Trials & Tribulations
After successfully navigating its supplier's bankruptcy during the year before, Speakeasy was poised for serious growth. It planned to take over the space left by the Cafe's longtime upstairs neighbor, the 211 Club, in order to expand its sales and support crew. It also had big plans to transition its back office operations to a new custom created software system -- dubbed 'Moses' -- which would manage everything from customer relationships, accounting and billing, account services, IP assignments, network connectivity, and more.
Perhaps as an ominous sign of what was to come, Seattle experienced its first 6.8 magnitude earthquake since 1965 in early February. Then, just a few short months after that, Speakeasy's dreams of expansions -- and the original heart of its mission, the Cafe -- went up in flames.
As if that devastation wasn't enough of a struggle, the nation itself experienced the shock and horror of the September 11 attacks, which adversely affected thousands of Speakeasy's customers during the days immediately following the attacks. The crew worked tirelessly to ensure their East Coast customers regained their connectivity, in the hopes that it would enable them to communicate with loved ones and stay abreast of the situation.
In spite of all of this strife, the company ended the year on somewhat of a high note: In response to DirectTV getting out of the DSL business, we took on thousands of new customers beginning of December, and continuing well into 2002. This uptick in customers resulted in addition of over $10m in recurring revenue, and set the company up for impressive growth.