What's in a Name? | The APPROVEDCOURSE.COM Story
While it's true that we've only been offering our Texas approved defensive driving course online for a few years now, that doesn't mean we're new at this. John, the author of our course, got his start as a classroom defensive driving instructor in the mid '90's with a company called A Sense of Humor Defensive Driving.
For John, teaching defensive driving was a side hustle he was using to supplement the salary from his day job as a beginning high school teacher. He found that teens in a science classroom and drivers in a defensive driving classroom shared a couple of characteristics—neither group wanted to be there and both groups, by and large, found the required curriculum boring and unnecessary. John got good at finding creative ways to engage the unwilling in both settings, enabling them to enjoy themselves while they learned things they previously had no interest in knowing.
Things changed for John in the early 2000's. The state of Texas had just OK'd the (then) new and revolutionary idea of online defensive driving and A Sense of Humor became an early adopter. In a matter of months, the company shut down its classrooms and John found himself back to one job, literally replaced by a computer. This is where John's partner (and son) enters the picture.
While the good folks at A Sense of Humor no longer had any need for humans to teach their course, they did need humans to maintain the computers that did. Jordan's skill set was a good match, and he was hired.
What the good folks at A Sense of Humor didn't realize is what an entrepreneur they had just brought on board. After a little digging around in his new digs, Jordan decided that what A Sense of Humor needed was a little competition, so he pressed his dad into writing a course.
And the rest is history, right?
Not Exactly a Defensive Driving Cinderella Story
After spending most of 2008 finding funding, securing domains and jumping through the various and ever elevating flaming hoops of the Texas defensive driving course approval process, the intrepid pair launched their new course in early 2009. What they heard surprised them. Instead of the joyous cheers of thousands of drivers ecstatic with the discovery of a new and exciting way to have their tickets dismissed, father and son only noted a deafening silence, occasionally punctuated by the odd cricket chirp.
After about a year, the pair did manage to find a buyer and made enough to almost recoup their expenses. John headed back to his day job. On the days he remembered to forget the two years of his life he would never get back, he was content to put the failed experiment behind him. On the other hand, son, not having a day job to go back to, kept at it, convinced that a market existed and, within a couple of years, was back hounding the old man to write another course. This time, thanks to all Jordan had learned about how to properly court the internet, the course took off. Before long the duo expanded their offerings to driving courses of all kinds, available in any state.
And Now, Not Just Defensive Driving. After All—Not Everyone's a Speeder
When choosing a defensive driving course, it's vital that you choose one that has been approved. That was the idea behind the name "ApprovedCourse" from the beginning.
But the intrepid guys at ApprovedCourse.com realized early on that it's not just those with tickets who need approved courses. Working people in hundreds of professions need courses to earn or maintain the certifications necessary to do their jobs. Other people want to change careers or just get better (and recognized) for things they are passionate about. These folks need approved courses, too.
At ApprovedCourse.com, we're passionate about what you're passionate about. Our plan is to translate what we've learned about making online training enjoyable, engaging and impactful into as many arenas as we can. Keep checking back. If we can't help you today, hopefully we'll be able to soon.