Things have been so hectic here that I completely skipped our sixth birthday celebration last month. That's six years of publishing marketing know-how from professors and professionals who have contributed close to 2,000 articles on a wide range of evolving subjects—from email to Second Life and back to email again.
Here's our quick history: Publisher (and USC Prof) Allen Weiss launched MarketingProfs as a Web site in the spring of 2000. Soon, Allen was publishing a monthly newsletter. The lead story of the first newsletter, in fact, was a piece about the Gore/Bush catfight over balloting in Florida's West Palm Beach County presidential vote.
Two years later, when I was casting about for my next move post-ClickZ, I dropped Allen a note and volunteered to take the content piece off his hands. He didn't argue. In short order, we were joined by two very talented souls who remain cornerstones of the business today: Roy Young and Val Frazee.
Today, MarketingProfs has just over 230,000 subscribers, 15 employees, and more products than I have room to describe here.
It's hard to look back at the first incarnations of the Web site without sensing Allen's passion driving the site's development as it did. There's something exciting and addictive about a founder's enthusiasm. It makes for a creative and stimulating work environment. Paradoxically, though... the very engine that drives the growth of a startup ultimately changes it. As more and more individuals take on responsibility for pieces of the site, that passion gets dispersed a little. Rational process replaces winging it. Order replaces frenzy.
That's not to say that MP has lost its edge, or that creativity isn't still a driving huge factor. Far from it. In fact, we are knee-deep in several new efforts that we're psyched about unveiling later this year.
But in as much as looking back at history makes you realize where you are now, it's obvious that MarketingProfs as a company has matured. It's no longer a scrappy startup fighting for legitimacy and operating on a shoestring. Instead, we are an honest-to-goodness established business—true to our roots, but evolving our mission and the role we play in the marketing field worldwide.
So happy birthday to us—and thanks to all of you for making it the wizened six-year-old that it is today.
Chief Content Officer
p.s. I cross-posted this birthday announcement on the MarketingProfs Daily Fix, our group blog. Feel free to leave a birthday greeting there, if you wish. (And I hope you do.)