Here is a brief history of my time at GlobalStreams (as I was explaining to Roland at Bandana’s BBQ this afternoon):
- Freelance – Robin Glass (www.gec-1.com) was contacted by Mike Rechan, Jason Loyet, and Bill Davis (the three original founders of GlobalStreams and he got in touch with me to do the graphics on the site they wanted. He did the backend database and scripting. First concept: Create an easy, one-click listening portal for nascent online streaming music (Real Player only at the time) sites.
- Hired – GlobalStreams hired me away from Principia where I was one of the webmasters to come work directly for them instead of on freelance basis. Still working on the guide concept, added the idea of selling streaming advertising into the online radio streams
- Investment time – Broadband Investment Group (BIG) invested in the company, further propelling the growth. Concepts now influenced by BIG – focus shifts from streaming audio only to streaming video, audio and animation. Online guide to broadband created in Flash.
- Purchased by BIG – Moved to their headquarters, we were the only company that was purchased as part of BIG’s portfolio – the others were to be built up with synergistic relationships into an uber-mucka group of companies. Concept starts to get bigger – now we’re putting together an offline print magazine (“TV Guide for the Web”) to deliver to broadband subscribers of SBC, Excite @ Home.
- Buy ourselves back – When BIG went Bust we bought ourselves back from them in order to escape the innevitable bankruptcy proceedings. Went on half-pay for a couple of weeks. Ted Briscoe, personal friends with our CEO, Mike Rechan, allows us all (14 or 15 of us or so) to use his office space (occupied by his current company, Play Streaming Media Group). Concept: survive until the next step, keep on trying to do deals…
- PSMG buys GlobalStreams – PSMG bought GlobalStreams (stock options become worthless) and we were now in the video hardware business. Definitely a shift from our previous focus on producing a guide to broadband content. But we made the shift pretty well. 3-4 people from original GlobalStreams make it after a while. Concept: bye-bye guide, hello GlobeCaster. I ended up mostly working on the website for the “new” GlobalStreams.
- Layoff – I get head-counted out the door eventually when it is finally my turn. I’m also starting up Securanix, LLC at the time, so it is not the worst thing that could happen. Concept: save some bucks, get rid of discontented web designer.
- Hired back as freelancer – Eventually GlobalStreams realizes that they need someone to help with the website and their new product, Vibe Phone. So, I get to work for them again, freelance style. In the meantime, I’m developing out Securanix and Serafini Studios as quickly as possible. We actually get some projects eventually that pay some of the bills. But GlobalStreams continues to be major part of income. Concept: survive getting laid off, embrace entrepeneurship, business ownership, responsibility, resource management, etc…
- Rehire Time – Then, today, I accept position at GlobalStreams again for full-time employement with benefits. So, not too bad, but definitely a shift in my thinking is required regarding being an employee again instead of in charge of my own business. Still working on taking care of obligations and projects. GlobalStreams has promised to be flexible, although they have also made it clear that it is a full-time job commitment. So I’m giving it the best shot I can. Concept: Now I’m really firstmost an “Interface Designer”, secondmost web guy again. Vibe Phone is progressing, some cool deals are in the works, and we’ll see how it all works out.
That’s how I end up now, on the 2nd of February, 2004, working for GlobalStreams again. Everyone says it’s different now, and I do see that to be mostly the case. Managing sometimes unrealistic expectations is going to be a challenge. But I’ll try to do my best to contribute what I can do, and hopefully it will turn out well.