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Nice to meet you all


#1

Just a quick hello after joining. I’m Andy. I’ve been fostering a long a bootstrapped company for about 15 years.

When I quit my last job to invest my time into my own company, on my last day, I got in my Jeep and randomly Frank Sinatra’s My Way came on the radio as I pulled out of the parking garage. It was perfect segway to what was ahead.

Needing to lower my cost of living and to fulfil my wanderlust I ended up moving to Buenos Aires, Argentina. I then spend 4.5 years traveling around the world living in inexpensive countries and working on my company. This is pretty normal now, called Digital Nomads but in 2005 there were not many of us doing that yet.

As planned, my company needed time to grow, and that we did. Slowly but surely we keep plodding a long. Up until about 3 months ago we were a distributed company with workers located all around the globe. We continue to be location independent but we recently opened an office in the DFW area (Texas). I have mixed feelings about this because I left my job to get away from an office and now i’m going back to one! Seems kind of full circle and weird but I think it’s the right move.

Historically we were an ad supported B2C digital publisher with a focus on running online forums. In recent years we have focused more on recurring revenue SaaS products. My new focus is on CAC, LTV, attrition, and all things related to growing positive ROI business.

This looks like an interesting community, I hope to learn and contribute with you all.


#2

Welcome!

Things have certainly changed with regards to working while travelling long term. In 2005 wifi for travellers must have been almost non-existent.


#3

It’s funny. I actually started my first website in 2002 because I wanted to access internet from a mountain stream. To do this I needed to use a bi-directional satellite which was too big for my Jeep’s roof so I bought an old RV to put the satellite on top of that. From there I could connect an old school 802.11b router and bam, I had internet by the creek. Had wireless broadband been a thing, I would probably still be working for someone else!

In 2005 I had a big hunky laptop with a wireless PCMIA card that had an external antenna connector. I then had an external high gain antenna that I would velcro to the back of my laptop and I could find signals to tap into. 802.11 was pretty early so there were actually a lot of open networks from people who just didn’t know how to configure them.

I would often rent apartments for however long I could stay in a country. So if the visa allowed me 90 days I would stay in an apartment for 90 days. They were hard to find before Airbnb. This was even before facebook. Man have the times changed fast.

So in the apartments there would always be DSL or Cable modem. I would take my own wifi access point with me.

In between apartments I would often stay at hostels or backpackers. Some had internet, some didn’t. Back then internet cafes were more prevelent.

Towards the end of my travels I had a Blackberry with a global unlimited plan so I could keep up with email and connect through it slowly on 3G. In some countries like in Africa or Asia I would buy a local SIM for wireless internet as that became available. Basically you made it work.

It was fun working from a bungalow on long beach of Koh Phi Phi island or a villa in a resort beach town in Brasil (ended up meeting my wife there).

Mets some cool people along the way. I’m really glad I got that out of my system. It was a very fond chapter of my life. More people should go experience the world!

Now with smart phones it’s so easy. I’m actually in Cayman right now and all I had to do was text ATT when I got here to enabled phone/data for $10/day.

I wish I had been thinking more about SaaS and recurring revenue business models back then. I was drunk on SEO & organic traffic. Thankfully the media side of our company is still doing well but SaaS is where we are focused for thee future. Mostly B2C services that serve the needs of our content sites. For example, if we have a network of marine related websites then we look to provide B2C SaaS tools serving boat owners. This allows us to backfill our ad stack with our own house ads pushing rates up and lowering our CAC.