Case Study - Herbert Tabin, VOIS

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First of all being an entrepreneur in Web 2.0 is totally different than being an entrepreneur in Web 1.0 that’s for sure. Personally, I have had a lot of entrepreneurial experience in the past. During the 1990’s I worked with and assisted in the taking public dozens of small Internet startups. In May 2000, I was on the cover of entrepreneur magazine for a different internet venture I founded in 1997. What’s different today is unlike Web 1.0, technology today is cheap, ridiculously cheap and many of the things we did in-house in 1.0 such as programming and hosting are now done so much more efficiently, effectively and inexpensively with outside providers. The negative to this is now with that the barriers to entry are so low they create tons of competition and everything moves incredibly fast so you must always be on your toes.

While the venture with VOIS started on a positive note, we definitely made some mistakes along the way which set us back. Shortly after we started we brought in some individuals to take over the management who had a great “pedigree” in previous internet web 1.0 ventures as these people were founders of some of the biggest and best known names of web 1.0 and helped take a lot of Americans’ online. While the names were great for our board the reality was the people and their management styles had become stale and antiquated. Simply, although these people had been founders of some of the webs biggest company’s in the 1990s they couldn’t adapt today’s Web 2.0 arena. This forced us to make the difficult decision to remove them only five months after they took over daily management.

Upon retaking control of the company we had to fix all the damage they had done and they left us saddled with unnecessary debt. Although painful I learned tremendous lessons. I still feel you have to keep an open mind towards bringing in new individuals but don’t let a name alone and past accomplishments ever sway you. I know I won’t ever again. Also you have to go with your gut. If it’s your dream don’t believe someone else can simply take the reigns and make it happen. Since that time we have retrenched and moved on and regained our positive posture and moved into the top 10,000 websites in the world.

Next: Surveying The Landscape

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