Would you rather have one million dollars in the bank today or a chance to have ten million a decade from now? It’s a philosophical question that comes down to the time value of money and your tolerance for risk.
In this week’s episode of Built to Sell Radio, John Warrillow interviews Cody McLain, the founder of a website hosting company called Pacific Host. McLain decided to sell his business at the ripe old age of 23.
About Cody McLain
Cody McLain is the Founder and CEO of SupportNinja. After starting his first business at 15, he created and sold 4 more companies in just under a decade. Over that time frame he has helped thousands of customers in more than 100 countries worldwide. He’s been featured in Forbes, Mashable, Entrepreneur and others for his achievements and diverse skill set.
His first outsourcing company was SupportMonk, aimed primarily at service providers, offering expert system administrative support. With this success he noticed an urgent need for a similar service targeting emerging technology and business. This led to the establishment of SupportNinja. The company maintains a unique structure for systematically helping organizations large and small resolve their outsourcing needs.
Some Highlights of the Show
Business: Pacific Host
3:02: The business.
4:28: “…a more specific market… FFM Peg hosting”
5:59 “I saw an opportunity in the market to offer this on a more basic level to more consumers.”
6:10: The first mover advantage.
6:23: The earlier problems.
7:08: “By 2013, I was making $660,000 [in revenue]… supporting myself on that business.”
7:49: Feeling trapped.
8:17: “It’s one thing to make a lot of money, it’s another thing to be able to have something that you are passionate about.”
8:42: No intrinsic motivation. “It turned from a passion into a job.”
11:28: From a service into a commodity.
12:24: “I built this brand from the perspective of cheap hosting and trying to offer quality support. It wasn’t easy for me to pivot that company… it already had a built reputation.”
12:45: The decision to sell.
13:44: “I did some research and I found that there were basically two brokers in the hosting industry.”
14:37: “Let’s see what’s out there and make the decision [to sell] later on.”
15:22: “A lot of growth in hosting right now is made just through acquisitions.”
15:52: The process and timeline of selling.
17:75: “I think it is really good to have a broker who you can trust… she [the broker] was giving me her own opinions… I really that felt she wanted to make it a success not only for the buyer and the seller.”
18:05: The false start. “We had never talked about a non-compete… hosting was all I had ever done.”
19:10: Another buyer and no non-compete clause.
21:00: The deal.
21:40: A competing offer.
25:00: “I didn’t do anything too drastic [with the funds].”
26:45: “[Looking back] it’s hard to say if I would have done a whole lot differently.”
28:58: “I would say [it was the right call to sell so early].”
31:00: No regrets.
31:20: You can find Cody at codymclain.com.
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