My time at Frontier Web Development was a lot of fun, and I learned a ton! We had a wonderful group of people, we increased revenue every year, and we even added staff every year. We built great systems for our clients and great systems for our own use as well. https://www.facebook.com/FrontierWebDev gives a basic idea of how we operated.
Working with a partner had its fair share of challenges too. During the first couple of years, our vision was extremely vague, but it was 100% aligned. As we got bigger, it became more important to narrow and focus our vision.
I’m going to grossly oversimplify some of the things that happened with our company which helped to push me toward starting FashionPassion:
1 When Frontier Web Development took on a simple web site development projects, we almost always got paid our full rate for all time we spent developing the project. When we took on larger and more complicated projects, we didn’t always get our full hourly rate for all the time we spent on a project. On the flip side, those clients became the most dependent and loyal clients who would spend the most money with us month after month. Also, the big clients pushed us to learn how to integrate the systems we were building with new technology trends, and helped us to see where the best opportunities in the market existed.
By the end of 2011, it was clear that my partner was pushing to find clients who would fit into our simplest solutions and I was pushing for our company to continue to pursue the larger and more challenging projects with bigger long term rewards. We both could see the benefits of the other person’s point of view, however, we were no longer 100% aligned in our visions.
2 We built a lot of software to streamline operations in our own company. Vadym and I often talked about picking the best ones and marketing them to the masses. However time passed by and these projects never got assigned the appropriate resources. I seemed to think this was a higher priority than he did. Still once again, we both could see the benefits of the other person’s point of view, but we were not exactly on the same page.
3 In early 2011, we received a letter from the lawyers of a very large, publicly-traded company which shall remain nameless letting us know their legal opinion about our rights to operate our business as Frontier Web Development. It became clear my partner, and I strongly disagreed on how to best resolve this issue. I wanted to hire a lawyer to fight their claim. He wanted to change the name of our business.
After working with someone for eight years, you get to know exactly how far you can get them to bend, and they know the same about you. Thus, we both worked hard to agree on a buyout plan which would free me up to start FashionPassion. He paid me for my portion of company, changed the name of the company, and I kept the rights to the name Frontier Web Development. This way I could still work out a deal with the larger publicly-traded company. The deal with the large company took much longer than I wanted, but once it was done, I was well-prepared to pursue FashionPassion.