In Capitalism, They Don’t Eat Their Young – They Sell Them

Posted Tuesday, 20 June 2006, 3:35 pm

Timing is everything, and the company grew at a tremendous pace. We had a competitor in the region that was also growing very fast. But there was more than enough business for everyone. Nevertheless, the pompous young owner of that ISP actually had the huevos to come a-calling, and told my boss that there was no hope – he’d drive us out of business. Of course, my boss absolutely thrived on a challenge, so that just made us work harder. In the end, they outlasted us – by a long margin – but we sold our business to a large ISP conglomerate for some pretty good coin – we left the business profitable and thriving. Our competitor is still in business, and by all gossip I hear, the red ink is rising. The growth of the telcos as the providers has all but killed off the independent ISP.

I had a great love for that first business we had. I bought into the company for a small percentage fairly early on, and when we sold the company I made a small but nice chunk of coin myself. But when the evil conglomerate laid off all but three or four of us the day before thanksgiving, I wept openly in my office at how they’d raped and gutted us. I’d thrown my heart and soul into that company, took every customer criticism and praise to heart. I tend to be that way. I invest my self-esteem in the work I do, and have a tremendous fear of letting people down. It’s a curse.

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