Tom Rossi of Molehill and Buzzsprout

2 comments | Posted: 3 March 10 in Interviews, by Ryan Heneise

If you read this blog, then Tom Rossi is the kind of guy you’ll probably identify with – full of ideas, and constantly innovating, and doing the stuff.

When I first met Tom, his company, Molehill was working on a project called msites, a web-based CMS designed to be flexible, marketed with the particular needs of churches in mind. Molehill’s product line now includes an upgraded msites, Tick, a web based time tracking app, and most recently Buzzsprout, a really cool podcast publishing platform.

I’ve always been curious about Tom’s inclination toward serving the church community. Since Molehill really seems to be in the business of providing quality software to people who serve the Lord, I thought you might like to read about who Tom is and why he does what he does.


Ryan:

Tell me a little about yourself, Molehill, and your latest project, Buzzsprout.

Tom:

I’m a family guy who loves technology and loves the Church. I’ve run my own business for the last 14 years and am a firm believer in using technology to make ministry better. Several years ago I partnered up with Kevin Finn and we formed Molehill with the goal of building online software products that are easy and fun to use. Buzzsprout is a product designed to be the best way to publish, host, and promote your podcast.


Buzzsprout

Ryan:

How did you come up with the idea for Buzzsprout?

Tom:

Over the years, we’ve helped a lot of our existing msites customers (our CMS product) with podcasting. We quickly realized the process was very complicated. There were too many moving parts between formatting the content, hosting the files, building the feeds, iTunes, embedding, etc.. The existing solutions were more complicated than necessary and we were seeing people abandon the idea of publishing their audio content online because it was just too difficult. The idea began as a simple way for our msites customers to publish sermons online and as we worked through the idea, it grew into Buzzsprout. An easy-to-use one-stop solution for podcasting.


Ryan:

Why the focus on churches?

Tom:

We’ve always been passionate about building products that we enjoy. My partner and I both have experience volunteering in campus ministry where we saw first-hand the technical struggles that ministries and churches face. Our first product, msites, addresses the need for simple content management designed for non-profits and offering exceptional support to non-technical people. Many of our msites subscribers are churches and many of them struggled with podcasting. So addressing that need with Buzzsprout was a natural fit.


Ryan:

It sounds like Buzzsprout was uniquely designed to do a great job of publishing sermon audio for churches. But it’s got other uses as well – tell us about some of the unusual or distinctive podcasters that are using Buzzsprout.

Hah! Well, I will just say there are a lot of podcasts out there and they can be about anything…I mean anything. We’re just hoping that it doesn’t pose any ethical dilemmas down the road!


Ryan:

What are your other apps?

Tom:

msites is our content management system designed for churches and non-profits.

Tick is our time tracking application designed for teams like us that want to keep their projects on budget.

Buzzsprout, the best way to publish, host, and promote your podcast. And it’s pretty darn simple to use.


Ryan:

You’ve been in business for a while – do you have any words of wisdom for young entrepreneurs who are thinking of starting their own business?

Tom:

I really believe now is a great time for young entrepreneurs on the Web. I think the most important thing is to get out there and try stuff. Don’t try to do too much on your first release. Pick ONE goal that you can do really well and that you believe people will pay for. Then focus like a laser on accomplishing that one thing. Resist the urge to do what CAN be done and focus on what NEEDS to be done to achieve that one goal. You won’t get it perfect out of the gate, so don’t waste all your time trying. Focus and get something out there.


Ryan:

All this is wonderful, but without love your podcast is like a resounding gong or a clashing cymbal. Tell us about your love for Christ and how you came to be a Christian.

Tom:

Oh, now that would take some time! The short version is that I never really believed in God until after college. I majored in engineering and minored in physics and astronomy. I thought I had it all figured out until I got my first engineering job and some of the guys started to ask me questions that I really couldn’t answer. I actually found Christ as I was researching how I could prove these guys were denying what I had come to believe as scientific fact. They were really good at not allowing me to get into debate mode and just kept asking me questions that kept revealing more of what I hadn’t really thought through. It was a crazy and humbling experience that led me to eventually accept Christ and then quit my job and start my company in 1996 with the goal of impacting ministries with technology.

Discuss This Topic

  1. 1 Alex Tran

    Nice! Tom’s a great guy. He’s been helping non-profits and churches for awhile now. Glad to see Godbit feature how he’s been advancing the Kingdom with technology!

     
  2. 2 Deb Holman

    I am thrilled for you Tom! You indeed were created for “such a time as this” to change the world. I know God is pleased that you have chosen to use your gifts in such a dynamic and fruitful way. May your efforts be multiplied 100 fold!

     

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