell phones are capable of called “discovery.” When passing, one mobile phone has the ability to recognize another mobile phone.
Next2Friends uses discovery and applies it to its social networking site.
People interested in meeting people through tagging will register. Once registered, anyone passing another cell phone, also registered, will have its profile compared to discover compatibility. If you come within a degree of a match, both users receive an e-mail on the account letting them know that a match has been made.
“It breaks the ice of meeting people. You can select the type of person you want to meet and whether or not you actually want to further the acquaintance,” Anthony said.
The next phase of the project requires Genetibase to get the software ready for the top ten selling mobile devices.
The deadline is within four months and it will require five Genetibase programmers working together to complete the project on time.
“The beauty of software is it is like a canvas where you can build anything you want. The whole world is computerized,” Anthony said.
Holding up his cell phone Anthony explained that his phone has the processing power of a computer that was built four years ago.
“It is stressful because next month a new version of this phone will be coming out with a 1 gigahertz processor. This phone is a 230 megahertz. (One gigahertz is equal to 1,000 megahertz),” Anthony said.
Multiply it and it will be three times faster.
The one thing that keeps the software developers from laying awake at night thinking about keeping up with new technology, according to Anthony, is most people can’t afford new products when they first go on the market.
“People don’t adopt things very quickly, so time is on our side in that respect,” Anthony said.
Genetibase chooses Winsted for its office
The Nystroms grew up in Minneapolis.
About 13 years ago Anthony met his wife online. “It was just the beginning of the Internet,” Anthony said.
His wife, Rene´, lived in Breckenridge Colorado. After months of e-mailing each other, they decided they were going to meet. They had not exchanged photos, and they decided they would see if they could pick each other out of the crowd at the Denver airport.
When Anthony got off the plane in Colorado, they recognized each other right away. They immediately began dating.
Following many months of traveling back and forth, they decided it was time to settle down. They were married in 1996 and decided to live in Colorado.
Anthony’s parents, Gary and Eileen, decided they wanted a cabin outside of Minneapolis about 12 years ago, and found one in Waverly.
“Both my mom and dad do all of their own remodeling and they were looking for a project. They loved coming out here on the weekends,” Anthony said.
About 10 years ago, they decided that instead of driving out to the cabin on weekends, they would buy a home and live in the area. They found a home in Winsted located on Winsted Lake.
At almost the same time, Anthony and Rene’ thought it was time to have children. They agreed to move back to Minnesota because Anthony felt he had been away too long, and Minnesota was a good place to raise children.
After Anthony and Rene´ moved back to Minnesota, he and his dad began talking about combining their efforts to build a contract development company. That was five years ago and Genetibase was started.
“We temper each other,” Anthony said. “My father is incredibly detailed. I choose to be more visionary. My dad is a great guy. The most honest man you will ever meet in your life. He would never hurt a soul and he is very smart.”
Opening their offices in Winsted was hardly a decision at all. “We are very proud of ourselves living in a secluded existence running this business and doing it all very quietly here in Winsted,” Anthony said.
Since moving back to Minnesota, Rene´ and Anthony have had four children and have bought a home in Silver Lake.
Lauren is 5, Ashley, 4, Simon 2, and Hannah, 1.
“Kids are fantastic. They are a lot of work, but they are worth it,” Anthony said.
Anthony would like to see his children challenged in school because bored kids can get in trouble.
“My mom had me playing the violin when I was four years old. We were very busy kids,” Anthony said.
He played the violin for 12 years, and played for the Greater Twin Cities Youth Symphony for seven years.
“My mom always thought I was going to be a musician,” Anthony said. “But software is the most challenging.”
Anyone interested in learning more about Genetibase can contact Anthony or Gary at firstname.lastname@example.org.