When I first started in the internet game, one of my main goals were to limit expenses. Why hire someone in the US when we can outsource? Why buy that premium server when this one does a good enough job? Why rent an office when we can work at home? But as I look back, I realized we were severely limiting growth.
I am talking specifically about my first large web venture, WizTeen Inc. A network of sites, that could have been on the level of Zygna or Slide if grown properly. In 2005, WizTeen showed amazing potential. The network was hugely profitable, bolstering a portfolio of over 15 sites. Although it was just me and one other partner, we were slowly able to add new properties. We thought we were doing everything right. But then eyeballs started moving to other corners of the internet – Facebook, Twitter, YouTube. We were in business for 2 years, yet we were still a company of only two full-time employees when our revenue say we could have had 5. We didn’t have the infrastructure set in place to compete and soon our visitors went to newer, more interesting websites. I suppose it was a little bit of greed in hindsight. Much of the profit was lining our pockets when it should have been invested back. If I could tell myself in 2005: you should setup an office, hire an employee or two, pump out interesting services/content in line with the demand of your visitors, I would in a heart beat. I would slap myself until I listened. WizTeen Inc. could of rode the Facebook App wave, the iPhone App wave, and even the coming iPad app wave but instead it has been relegated to the confines of the internet dark ages. It may surface once again stronger than ever but only with the proper guidance and mindset.
I declare that my greed will no longer supersede the needs of my users. Product, product, product.
Invest all that you can into your company, pay yourself only what you need, then invest some more. And most importantly…
Don’t follow the money, let it follow you.