From Jim Flowers:
“Success or failure of a new venture is determined very early, on the strength or weakness of only a few fundamental factors, four, to be exact. Those four factors are Market, Magic, Mentors, and Moxie. If these are not "right,” nothing else really matters. It's not that a business with some weaknesses in these areas can't survive; but it's highly unlikely that it will flourish.”
Excerpted from MOXIE and other fundamental entrepreneurial concepts.
In June, 1993, Matthew Gray at MIT ran a small program which automatically traveled links within the Web network to try to count active sites. His small "World-Wide Web Wanderer" found around 100 sites – total. That same year David Poteet became an intra-preneur. He convinced Radford University to fund and launch its first website. By anybody’s reckoning, David was on the bleeding edge of the www phenomenon.
The success (including awards) of the Radford site convinced David that his days as a designer of print graphics were over. In September of 1994 the emerging Web was made available to all comers on a patent-free, royalty-free basis. David looked around, thought it over, took the entrepreneurial plunge, and launched New City Media in the summer of 1995. He rented an apartment with a high-speed Ethernet hookup and worked out of the spare bedroom. That took some Moxie, and an understanding wife. By the end of 1996 New City had four employees and an office; and the Poteets had their guest room back.
David recognized a dynamic, new Market opportunity. He had the “crazy (at the time) notion that the Internet was really about communication, not just technology.” He saw “humans making connections with each other and building communities unrestricted by geography.” David wanted to build a “new city.”
As a young business owner David relied on a handful of Mentors to help him both to avoid and also recover from serious blunders. He gives particular credit to David Shanks at the Radford Small Business Development Center, Ron Lussier (his first CFO), and Bonz Hart, another local software entrepreneur.
In 1999, while the internet community was booming, “rookie mistakes” took the growing company to the brink of financial disaster. David credits his mentors, incredibly loyal employees, aggressive bankers, and a strong faith with providing the Moxie-fuel to keep him going in the face of serious financial challenges. He put everything he had on the line, committed to success, and came home a winner.
But, beyond the Moxie, what has made New City Media special? What is the Magic that attracts a continuing march of high-profile clients? It is faithfulness to the inherent power of each client’s own story, dedication to esthetic excellence, and insistence upon a truly pleasant and intuitive total user experience.
Today New City Media is not a web design firm. It is an “experience design agency” and a trusted and intimate partner to its growing list of prominent and well-satisfied clients. It doesn’t just publicize each client’s story. It quietly and professionally becomes part of it.
It’s a true pleasure to shake hands with David Poteet.
Jim Flowers is the architect and Director of the VT KnowledgeWorks business acceleration center in Blacksburg, Virginia. He is the author of MOXIE and other fundamental entrepreneurial concepts. He is a client of Handshake 2.0.