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Dollarshort

Our co-founder and President Mena Trott has been sharing her stories on her personal blog Dollarshort since 2001.

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Approaching Four Years

It's October, which means it's officially be-retrospective-about-the-company month at Six Apart. We've got a lot of big milestones to celebrate in October, including the release of Movable Type in 2001, the release of TypePad in 2003 and the August Capital funding in 2004.

It's quite unbelievable that we've been doing this for four years.

In the last four years, I've told the story of Six Apart a lot. To keep the story somewhat fresh, I often try to recount a different anecdote each time I tell it. Often this causes me to go off the rails and start talking about the actual food I ate when we first met with Joi and Barak or the price of the first mini-refrigerator we bought when we moved into the first office.

One question I haven't been asked in long time was asked yesterday: At any point, did I ever want to just walk away from the company?

Until now, I don't think I have publicly written about many of the details of my life within Six Apart during the early years -- namely the four months prior to and after the initial TypePad launch. During this time, the stress that Ben and I experienced caused me to fall into a major depression in 2003 and I often did want to walk away from it all.

I often joke that entrepreneurs must have the same sort of hormone that tricks women into forgetting just how painful childbirth can be. If you can't remember the pain, then you'll reproduce again and again. The fact that I could even imagine starting another company leads me to think my brain has secreted enough chemicals to block out the fact that running a start-up or web service can really suck sometimes.

But it's amazing as well -- that's why we've been doing it for four years.

When I started my first blog, dollarshort.org, in April of 2001 I was twenty-three and in a nice little rut. Writing dollarshort.org was probably one of my biggest life-changing events -- not only did my blog allow me to make some of my closest friends but I was finally given that creative outlet I so needed. I think the same thing can be said about Six Apart.

Now that we're in October, I'd like to write a series of posts about the past the four years -- posts about the lessons we've learned and the experiences that we may not have talked about in too much detail.

And if you've got a question that you'd like me to answer about the past four years of Six Apart, I'd be interested in hearing it as well.

3 Comments
Katie said:
October 4, 2005 4:14 PM

As a fellow business owner and sometimes definitely lost soul (right now, my design business, which I've had for five and a half years lost its biggest client AND I'm being audited), I loved reading about your viewpoint. You should be so proud of your companies, as I'm sure you are. You're doing great! I'm looking forward to getting to know Moveable Type and blogging.

Mena said:
October 4, 2005 4:22 PM

Thanks for your nice comments, Katie!

coolmel said:
October 5, 2005 11:18 AM

Mena,

as one of the early adopters of Typepad, i'm interested to know how SixApart will continue to be competitive in the publishing platform.

i recently signed up for a free Multiply account and was impressed by the rich features it has to offer. i've long been waiting for these features on Typepad. Project Comet might be the answer but until i see the implementation, i will hold my breath :)

more power to SixApart. you guys are doing a great job.

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