Ted Rheingold started Dogster in 2004 with the modest goal of making $500 per month from advertising to help cover rent for the office space he occupied. In his wildest dreams, he imagined the site might attract 10,000 users.
Within a couple months, Dogster had put those dreams to shame. By March, the site was home to some 50,000 profiles, and Rheingold’s car was chugging along the tracks on the roller coaster ride that is running a startup.
Rheingold founded Dogster and Catster, resource and community sites for pet owners, and guided them to acquisition last year by SAY Media, where he now works. On May 10 at Big Omaha 2012, Rheingold shared the story of his often tumultuous time at the helm of those startups.
In the blink of an eye, Rheingold would go from the high of a news crew stopping by the office to do a story on him to the low of a failed file backup wreaking havoc on his technical team. “You’re going down the roller coaster and up at the same time,” he said.
Rheingold shared the story of his ride and a variety of lessons he learned along the way. Foremost among those lessons: how to deal with the peaks and valleys of running a startup.
“As the years went on, I said, ‘OK … good things happen, don’t get too excited about them, because a bad thing’s going to happen and you don’t want to feel that too deeply.’ So just ride it out,” he said.
Read our recap: “Ted Rheingold: ‘You have great days and then crushing days’ “
About Ted Rheingold
Rheingold is an accidental entrepreneur, startup investor and advisor. He is currently VP of Social at SAY Media after their acquisition of Dogster, Inc., a business which he founded in 2004. Ted broke into tech in 1996 knowing roughly half of HTML 2 after a year in Bangladesh and an expectation of never working in the for-profit sector. Ted’s goal, from his degree in International Relations, is to help people optimize their lives through cooperation, consensus and sociality.
Find Rheingold on Twitter: @tedr
About Big Omaha & Thinc Iowa, SPN Premier Events
Silicon Prairie News hosts two premier annual events, Big Omaha in May and Thinc Iowa in October. Both events bring together entrepreneurs, innovators, creative individuals, investors and others for a lineup of inspiring speakers, a schedule of unique networking opportunities and a community of support.
To sign-up for alerts regarding Thinc Iowa, which will take place Oct. 10-11 in Des Moines, visit thinciowa.com.
About our sponsor, Microsoft BizSpark
Microsoft BizSpark is a global program that helps software startups succeed by giving them access to Microsoft software development tools, connecting them with key industry players, including investors, and providing marketing visibility to help entrepreneurs starting a business. BizSpark will fast-track the success of your startup with software, support an visibility.