Matt Mullenweg (Founder, Automattic) has a great post on photomatt about what it takes to build a great business, brand and community. I’ve know Matt since he was just getting started with WordPress and I’m very impressed at how he consistently makes the WordPress community paramount to everything Automattic does. You can see Matt’s post here.
Like Automattic, Sphere has taken a long term view of how to craft our company. We’re passionate about connecting mainstream and conversational media content. We’re strong believers in conversational media. We believe everyone has a voice, and our mission is to create exposure for each of them. By creating connections between contextually relevant mainstream media and blog content, we’re exposing a broader set of Internet readers to blog content, fundamentally giving more power to the people. We’re frugal, we don’t have fancy offices (in fact, we don’t have an office – our team works virtually from places like San Francisco, Seattle; Boston, Denver; Vancouver; New York; Phoenix and Munich). We’re focused, we don’t have a bunch of experiments happening at once, instead we’ve committed to a simple idea (Sphere Related Content Widget/ Plugin) that serves our goals vs. chasing the next idea du jour. Lastly, we value our resources and don’t waste them. We’ve been lucky to be involved in a number of successful start-ups and each of them were built around passion and a deep respect for resources.
This approach, like Matt’s, can take a lot longer but it also has a greater chance to create something valuable to a community of users. That aligns nicely with our goals and hopefully creates a better service for our users/ partners.