Matt Mickiewicz was a 15-year-old student when he started SitePoint, a website that became one of the largest web communities to buy and sell websites. While that very successful section spawned off its own site, Flippa.com, SitePoint retains a smaller marketplace for the same purpose. As a 15-year old, Matt was busy closing $10,000 advertising deals in between classes while his classmates were comparing acne medications. By the time he as 16, he had enough money to buy a BMW in cash.
Matt’s story might be what dot-com dreams are made of. However, he also had to overcome various challenges along the way. One of the biggest trials in his business journey was the dot-com crash, which saw his advertising revenue drop meaning he was not able to raise additional venture capital.
The solution to this problem turned out to be simple. Mickiewicz and his team focused on providing solutions to web visitors. For example, one of the most popular features on their website is the “print this article” link. It was based on the concept that people would pay for the privilege of getting content printed on their behalf because they don’t want to switch from one page to another while reading the tutorials. The articles were available for free on the internet, but people paid $35 for the hardcopy.
Several factors made Mickiewicz one of the leading players in the tech industry today including:
- Ability to balance big projects with small ideas – balancing big projects with high potential with smaller tweaks, ideas, and fixes is often difficult. The team behind SitePoint is able to accomplish this through regular meetings and the creation of long-term business plans.
- Good timing and public relationships from media outlets – according to Mickiewicz, the success of his site is a combination of good timing, successful public relations, and hard work. He had the luck of good timing to take advantage of search engine optimization when it was much easier because competition was limited. Dedication – SitePoint started out with a lot of personalized attention from the founder. Mickiewicz spent countless hours writing articles, answering emails, and responding to questions on the website.
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