|Overture Logo circa 2000|
Even so, it has been a tremendously rewarding experience seeing Overture grow. We started with ideas being discussed in Jeff's kitchen on Saturday mornings, and grew to a company with hundreds of employees, tens of millions in revenue, and a customer base that is almost unbelievable to people in the industry.
How did we get this far? A lot of blood, sweat and tears is a given, and a healthy dose of luck factors in. However, those factors apply to just about every small company that grows past the embryonic stage. What did we do that helped us make it?
If you asked 20 old hands at Overture, you would probably get 30 answers. Since this is my blog :-), you will get my view. Here are some things that I think were a factor:
|Overture Logo circa 2008|
Sell SomethingWe had an early focus on finding an application for our product that somebody would actually pay for. They say you don't know what the price of something is until you sell it. That's very true. It's also true that you don't know if anybody wants your offering until they buy it. Because we were able to win some early business, we knew the aspects of what we were offering that actually had some value.
Watch the DollarsIt's very difficult to get money in the door, be it through venture funding or sales. It's very easy for those same dollars to find their way back out the door if you don't watch them like a hawk.
Here's one example of just how frugal we were. When it was still just Jeff and me we landed a meeting with a service provider in the Denver area. A flight from Raleigh-Durham to Denver was quite expensive, but a flight to Kansas City was pretty cheap. I also found a western airline with low fares between Kansas City and Denver. I hatched up the following itinerary:
- Day 1: fly from RDU to KC and spend the night
- Day 2: fly from KC to Denver at oh-dark-thirty, meet with the service provider, and fly back to KC
- Day 3: fly from KC back home
|Overture Logo today|