Origins and guiding principles

Origins and guiding principles

“Things that annoy me end up fuelling my ideas”
Josh James, co-founder Omniture

This quote definitely speaks to me.

At University, my friend Tony and I used to love to bet on sports. There was only one thing we liked more than backing a winner and that was getting the best price for it. So we used to shop around. The problem was that shopping around meant looking up prices on Teletext. This took forever and only had about 3 bookmakers and by the time we ended up finding that best price, it was gone. A truly annoying experience! University finished, along came the Internet and we decided we’d try and fix this problem. A few loans and business plans later and in mid 2000, Easyodds was born.

Over the next few years, we raised decent funding and got the business off the ground and turned to various outside parties to help us continue to develop and grow. These included agencies, consultancies, experts and non-exec types.

Almost invariably these relationships ended with little achieved and a lot of frustration.

When I left Easyodds, I found myself naturally gravitating towards helping friends and associates with online businesses. As these activities grew, I wanted to make sure that my ‘clients’ would have the opposite experience to me when I was the client. Where I’d suffered frustration, I wanted them to feel satisfaction. Where I’d spent money but made nothing back, I wanted them to profit significantly.

So I went into the memory bank to jot down the things I had found most frustrating. The annoyance was so fresh that they weren’t hard to identify. There were:

  • Advisers who didn’t care deeply about the results of their work (as long as they got paid they’d sleep easy).
  • Developers and marketers who created reliance, making things hard to manage and understand, so it would be harder to leave them
  • People who brought ideas to the table but couldn’t actually make those ideas happen or get things done without adding to my workload.
  • Paying by the hour for a specific job

Once I had this list or problems, I drafted a series of guiding principles to ensure that these would not be problems my clients would face. You can read it on our ‘How We Are Different’ page.

I think our integrated websites and our approach to SEO are what businesses really need to make money online, but I believe that this way of working is the most important thing we have to offer. Ultimately our aim is to deliver extreme client satisfaction in our sphere and it’s the annoyance I felt when I was the client that informs me and makes me passionate about achieving this mission.

This blog was written by David Gross who is the founder and Managing Director of InterGreater

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InterGreater offers strategy and training services to help businesses improve their search engine performance from within and achieve lasting success online.