From Failures to Flutes to First Rate: The Evolution of Foundation

In fourth grade, I encountered my first BIG failure. I remember the experience distinctly. I walked into second-period music class, was presented a 12-inch blue zip-up bag and told to sit down and not unzip the bag. I, along with 20 other, fresh-faced babies, sat on the x’s on the floor looking around daring each other to unzip the bag. When the teacher walked in she said “Ok guys – open your bags” and there it was a shiny, plastic, seven hole recorder.

My first breath into that instrument was determined and strong. I was going to blow this out of the water (literally).

However, after the initial screech from the woodwind, I knew I would never be a musician … that sound not only hurt my ears but gave new meaning to nails on a chalkboard. I didn’t like it and I didn’t want anything to do with it from that point forward.

But unlike my lack of musical prowess or my ability to understand the relevance of the recorder – the flute family can be credited as the foundation of all musical instruments. The first flute found in Hohle Fels Cave in Germany is said to be at least 42,000 years old made of bird bone and mammoth ivory.

Can you imagine something that every symphony in the world has, albeit, a much different version, was created by Neanderthals that roamed the earth? From the earliest period of modern human presence in Europe all the way to the current age and millennium. It goes without saying that the foundation and evolution of music could be very different without the creation of this simple woodwind instrument (and if the instrument had been evaluated by me sooner it would have had failure written all over it).

Unlike the flute and the recorder, First Rate hasn’t existed since the beginning of human existence, rather only since 1991. Dave Stone founded First Rate to be the premier performance measurement and data provider in the United States selling First Rate Performance which was a single application that offered back office auditing and front office reporting.  He set out in his RV from Texas to the East Coast just to show clients how dedicated he was to provide the best solutions and services based on a face-to-face client relationship model.

Twenty-four years later and First Rate, as Dave imagined it, has grown, changed and developed into something bigger and something infinitely better that he always believed it would be. First Rate front office tools evolved into Snapshot and eventually to Advisor while the First Rate back-office solutions evolved into Professional, then a bevy of other legacy components, and I guess you could say the rest is history.

Core Brochure ThumbnailToday we have the great honor of launching First Rate CORE. CORE is a combination of First Rate’s legacy solutions (Professional, Advisor, Advisor Express, Goal-Based Reporting and more) that have evolved into a holistic web-based console designed to meet the complex performance reporting needs of the marketplace. Built for clients to fully understand that their needs come first – scalability, automation, flexibility – while utilizing front, middle and back office solutions and services that power excellence.

The launch of CORE does not mean that we are moving away from our roots or our foundation. Actually, it’s just the opposite. CORE is an evolution of our foundation, the newest approach technology-wise for delivering what Dave initially started the company on with Snap-shot to provide superior investment, performance and wealth management data.

Just like the flute – even though it has been modified from bird bone and ivory to silver, and holes have been added and taken away over the years by different people – the evolution of the musical instrument is what makes it great today.

For First Rate the heart of our company will never change! The foundation Dave created will always be our guiding light, however, what’s next is totally up to us and our innovative efforts to continue the legacy – the evolution of what makes First Rate great today!

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