The Network

While the Cafe was at the heart of the business, the Network was its engine.

Here are the stories, news, and events that tracked its growth from a local internet cafe to a national independent broadband service provider.


Superfan Turned Crew

Superfan Turned Crew

I had always been a super-fan, lived in Ballard, came to Belltown all the time, used the,

From NetDesk to VP

From NetDesk to VP

I started off doing tech support in the evenings on the weekend and found I had a lot of

Press: Covad Plans To Offer Speedy Dsl Service In Puget Sound Area

Press: Covad Plans To Offer Speedy Dsl Service In Puget Sound Area

Partnering with Competitive Local Exchange Carrier Covad, Speakeasy launches its broadband

Somehow We Made a Company Happen

Somehow We Made a Company Happen

My favorite memories of working at Speakeasy all have to do with how ridiculous all of it seemed.

Ask Lynx

Ask Lynx

One rainy evening in the largely industrial neighborhood of Georgetown, Speakeasy crew member

Improvisational Confidence

Improvisational Confidence

Mike actually had a printed out PowerPoint deck with our executive summary and overview. He was

From Arcade to Tech

From Arcade to Tech

I was working at an arcade in Seattle when a regular (bnelson) called to me from a mezzanine above

From Russia, with Love

From Russia, with Love

In late November, several of Speakeasy’s web servers were compromised by a hacker based in

Press: Soul Providers

Press: Soul Providers

Entrepreneur profiles several start-ups, focused on more than just making a buck.

Ellis Island

Ellis Island

I started off on the sales team. I wasn’t the best sales person on the team, however, I was good

Hardware Hoochie and System Salvationist

Hardware Hoochie and System Salvationist

I was hired on as a technical support representative, but I was then quickly transitioned into

A Sense of Community

A Sense of Community

I think that sense of community and togetherness is one of the best things I took away from my

Press: Speakeasy Acquires Jet City

Press: Speakeasy Acquires Jet City

Speakeasy expanded its customer base by acquiring another local ISP, Jet City.

Press: Covad Declares Bankruptcy

Press: Covad Declares Bankruptcy

In a brief setback, Speakeasy’s partner, Covad, files for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.

We Were a Family

We Were a Family

I lived right next door to Speakeasy, and I loved waking up, stumbling down the stairs, seeing my

Something for the Smarty Pants

Something for the Smarty Pants

you | wonder whether if | with eyes closed | we could bend spoons | or ascend stairs | by desire

Go Do It

Go Do It

What I remember is that we had to move quickly. If you knew how to get the job done, the job was

Competing with Napster

Competing with Napster

I did a couple of music content ‘deals’ for Speakeasy, bundling eMusic and Rhapsody digital

Guinness is Good for You

Guinness is Good for You

The first time I had seen Mike Apgar was when my manager walked our training group through the

Lateral Memories

Lateral Memories

A lot of my favorite memories are sort of lateral, involving people I met at the Speakeasy, or

The Oldest One Here

The Oldest One Here

I was hired at Speakeasy as a Controller in January 2001. Having spent my career at more

We All Pulled Together

We All Pulled Together

I always loved the old building(s) we were in, but being in the 2nd Ave office during the

A Great Face for Phone Support

A Great Face for Phone Support

I started in billing and then tech support. I learned that I could Google steps to solve tech

September 11th

September 11th

One early Autumn morning, American’s perception of its place in the world was irrevocably

Press Release: DirectSwitch – Speakeasy Offers Customer-Friendly Transition Program for Stranded DirecTV DSL Subscribers
All About the People

All About the People

It’s rare that you work with a group of folks that you want to spend the rest of your

You Can’t Train Attitude

You Can’t Train Attitude

I have always thought that myself, you can teach anyone anything if they are willing to learn, but

Press: Speakeasy is adept at evolving

Press: Speakeasy is adept at evolving

Finding success as an upstart Internet Service Provider in the early days of the web wasn’t

My Views Were Valuable

My Views Were Valuable

At a meeting one morning after about six months or so of starting my job, Mike Apgar turned to me

Fight the Fight Against Misogyny

Fight the Fight Against Misogyny

It was so offensive, I asked Jesse Harris (who was my AS at the time) if he would take the call

Press: Speakeasy Debuts at No. 47 on Inc. 500

Press: Speakeasy Debuts at No. 47 on Inc. 500

Speakeasy debuted at number 47 on the Inc 500 list of the US’s fastest growing private

Press: Speakeasy’s secret formula

Press: Speakeasy’s secret formula

The success of Speakeasy was often written about; this piece tracks the history of the company as

Press: DSL Headbangers

Press: DSL Headbangers

DSL Headbangers Metallica strikes Speakeasy Deal by Karl Bode Metallica, the band that created

Press: Metallica’s online strategy is ‘St. Anger’ management

Press: Metallica’s online strategy is ‘St. Anger’ management

Through a partnership between the band and Seattle-based Internet service provider Speakeasy,

Anti-Metallica DDoS

Anti-Metallica DDoS

After their infamous battle with Napster, Metallica decided to take the reigns of how their music

Press: Launch of NetShare

Press: Launch of NetShare

Speakeasy launches the Wi-Fi sharing service, NetShare, to its customers.

Focusing on the Right Thing to Do

Focusing on the Right Thing to Do

Jay Hollett was newly hired, and I was his mentor, so he sat next to me and asked a lot of

Press: Speakeasy names new chief executive

Press: Speakeasy names new chief executive

Broadband provider Speakeasy has hired Bruce Chatterley as its president and chief executive

Press: Capital time for cash hunt

Press: Capital time for cash hunt

Speakeasy successfully raises $24m in additional funding.

Press: Internet provider buys GameDaemons

Press: Internet provider buys GameDaemons

Speakeasy expands its brand within the gaming community by picking up GameDaemons.

Press: Launch of OneLink – High-speed access without local line

Press: Launch of OneLink – High-speed access without local line

Speakeasy’s OneLink enabled customers to receive DSL services without requiring a land line.

Press: Internet provider reports new funding

Press: Internet provider reports new funding

Speakeasy receives funding from Intel in order to investigate the since-abandoned WiMax technology.

Press: Launch of VoIP

Press: Launch of VoIP

Speakeasy expands its product set to include Voice over IP services for their residential.

Press: Speakeasy to offer Firefox browser

Press: Speakeasy to offer Firefox browser

Yes, there was a time when Mozilla’s FireFox was considered an ‘upstart,’ and

Press Release: Speakeasy Launches Integrated Business Voice Over IP (VoIP)

Press Release: Speakeasy Launches Integrated Business Voice Over IP (VoIP)

Building on its success with residential Voice over IP services, Speakeasy launches a business

It Could Only Happen at Speakeasy

It Could Only Happen at Speakeasy

One warm spring day, we lost our Internet connectivity in the 3rd Ave building, and I just

Full of Heart

Full of Heart

Speakeasy was full of heart at all times. I have a million examples of this kind of corporate

Press: Space Needle a launchpad for ‘pre-WiMax’ service

Press: Space Needle a launchpad for ‘pre-WiMax’ service

Speakeasy sets up its first hardware in order to test out delivering WiMax within the Seattle

Press: Speakeasy moving to downtown site

Press: Speakeasy moving to downtown site

Speakeasy departs Belltown for a new location overlooking the Seattle waterfront.

Press: Midsize companies beginning to mature

Press: Midsize companies beginning to mature

Founded in 1994, Speakeasy evolved into an Internet service provider primarily for residential

Press: Speakeasy founder leaves for new venture

Press: Speakeasy founder leaves for new venture

After more than a decade developing Speakeasy from nothing into something, Mike Apgar was ready

Knowledge in Spades

Knowledge in Spades

I don’t think I’d ever had so much fun on the job, we laughed daily and the overall

Press: Speakeasy selling wireless assets to rival

Press: Speakeasy selling wireless assets to rival

After its experiments in WiMax didn’t pan out, and in preparation for its sell to Best Buy,

Press: Speakeasy speaks to Best Buy’s business strategy

Press: Speakeasy speaks to Best Buy’s business strategy

When you spend over a decade building a loyal customer base, you’ve got to do a little PR to