Note: I wasn’t intending to put this out there for everyone to see. Truthfully, I feel a little silly and embarrassed to publish this. However, talking internally at BSA, we felt as though it may be fun for our users to see how we feel about the business and share with you all the passion we feel for this business. Many of the references in the first couple paragraphs are to new features or fun things we did during the year. More details on these can be found n past articles from our blog here.
Thanks BSA user’s for a great year; we look forward to working hard for you in 2011 and the years to come. Happy New Year!
From: Todd Garland [mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org]
Sent: Thursday, December 30, 2010 8:38 PM
To: BSA Team
Subject: BSA State of the Union
It is with great pleasure that I send you all this email as we look back and reflect on a great year and also look forward to the challenges ahead in 2011.
It was the best of times, it was the worst of times Charles Dickens. While the “startup rollercoaster” (http://getontherollercoaster.com/) we ride definitely provided a few sleepless nights, we saw many a victory this year. The surge in new inventory and impressive advertiser acquisitions allowed us to expand our rations and double the size of our army. We also doubled the size of the gold cache we store in the castle and we will have plenty of food and weapons for the year ahead. This year, we emerged from the shadows of darkness and setup camp in a newly built fort just outside of Bostonland. We assembled the first ever asynchronous ad code to fight bandwidth disease. We helped our friends the Beacons and Outdoors(wo)men establish prosperous colonies. We built a hive and we made some honey. We brought real-time satisfaction to those who like the refresh button. We started exporting to the Macfans and iOS tribes, and we drew a map of our discoveries to date. As we enter into the darkest and most demanding days of our winter conquest, may the Gods show mercy upon our enemies.
I am proud to wear the BSA crown. It has been in our family for 3 years now. Each dawn, I awake thankful for your trust as we forge ahead. Despite our prosperity in the 10th year of the third millennium, we face great challenges ahead. The seas are raging, the volcano’s erupting, and I do not see an end in sight to the clone wars. It is now that we shall work to replenish our rations and prepare for the battles ahead. With these challenges we face great risk, but with great risk comes great reward. The passion we possess in our purpose is a force to be reckoned with.
Ok, I can’t write like that anymore, and it sounds kind of silly. So, down to business:
We effing killed it in 2010, and each one of you are responsible for helping us DOUBLE from 2009 to 2010. As exciting as doubling sounds… it’s not good enough, we’re not done, and we need to do it again in 2011 (and then some). The goal in doubling our business again in 2011 is not just for us, it’s for our users. Not only do we want to add more great sites to our inventory, we need to work hard to help our existing users increase their revenue (you know, the people who put food on our table) and get better results. In the ad business, the only thing that matters are advertiser results and being able to sell ads for publishers. We will continue to focus on these strengths in the year ahead, but we will need to bring an extra spark to the table this year. There are plenty of opportunities for innovation in the ad space and I am confident that we will continue to push forward.
The ad space is crowded. There are a million different ad networks positioning themselves a million different ways (and more specifically a bunch positioning against BSA). It’s on us to stay creative, innovate, and find ways to win business by WOWing our users. We know our strengths, we know where our weakness lies, and we are a smart and passionate bunch. Some of our competitors are pretty smart, too. We need to be smarter and more passionate than they. We can be, and I’ve seen it from each and every one of you. 2011 is a year that will separate the “men from the boys” and the “women from the girls”. THIS year is the year that we capitalize on our momentum and start turning heads and raising eyebrows. We don’t get much press, and that’s OK. We’re a surprise attack, and I like that.
Our goals are not lofty, they are strategic and attainable. If we believe in them, we will get there. This is your queue. What else do we do to make people say “WOW” when they think of BSA? Where can we improve and where can we innovate? What is one thing you can do TODAY to make BSA a better company?
I many ways I like to think of our team as the Bad News Bears (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Bad_News_Bears). None of us were once “VP of Product at Apple” or “CEO of AdSomething” or “Godfather of Engineering at Google”. Certainly, our resume’s are impressive in their own respect, but none of us have those flashy titles thrown about by umpteen startups. BSA is our chance, collectively, to be part of something big and put that stamp on our resume’s that people will look at one day and say “wow, he/she was part of the founding team at BuySellAds”. More importantly than adding a stamp to our resume’s, however, it’s our chance to do something special for ourselves, our families, and BSA users. We can influence and change the advertising landscape. It’s our chance to be part of a success story that is told 10 years from now. It’s our chance to have a really freaking good time together. It’s our chance to be creative and our chance to make shit happen. When you make shit happen people respect you, and respect is what will create a standing-room-only crowd at your funeral (not sure about your life goals, but that is one of mine).
This weekend, I wish you all a very Happy New Year. It’s a time of year to reflect. What can you do to improve personally in 2011? What can you do to improve professionally in 2011? What can be learned and what can be improved upon? Think about these questions to yourself and look forward to the year ahead. 2011 will rock, but only if you let it rock and if you work hard to become a better human being. Most of all, enjoy 2011 with your families. Without family, we have nothing. Great things happen when we stay active and stay honest with ourselves. Great things happen when we say “why not?”.
So, here’s to 2011… why not?
Thank you for a great year,