BrightMix 2.0 – Transitioning to a Product Company

January 21st, 2010 by kevin

Back when we started BrightMix, Dusty and myself set out to with the goal of one day becoming a product company. That is, a company that builds and maintains its own software products. The biggest challenge with this approach is products don’t start churning over cash on day one; you have to build them, enhance them, market them, and most importantly, sell them. We needed a revenue stream to keep us afloat while our products were being developed. So, what did we do? Like many other companies out there, we bootstrapped by doing consulting work for other companies.

In the past two and a half years, we’ve built and launched many websites and web-applications for our clients, all of which we’re quite proud of. We gained a lot of experience and learned a lot about project management, scheduling, client relationships, and all of that fun stuff. We worked diligently and put in a lot of long days and nights to meet deadlines and keep our clients happy.

All the while we’ve been consulting, Dusty and myself have poured countless hours into our products: and We’ve been splitting our time and focus between consulting and our products, which has been nothing short of difficult, stressful, and time consuming. (If we focus on the consulting side of our business, the product side suffers and vice versa.) Nonetheless, both SPN and Tripleseat have gained considerable traction and momentum over the last year, and, as founders, the need for us to dedicate ourselves fully to these endeavors has become paramount. As a result, we’ve decided that we will be halting consulting work and focusing 100% of our efforts on our products. It’s something that we’ve always wanted to do and there’s no better time to act on it than now.

Note to all of our current clients: We will honor all outstanding projects to which we’ve committed. Additionally, we will continue to support and maintain all projects we’ve built.

However, we will want to transition ourselves out of any and all support and maintenance roles as quickly and realistically as possible. We will be touching base with all of our current clients over the next week to determine the best plan of action moving forward.

Lastly, suffice to say, we will not be accepting any new projects going forward.

Ideally, our transition from a consulting shop to a product shop would be seamless, and we’d be able to find a home for all current employees in our reorganized company. Unfortunately, in the short term, sans consulting revenue, we would not be able to financially support either of the Erins so we’ve had to let them go. It’s one of the hardest business decisions we’ve faced; they’re two of the best employees one could hope for. So, any of you out there who are looking for a talented developer or designer, let us know and we’ll be happy to get you in contact with them.. or you can simply email Erin Hawkins or Erin Standley directly (click on their names for their email addresses) or find them on twitter: @erinhawkins, @tinyxl.

What Lies Ahead

We’re very excited for what lays ahead for both and We’re aiming to grow these companies to the point where they are wildly successful. Both of these products will almost certainly grow to the point where we will need to hire on people, need more or additional space, take on funding, etc. For the time being, both SPN and Tripleseat will continue to operate out of our current office in mid-town Omaha. We’ll be bunking down, working hard, and knocking these products out of the park.

More to follow in the specifics of each of our software / company endeavors. For now, thanks to everyone who has been a supporter, client, friend and follower of BrightMix over the past two and a half years. It has been a fantastic run up to this point, and we’re more excited than ever for what’s in store.

BrightMix Founders,
Dusty & Kevin