What a “New Year” Means for a Startup — Looking Back at 2011 and Peaking in to 2012

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The HOTH New Year 2012 e1325524409249 What a New Year Means for a Startup    Looking Back at 2011 and Peaking in to 2012

Photo by Sally Mahoney

When you cre­ate a growth com­pany, every day is an oppor­tu­nity. You either use it or lose it. We’ve done plenty of both over the past year.

As many of you know, The HOTH was started as an offer to our col­leagues on inter­net mar­ket­ing forums. The thought was to sell excess capac­ity to our inter­nal link build­ing process. As a result of the insane response we received, we found our­selves in a whole new busi­ness that we never planned to be in.

The first part of this year was spent turn­ing some­thing that was merely an offer into a busi­ness. This is an impor­tant dis­tinc­tion. With an offer, you just have to throw up a prod­uct, sell it and deliver some­thing that won’t get you sued. What­ever hap­pens from there, you can disregard.

A busi­ness is dif­fer­ent though. A busi­ness is an entity. It has rela­tion­ships, a past and a future. Peo­ple inter­act with an offer one time, but busi­ness rela­tion­ships can last 100s of years. As a result, the first half of 2011 was spent focussing on increas­ing reli­a­bil­ity, shoring up inter­nal processes, and mak­ing sure that we were cre­at­ing some­thing that our cus­tomers could count on for years to come.

It took me 30 sec­onds to describe the above distinction.

It took us 6 months to restruc­ture our com­pany accord­ingly. And it paid off.

Half way through this year, we hit a major turn­ing point. The HOTH had worked out the major­ity of its birth defects and we began to focus on growth for the future. From the van­tage point of today, the past few months have been marked with unprece­dented growth in new HOTH users and recur­ring use from exist­ing cus­tomers. But, as the cliche goes, this is only the begin­ning. Keep read­ing and you’ll see exactly what I mean -

Before I dive into what 2012 holds in store, I want to express my unspeak­ably deep grat­i­tude to each and every one of you for allow­ing us to devote our lives to build­ing this prod­uct and evolv­ing as a com­pany. This is some­thing we remem­ber every day and never take for granted.

Now — let’s take a look at the future.

  1. Two new rock­stars join the team - First, we’re ridicu­lously excited to wel­come Tyron Fos­ton as the new CTO of The HOTH. Tyron has already been rebuild­ing the infra­struc­ture behind The HOTH for the past 2 months. In 2012, Tyron will lead the devel­op­ment of func­tion­al­ity that’ll make every­thing we’ve done so far look like Fisher Price. More on this below below.

    We’re also extremely excited to wel­come Greg Webb as our first full time Account Man­ager. With more agen­cies and bulk buy­ers rely­ing on The HOTH than ever before, Greg will make sure each and every one of you is HOTHed with the best ser­vice and com­mu­ni­ca­tion we can pos­si­bly deliver.
  2. HOTH Plus+ - A few days ago, we sent out an invi­ta­tion to a pri­vate beta for HOTH Plus+, our brand new link build­ing ser­vice pow­ered by 100% Tal­ented, US Col­lege Edu­cated writ­ers (note: few slots still open). Frankly, it is the only ser­vice of its kind at this time, and it will allow agen­cies to out­source link build­ing for even the pick­i­est, most sen­si­tive clients. More so, HOTH Plus+ is an oppor­tu­nity for our clients to take advan­tage of our brand new HOTH 3 link struc­ture (see #3).
  3. HOTH 3 - The much antic­i­pated HOTH 3 is finally com­plete and due to be released in the near future. The HOTH 3 has over 50 improve­ments from the orig­i­nal HOTH 2.0. Most notably, more links, with increased viral link diver­sity and a num­ber of other safety mea­sures. The point is to more con­sis­tently and more sub­stan­tially improve your rank­ings, while keep­ing your sites safer than ever.
  4. HOTH Order Man­age­ment Por­tal - This will be a game changer. Hands down. One of the biggest pains of using The HOTH is a ton of email, which even­tu­ally gets con­fus­ing. Yes, we know. No, we’re not in denial. Although we’ve elim­i­nated the bulk of deliv­er­abil­ity issues by switch­ing mail servers recently, we haven’t cleared up the clut­ter — yet. The HOTH Order Man­age­ment Por­tal will give you a sin­gle dash­board and con­trol panel for all your HOTH link build­ing. You’ll be able to view reports and sta­tuses for all orders in a sin­gle glance. You won’t need to open a sin­gle email or down­load any­thing. Unless, of course, you want to, in which case those options will remain avail­able.

    Just as impor­tant, for the first time ever, The HOTH Order Man­age­ment Por­tal will allow you to sched­ule your link build­ing how­ever you please. Want to run a pack­age every 3 weeks? Every month? Cus­tom Sched­ule? No prob­lem. With a cou­ple clicks, the Order Man­age­ment Por­tal will allow you to set it and for­get it. This means less work, more con­sis­tent link build­ing and more time saved for you than ever before.
  5. The HOTH Link Build­ing API - Large net­work own­ers and resellers of our link build­ing prod­uct will LOVE The HOTH Link Build­ing API. Want to cre­ate a script that auto­mat­i­cally sched­ules link build­ing for 1000s of sites? Our API will let you do that. Want to let clients order links with a sin­gle click from your web-app, host­ing panel, SEO man­age­ment tool or train­ing site? Our API will let you do that. Want to charge your exist­ing cus­tomers for link build­ing using the credit card you already have on file and automag­i­cally place your orders with The HOTH with­out mov­ing a fin­ger? Yes, our API will let you do that.

    The HOTH Link Build­ing API will let more com­pa­nies build more sophis­ti­cated sys­tems and processes that will save more time and make more money than ever before.

  6. More Help­ful Resources - Ear­lier this year, we promised you con­sis­tent case stud­ies on our blog and, sadly, we’ve not deliv­ered. Our first pri­or­ity has been serv­ing our cus­tomers, which pre­vi­ously left no time for the cre­ation of these needed resources. With our expanded team, we’ll now be able to cre­ate them for you on a reg­u­lar basis. This year, expect to see more case stud­ies, webi­nars, blog posts, guest posts and every other kind of help­ful resource you can think of. For real this time.
  7. The HOTH is hir­ing now! - Spread the love - http://www.thehoth.com/careers

We’ve had ups and downs in 2011, but a year later we’re stronger than we could have ever imag­ined. The lessons we’ve learned, the rela­tion­ships we’ve built, the tools we’ve cre­ated, the hus­tle we’ve cul­ti­vated and, of course, the money we’ve made, put us in a posi­tion to dom­i­nate in 2012. We hope you join us and do the same.

Now let’s HOTH the s&*t out of 2012.

Tell us how your going to HOTH in 2012 in the com­ments below.

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