Friday, December 26, 2003

year in review: business ending and business beginning

By time June rolled along, my partner and I took the painful action of shutting down Pipeline Media, the digital media company that we helped build with 3 other partners plus almost twenty employees at different times.

Pipe started after we left the company we all used to work for: two Directors from the Board, the group CFO, the Singapore GM, and the Hong Kong GM (me). We had high hopes, big dreams, and what we believed was a plan (in retrospect, it was more irrational exuberance than anything). We had funding to the tune of several million pesos, a fantastic crew and a huge office.

We had our good times, but the business model proved lacking, and in my capacity as Pipe GM, I tried several avenues but enjoyed only limited success. We lived on the edge of our teeth - and frankly, I'm surprised we existed for as long as we did (we entered our third year of ops). Overhead was no joke. At the beginning of 2003, I knew the end was in sight - at least for Pipe.

Marc and I closed the company with a heavy heart and parted ways with our partners.

But not soon after, he and I put up Kestrel IMC. A fresh start with a tighter focus, a much smaller crew and realistic model. To date, we have exceeded our personal expectations and look forward to a bright future.

I remember spiralling down into depression at around the time we closed Pipe. I had little else to fall back on and felt horrible about laying off my staff. I'd be unable to sleep and tell my wife I'd go out for a beer, hie off for some place that stayed open until the wee hours of the morning and try not to think.

But always, I'd tell myself that the wheel turns.

It's just a matter of braving the night and waiting for the sunrise.


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