asp.net 2d barcode generator Livingston: Do you remember if you ever had to somehow make yourselves in Font

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Livingston: Do you remember if you ever had to somehow make yourselves
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seem bigger than you actually were
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Davis: All the time. We became the most popular destination on the Web in
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April 99 I remember it well. At that point we were the busiest spot on the Internet we overtook Yahoo. But for the previous four years we were playing catch-up to Yahoo. So we were always trumpeting ourselves and talking about the Lycos advantage. And over time, the parts became a little bit different, but to the consumer not all that different. We in the industry saw it differently. Lycos became more search and Yahoo became a directory. If you remember Yahoo back in 95/ 96, there really wasn t the search feature. You d click your way down into things. So you would say literature, books, founders, books about founders and you would click your way down rather than just doing a simple search.
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Livingston: You went public in what was the fastest IPO in the NASDAQ ever. Davis: It still is. Livingston: How did you manage that How did you manage creating a business plan and vision for the company, growing the company, doing all the PR, and preparing Davis: We developed a business plan, but I d be lying to say that we referred to it every day. We spent a lot of time on the plan trying to identify what business we were in and where we d go, but so much of our life was reactionary. But we focused on increasing users. We focused on expanding the advertising base. We focused on partnerships; getting others to promote Lycos was very effective for us. We had a wide number of customers, like AT&T, CompuServe, and Prodigy, that licensed Lycos technology and put their own search engine online with
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Powered by Lycos underneath it. Interestingly enough, all three of those companies are gone today. They were our early licensees. We also did some joint ventures overseas. Probably less than a year into it, we struck a joint venture with Bertelsmann, which was the largest media company in Europe. We put in our technology and they put in about $10 million, and we created Lycos Europe, which was Lycos in native languages for a dozen countries in Europe, initially.
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Livingston: So these partnerships and licensing helped drive a lot of new users Davis: They were incredibly important for us early on. We had a number of license agreements with companies that would pay us several hundred thousand to millions of dollars to use our technology. So we got a lot of cash from that and then we had a lot more visibility as well. Livingston: So Lycos was focused on building visibility in many different ways. Davis: Yes. We were PR evangelists of the highest order and were constantly
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self-promoting. PR is the cheapest form of advertising and it was always pretty powerful for us. It was the most effective way we had to get the word out to customers. We eventually became a large national advertiser: there were Lycos commercials, a Lycos race car, Lycos parachutes jumping out of the sky. I think the life of an entrepreneur is a life of setbacks, challenges, disappointments, and failures. It s not how you celebrate the successes, it s how you overcome the adversity and the hardship that determines how the business succeeds. And I think that s what we were able to do well. We had a saying at Lycos called, Let up, you lose. It was all about perseverance and hunkering down and overcoming the tough times and saying, How can I succeed Certainly every day something had to be done, and we needed to have a focus on a lot of priorities at the same time. We always needed to focus on hiring good people. People are the foundation of any company. Machiavelli said you judge a leader by the strength of his generals, and it s so true. The team that we put in place would determine how successful Lycos would become over time, so we tried to hire very well. And there hadn t been the Internet industry, which made it harder to assess people s skills. So we focused on hiring. We focused on building customers, going out and developing customer relationships, and of course that meant hiring a sales team to go out and find advertisers for us. We focused on putting infrastructure in place. Bear in mind we had none. We needed computers to operate the equipment, and that was difficult. Early on we had no money to pay for computers, or very little, so we worked on arrangements with companies like Sun Microsystems and others where they d give us hardware at a hugely discounted rate and in return we would put on our site Powered by Sun. And eventually it became Powered by Digital Equipment. We didn t call it that at the time, but in reality, that was a form of advertising. People were trading us product in return for impressions.
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