A blog about social, economic and spiritual networking

Tuesday, June 07, 2005

My Blue Flame: CEO Position for an Early Stage Company

[Added 6/9/05: Credit to Keith Ferrazzi and his book Never Eat Alone (page 26) for the "blue flame" metaphor: the place where "passion" and "ability" intersect]

I've been quite reflective lately about what it is that *I* do best. Sure, I know how to turn ideas into businesses, and have started at least 30 businesses of varying sizes over the past 30 years, with a pretty good track record. I've had a couple of nice exits. I haven't hit the home run yet by selling up to AOL, yet, but there is still time!

In retrospect, I am actually a lot better at building businesses than starting them. I have a finance and accounting background, direct sales experience, and technical expertise honed on some of the world's most interesting, important and ambitious projects.

I've been really blessed by being able to make "accurate market hypotheses" time after time. I think much more like a venture capitalist than an entrepreneur, perhaps because of my finance and economics background.

  • I started a PC retail and mailorder business in 1982 (selling Commodores and CPM machines) arround the same time as IBM announced the first MS-DOS PC and rode that wave into the "clone market"

  • I started my first software business in 1983, called Space Shuttle Software (Shuttle was *big* news back then.)

  • I started a dial-in online service (with 300 baud modems) in 1983 called "CompuNet". At the same time, CompuServe was providing service to business customers only

  • I became interested in "relational databases" in 1985 with Advanced Revelation on a Honeywell mainframe using a http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pick_operating_system, moving into using new-fangled Oracle database software on DEC VMS in 1986 and XENIX

  • I went to work for Oracle in 1988 when it was a little $250M company on Davis Drive in Belmont California. I carried (and met) a sales quota of 1% of Oracle's entire annual revenue! [Oracle now books $11 BILLION in revenue each year]

  • I was one of the first persons to identify the trend of client-server applications

  • I had one of the first commercial domain names (SQLWARE.COM) in March 1983

  • I started providing email service to dial-in customers in 1993

  • I provided access to Usenet newsgroups in 1993, including those on WWW,an interesting project yet to be announced outside of geekdom

  • My database consulting company, SQLWare, had its first website in 1994, and was marketed as "The Internet Database Solutions" company, in 1996, as we were tying in back-office application systems to front-end browsers, long before most people even thought of doing it

  • I pioneered mass-appeal Internet network advertising on "mom and pop" independent websites, and built a network (ADSDAQ) of 8,000 websites displaying targeted, rich-media ads (and a lot of banner ads too). My basis, which is still true today, is that advertisers are looking for a particular audience (eyeballs) for their advertising, which just happens to be site independent

  • I developed network inventory (ad capacity) in 1998 by using "viral marketing", though I'm not sure the term was really in use yet, which meant that our site acquisition budget was, er, *zero*. Cool!

  • I started getting involved with social networking software like LinkedIn, Spoke and Ryze, late in 2003, and started blogging in the second wave, in early 2004

  • I have been a pioneer in personal independent publishing (read:blogging), localization opportunities and wireless communities.

I've developed partnerships with big companies to market my (little) companies' products and services. I've sold lots of "million dollar deals". I've had to do it. I had no choice. I had to eat. And I got to be really *good* at it.

So rather than come up with the "next big idea" and bootstrap it out of my basement, I want to make myself available, as CEO, to build a company which just *might* be the next big thing. I'm looking for a company with some backing, perhaps an "A" round, who needs to get to the "B" round. This is "old hat" to me. I know what to do. And I know how to focus outward into the marketplace and get the "buzz" going, and get the *sales* going, and get the *team* going*, and get the *business* going.

That's what I do best. If you know of such an opportunity, please let me know: joe.bartling@spiderware.com.


Peter said...

Joe. We gotta talk. Give me a yell tomorrow @ 508 329 2232. -Pete

10:02 PM

Alvin Narsey said...

jOE! Impressive CV thats amazing stuff. I'm sure something equally as exciting will come your way.

3:25 AM


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