What a “New Year” Means for a Startup — Looking Back at 2011 and Peaking in to 2012
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.
- 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.
- 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).
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- The HOTH is hiring now! - Spread the love - http://www.thehoth.com/
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.