Inc. Magazine has recognized BuySellAds as one of the country’s fastest growing companies of 2012, ranked at number 248 of the top 500. BSA also ranked #35 in the Advertising/Marketing category overall and #11 in Boston. All chest thumping aside, here are some thoughts on the last 4 years and what’s next for us.
If you don’t submit your company, and you don’t agree to release private financial information, you’re not going to be on the list. So, that means there are companies out there who didn’t submit their info who would otherwise be on the list.
In the advertising space, “revenue” needs to be taken with a grain of salt. Clearly, 75% of our revenue is “client” money, as-in, it was never ours in the first place and is pass-through revenue. So, it’s not like we’re rolling around in our private jets, popping bottles of Perrier-Jouet, like the Rich Kids of Instagram. However, it does mean we’re making our publishers A LOT of money. If you monetize your website by selling advertising and you’re NOT listed at BuySellAds, chances are we can add meaningful incremental revenue for you. Our sweet spot is that tricky middle area somewhere between the $20 CPM’s of the world and the peanuts that you’ll make from remnant networks like AdSense. Publishers who understand that the $2 – $10 CPM “tricky middle” is the single best way to drive up their current revenue do really well with us – and they have minimal (if any) channel conflict with us.
Why We Entered
This is easy: it would have been selfish of me as CEO to NOT enter, because I knew we’d be on the list. If you can make it on the Inc500 (as much as folks who are not on it will say it’s dumb and yawn) it’s a pretty big deal. It’s one of the only “contests” out there that isn’t a popularity contest, since it’s based purely on 3 year revenue growth. Not entering wouldn’t have been fair to our hard working team who has brought us here. I’d also like to think that it will make recruiting easier for us. We don’t have the privilege of being millions of dollars in debt from raising venture capital, which apparently makes you more credible than actually being profitable and building a sustainable business these days.
I’m going to make this part short, because REALLY looking back would be an entire post. Very simply: we wouldn’t be where we are today without our advertisers and publishers. They put a lot of trust in us, and in return we work our asses off for them. It works, really well, and we’re honored to have worked with all of our users. Nothing about our growth has been forced or unnatural. It’s 100% organic, with the right touch of genuine hustle mixed in. I won’t say that we haven’t made any mistakes, but at the end of the day we govern ourselves by doing what we call “good business”. It’s a very simple philosophy, and it’s the foundation upon which large companies can be built.
What’s Next For BuySellAds?
The best part about building a company (and life in general) is that there isn’t a finish line. The day we stop innovating and building new stuff is not a day you’ll ever see while I am leading this company. We have been quietly working on new products for the last year or so. It’s our best work to date, we’re very excited, and we have very high expectations going forward. The first product to be released this fall is our Publisher PRO product. PRO attacks a few key problems with online monetization, and is a product that any publisher who monetizes their site will want to check out. Obviously I am biased, but any publisher who sells advertising online will be putting themselves at a disadvantage by not checking out this product.
Rest assured, we’re not done yet, and the Marketplace we have today is just a tiny, yet key, piece of what we’re building.