There are many ways we could count the start of Jackson Fish Market: the day the state issued our license, the day Jenny showed up, the day we got our first paying gig, the day we got our first check, etc. But in this webby world it seems like the day our web site went up is the proper way to count our launch. Two years ago today, Monday, November 20, 2006, this website went up with our very first post (appropriately titled “Hello World”).
Some stats from the past couple of years:
- Founders: 3
- Full-time employees: 3
- Number of full-time employees that are also founders: 3
- Contractors who have worked for us: 38
- Interns we’ve employed: 3
- Apps we’ve shipped that we own: 6 (the first one shipped in July of 2007, 8 months after the company launched)
- Consulting jobs we’ve done: 16
- Number of blog posts (including this one): 1284
- Locations we’ve occupied: 2 (across the hall from each other)
- Number of weeks where we’ve shut down the business so we could all have time off: 15
- Page views our sites have generated: 4,185,712.
- Dollars of investment we’ve taken from venture capital, angels, family, friends, ourselves: 0*
* In the interest of full disclosure, while we haven’t put any of our own money into the business, all three of us make substantially less money than we could in the corporate world (or at least used to be able to in the corporate world). So that’s a form of subsidy, but we haven’t transferred any money from our pockets into the business.
The business stories that humans tend to like reading typically involve overnight success. And I think I understand why that is. When the success is described as happening suddenly, it somehow makes it feel like it could happen to us. Fate could shine on each and every one of us and sweep us into a huge winning situation. I try not to read too many of those stories. Instead I like the stories about businesses that are built one small step at a time. And invariably, when you ask the people who are overnight successes how it went, they will confide in you that they worked hard for 5, 10, 15, 20 years before their success happened “overnight”. Obviously I like these stories because that’s the template I believe we’re following. These stories because they make me feel like it
could will happen to us.
On the one hand, I look at where we are and can see almost nothing but the huge heavy lifting we have ahead of us to grow this business into the entity that Jenny, Walter, and I envision. But on the other hand, two short years ago, even in my most wildly optimistic moments you couldn’t get me to speculate that we’d be where we are after only two years. While we still have a long way to go, I am incredibly proud of where we’ve gotten to so far.
And most importantly, creating our own future, while fraught with doubts, and certainly no sure bet, has been the most rewarding, enjoyable, and uplifting work experience I have ever had. This is thanks in no small part to the people I get to work with (customers, partners, and contractors), but Walter and Jenny especially.
We have lots of good stuff planned for our third year of existence. We hope you’ll stay tuned as we build our business brick by virtual brick.