Business thoughts from my 20 year old self

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Recently, while moving house I discovered a folder with ‘Business’ handwritten on the front, from circa 1999/2000. I’d completely forgotten about this folder, but now fondly remember compiling it while riding the train to and from my first real job.

The folder contained notes on self-discipline while working from home (maintain a strict timetable!), details on work-from-home tax deduction eligibility, and a random smattering of ideas.

Amongst my ideas lay a precursor to Flickr, which I’d coined, a site for camera reviews, a curious idea on a site for trading goodwill, and a platform for travellers to map and document their travels with maps and diaries (remember, this was before the word blog really even existed!).

Some of this is simplistic, but, the essence still rings true, and is reflected in how we run Serversaurus today, and how we’ll run it in the future.

The following is what I wrote under the heading ‘Growth’:

  • Stay small and focused
  • Be boutique
  • Be employee-owned

Under the title of ‘Customer Service’:

  • Commit 100% to customer service and satisfaction
  • Don’t appear outwardly to provide good customer service, do it
  • It costs five times as much to get a new customer as it does to retain an existing one.
  • Customer service and service flexibility are the two biggest weapons in the battle to compete with the big companies
  • Promote a sense of community by encouraging feedback from customers.
  • Invest the majority of your capital into creating the best possible customer experience

Under the title ‘The Plan’:

“Run a small, tightly knit company in a youthful, creative, fun environment. Do not plan to get big fast or to retire on 10 million dollars. Inject profit back into the company for facilities and a good work place, to keep employees secure, interested, and most of all, happy!”

I also had a bunch of quotes from reading and elsewhere – a few interesting ones below – unfortunately I didn’t credit all of them in my notes:

“Nothing in the world can take the place of persistence.

Talent will not: Nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent.
Genius will not: Unrewarded genius is almost a proverb.
Education will not: The world is full of educated derelicts.

Persistance and determination are omnipotent. The slogan ‘press on’ has solved and always will solve the problems of the human race”

On customer service:

“Customers don’t care how much you know, until they know how much you care”

The Three P’s (Roger Avary)

Persistance – “If you work at it long enough, and learn form your mistakes, eventually something is going to happen”
Passion – “Exude passion for your idea”
Positive visualisation – “Trust me, you’re going to go through some dark times. You must absolutely remain focused on the positive future. Visualise where you see yourself at every next step along the way. Soon you will look back and realise you’ve actually gone somewhere. Visualisation is the key.


It’s interesting how long ideas and ways of thinking can remain dormant, until the right time arises for their execution and existence.
Remain true!