Statsfeed was arguably the most successful personal project I’ve built to date. It was a b2b subscription based web service that a handful of fantasy sports businesses used for stats to power their games and systems. The average subscription was about $5-7k per season.
I never spent a dime on advertising and the cost for running the system was generally covered by just one client. At the time, the legal issues around statistics were a gray area at best and so I very intentionally kept the company very small and off the radar.
So this system made me a hefty little profit every year.
However, after a few years of running the business it started to reach a cross-roads point and it was becoming clear that I was going to need to either staff up and go big…or wind down and move into something else.
I struggled with the stage for awhile, but ultimately decided that the (legal) risk involved in the space as a whole was not something I personally would be good at taking on…and so my best option would be to sell the company and move on to something that would be a better fit for me.
The trouble was, I had basically backed into building the company. I did not have a structure or a system that was conducive to selling. There was some tech, and a little bit of process, but essentially I *was* the company (and obviously I wasn’t willing to be a part of the sale).
After shopping it around to the very limited connections I thought might be interested, it became clear that what I had put together - while interesting and profitable as I ran it - was not easily transferrable nor worthy of most any price I would be willing to take. It was un-sellable.
Coming to that realization at the time was a bit painful, but I eventually came to accept it and instead slowly closed the company down so that I could focus on my other interests (and in finding a better fit for my personal strengths/talents).
I also learned first hand just how important building a company the right way, from the very beginning can be – through every stage including the final ones.
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Kevin also talks in more depth about many of the these things around twice a month via his drip campaign and has a day job as CTO of Veritonic. You can also check out some of his open source code on GitHub or connect with him on Twitter @falicon or via email at kevin at falicon.com.
If you have comments, thoughts, or want to respond to something you see here I would encourage you to respond via a post on your own blog (and then let me know about the link via one of the routes mentioned above).