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Success Story - Thanks a lot MJ

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A detailed account of a Fastlane process...

robk

Bronze Contributor
Aug 29, 2012
14
233
Petersfield, UK
Not sure if this is the right place to post, but after reading TMF last year I had one of those Eureka moments and would like to thank MJ for opening my eyes.

Having spent years running teams of people developing web technology that made other people money I finally decided to make some money myself and tried my hand at affiliate marketing.

I developed a Mobile Ad Monitoring system to give my marketing activities a competitive advantage and pretty soon was able to quit my day job. I then decided to launch Mobile Ad Spy as a business and before it came out of beta it was acquired by WhatRunsWhere.

I'm not trying to "big up" myself here, more just to hopefully provide a bit of inspiration and let others know that it can be done and it can happen very quickly.

I can't really believe I've made it into sites like Techcrunch today WhatRunsWhere Acquires Mobile Ad Spy To Help Advertisers Tame The Wild West Of Mobile | TechCrunch , VentureVeat WhatRunsWhere acquires Mobile Ad Spy to reveal your competitors’ web and mobile advertising (exclusive details) | VentureBeat and Betakit BetaKit » WhatRunsWhere Buys Mobile Ad Spy to Provide Mobile Ad Intelligence just to name a few.

If you haven't read MJ's book; buy it, read it, read it again and then take action. Oh and read it again to make sure you're taking the right action and don't f*cking stop or waste time with TV, FB, BS or whatever until you get there.

Cheers
Rob
 
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BrucetonGuy

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Sep 28, 2011
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"the deal was worth north of seven figures — a significant exit for a start-up launched just last year which is still in beta."

WOW!! Congrats on your success! A True TMF success story!
 

JasonR

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Congrats. Any insight on to what your business was acquired for?

I was just on What Runs Where's website...bookmarked it for future use.

Edit: Replied before I saw BruceTon's post.
 
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robk

Bronze Contributor
Aug 29, 2012
14
233
Petersfield, UK
Congrats. Any insight on to what your business was acquired for?

I was just on What Runs Where's website...bookmarked it for future use.

Edit: Replied before I saw BruceTon's post.

Heheh JasonR - I'm afraid not - part of the terms of the deal.

Thanks Amail & BrucetonGuy

Also a big thanks to Eskil for inviting me here - seems to be a really cool community
 

Eskil

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Welcome to the forum Rob! ;)

I know Rob from a mastermind group that I'm part of, and he's the real deal! I know he will be a great part of this forum.
 

MJ DeMarco

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Wow, FN awesome story! So happy to hear this ... even better, you've cracked the formula and can do it again. Would love to hear the intricacies of your process so others can learn too.

Take time, celebrate your success, and repeat! :thumbsup::eusa_clap:
 

Eskil

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Lol, the poor guy is gaining Speed here so fast he's gonna get a whiplash from the acceleration! :D
 
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MUISaiyan

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Congrats man, great to hear stories come out like this, of course we here know it wasn't a lucky break overnight success but putting in the work and adding value to the marketplace. I'm sure we will see more stories like these appearing soon as more and more people take advice from MJ's book.
 
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ageofz

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Congrats man! A big lesson here is to leech off of the success of trending markets. Mobile advertising is still a fairly new landscape. When advertising like PPV and PPC became mainstream for internet advertisers, online ad tracking companies were formed (prosper, CPVlab etc).

Now mobile markets need the same features implemented. Kudos for seeing that market need and fulfilling it! I'd be interested in learning how you were able to attract the interest of WhatRunsWhere. Did they find you or did you find them? Were you looking to sell or did it just happen?

Go celebrate! Stories like this is what keeps us up and coming fastlaners motivated.
 

AllenCrawley

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Killer success story! Speed+

MJ DeMarco" data-source="post: 230112" class="bbCodeBlock bbCodeBlock--expandable bbCodeBlock--quote js-expandWatch">
Would love to hear the intricacies of your process so others can learn too.
:iagree:
 

Milkanic

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MJ DeMarco" data-source="post: 230112" class="bbCodeBlock bbCodeBlock--expandable bbCodeBlock--quote js-expandWatch">
Would love to hear the intricacies of your process so others can learn too.

I'd love to hear how you evaluated the market, programmed/outsourced it, etc. Maybe write a book on it as your next project?
 
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AcquireCurrency

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Jul 20, 2011
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Did you solely work on this project?

What programming languages did you use?

Was WhatRunsWhere in direct competition with you?

How did you beat the competition?


Thanks, this is an amazing success story.
 

MakeItHappen

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What a nice story! I am looking forward for more posts from you!

I also hope that one day within the next couple years i will be able to pull off something similar.
One thing is for sure this book and forum will create quite a few millionaires the next couple years. :)
 
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Mike39

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Would like to hear about how you got from idea to beta, I am sure it wasn't a walk in the park. Congratulations on the payday, can only hope I can experience something similar in the coming years. Literally dying to hear a brief insight into the early day of your biz :)
 

needchaser

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Congratulations! Stories like yours can really motivate people to realise their own fastlane goals. I just heard a mixergy interview with whatrunswhere about a month ago, maybe now you'll be on mixergy soon :D.
 
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robk

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Aug 29, 2012
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Wow thanks for all your kind comments everybody.

I'm afraid I'm too hungover to quote you all individually, but will attempt to summarise my journey.

I needed to reach a tipping point before I took the risk of doing my own thing. I was 41 (yeah I'm a dinosaur on the internet) and had been running teams of people developing e-commerce software and web sites for years - making other people rich. I've got 5 kids and was always too tired to enjoy my time with them. Despite having well paid freelancing gigs there was never enough money or time. Can't remember how, but I somehow found MJ's book in my hands and read it in the 4 hours a day I was spending commuting to London for work. I would read sections then close my eyes imagining all these stinky people on the train weren't there and envisioning myself with money doing what I wanted to do and working with who I wanted to work with. Very powerful stuff and I felt like MJ was personally calling me out for being a twat and not trying to do something about it - everything in his book makes so much sense.

I decided to give internet marketing a go in my hahah "spare" time since I had most the skills necessary to do so. Quickly lost Google, FB and Ad Center accounts for doing things that weren't particularly naughty. I lost a load of money running campaigns and am embarrassed to say brought some rubbish products. If somebody has push button software that makes them $x,xxx per day on auto-pilot would they really sell it to me for $47 so I can become their competitor?.

Those "in the know" were describing mobile as "the new wild west" in 2011 since any adverts could get approved and clicks were dirt cheap. I decided to give mobile affiliate marketing a try. I spent $30k in my first month for a $1.5k return (yes I lost $28.5k) and was ready to give up and resign myself to the fact I would always work for other people for the rest of my life and would not get to see my kids grow up.

To cut a long story short, I was at rock bottom. I had used advertising intelligence products to launch profitable campaigns before in display, so I knew the value of them, but there was nothing available for mobile (well not to the general public at least). I decided to man up and write my own. I can't remember the exact quote, but it's something along the lines of "if you want to be successful, copy someone who is" which is precisely what advertising intelligence tools allow you to do. My background was Micro$haft.NET so I had to learn Java, PHP, MySQL, Zend and just get on with it.

Suffice to say I spent LOTS of time working on this and when it had a bit of data I launched a mobile campaign which was profitable from day one and I managed to scale it quite well. So with a bit of success I redoubled my efforts, added more countries and improved the code. Constantly testing my results I was very quickly able to quit my day job.

Fast forward a few months and I decided to launch what I'd got as a service to the public. I had always wanted to have a successful software business and despite making tons of money, all this affiliate marketing was starting to feel like I was just hustling and looking at stats and pivot tables all the time. OK, there is stacks of money to be made, but when people asked me what I was doing I felt like I was some sort of pimp or drug dealer.

I knew;
1) The business model was sound because it has been around since 1852 Media monitoring service - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

2) Mobile was and still is the next big thing since mobile internet use is predicted to overtake desktop use in 2014.

3) Since 1 million new Android devices are becoming active every day, and countless Apple / MS devices mobile advertising is set to grow.

4) There would be a demand for it from affiliate marketers simply because so many people were getting into the industry and struggling.

5) There would be a demand for it from agencies because their customers want to throw some big bucks at branding.

6) There is no dominant player in the mobile advertising market so there will be a lot of consolidation.

7) There was no direct competition to what I was doing in the market.

Put all this together and I was in the right place at the right time. I had no long term plans for the business, I was just enjoying doing something for myself for once. I was working long hours, but doing it with a smile on my face and each day was a new opportunity. I had saved 20 hours commuting time per week and was spending that at home with my family. I was meeting some really cool people like Eskil and was finally starting to get the hang of networking.

After a few bad outsourcing experiences I was lucky enough to find an Ozzy guy who is absolutely brilliant at LAMP development and server admin, if anybody needs that sort of service, PM me and I will put you in touch.

I unofficially launched a very quiet private PAID FOR beta and was overwhelmed with the response and very soon had to close the doors to new people. I wanted to charge my beta users because I wanted them committed to helping me improve the product. It is also a business model that Micro$haft have used very effectively. I got some great feedback from users and started compiling a backlog of user stories to work on and plan some sprints.

Anyway, I can't go into too much detail of this bit, but I was approached by Max from WhatRunsWhere and we very quickly established that we all got along really well and would work very well together. I'm glad about that because not only are the team that Max & Mike have put together some really great guys, they are also some of the smartest hard working committed people I have ever had the pleasure of working with. For some reason they thought that an old fart like me had something of value to offer WhatRunsWhere so I am part of the team now.

I think I've answered most of the questions there, if anyone wants to know anything else, please just ask. I can't go into too much detail about the deal, but other than that just shoot.

Cheers
Rob
 
D

Deleted11391

Guest
This is absolutely brilliant.....really motivating stuff.

Well done Robk! :welldone:

And thanks for taking the time to share your story and insights.

Brian
 
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TK1

Silver Contributor
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Mar 31, 2011
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Speed for your success

Speed for Eskil introducing you

Maybe some advice you could give to the community ?
 

Kuz

Contributor
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Jul 18, 2012
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Great story dude. I think the secret was that you had a talent (programming) which you honed over DECADES. And when the time came, you were quickly able to cash in on it and cash out!

x
 
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robk

Bronze Contributor
Aug 29, 2012
14
233
Petersfield, UK
I would like to add that this wasn't my first business venture.

I have tried and failed 3 times before.

Also, while all this was going on I thought I had the Midas touch and invested in a property deal which went wrong. VERY wrong and nearly ended everything for me!

The only advice I would really give is a bit cliche; give it a try. If it doesn't work, learn from that and try something different next time.
 

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