Brothers’ businesses thrive, inspired by father’s legacy

Brothers’ businesses thrive, inspired by father’s legacy

Three family members. Three different eras of innovation. One shared spirit of entrepreneurship. A father’s legacy Bob: Internet entrepreneur Scott: Rethinking manufacturing Bob and Scott Long have two very different businesses – with one common motivator. MetaCommunications, launched by Bob in Iowa City in the 90s, produces an elite software package for marketers at Fortune 500 companies around the world. Zero Energy Systems, launched by Scott in Coralville this year, produces energy-efficient concrete wall panels in a state of the art automated manufacturing facility. Both started with their father. “When you make that choice to be an entrepreneur, there’s something that influenced you to get there. In our case, my brother and I, it was watching our father growing up,” said Scott Long. “He always started his own businesses. He was never employed by anybody, he never had a job. He always had technology around the house that was very cool.” Robert Long founded Thermomass and turned it into the industry standard for insulated concrete. Although he passed away last fall, the business is still growing in Boone. While Scott inherited his father’s streak for manufacturing innovation, Bob and their third brother in Michigan, Jon, were influenced by the early models of Apple computers they had to tinker with, developing a passion for software. (Jon manages large data centers and hasn’t started a business “yet,” Bob said.) Although the world has changed tremendously since Robert Long invented Thermomass in his home, his sons have followed his lead to thrive in different eras of entrepreneurship. Bob launched Meta during the height of the digital publishing revolution, and Scott is preparing to…