The Speech I Didn’t Give


Last night our local business weekly named BlogMutt as the fastest growing company in Boulder.

It’s quite an honor, as there are a lot of fast growing companies in this town known as one of the best places for startups in the world.

We had no idea we’d won when we agreed to go to the reception honoring all the companies, and I certainly had no idea that I’d be asked to give a speech if we did win.

Now that I’ve had half of a night’s sleep, here’s the speech that I would have written had I known:

BlogMutt’s Scott Yates remarks upon being named the fastest-growing company in Boulder:


Four years ago, I had a couple of hunches, a couple of vague notions that I presumed to be true. They included these:

  • Blogging is the most important thing a business can do to grow in a world where advertising is fading away.
  • There are thousands of great freelance writers in the United States who would like to write and get paid, but don’t have a safe and encouraging place to do so.
  • Crowdsourcing really works.

Those notions came together during marathon work sessions with Wade Green, my technology partner during two previous businesses. What emerged was a company that would combine those ideas into an operating company with a solid business model.

We would start a subscription service that would provide blogs to busy business operators, and those posts would be written by a crowd of freelance writers.

We called this business: “Turuly.” That was my idea. Luckily I was lamenting our lame name in front of my wife and our dog. The dog, you may have deduced, has no discernible characteristics of any single breed.

“You should call it BlogMutt!” my wife declared. “You’re like mutts. You aren’t all high-maintenance. You don’t need a lot of special pampering. You just do what you do, you are happy to do it, and then you go take a nap.”

It’s a great name that’s served us well.

What’s happened since then? Well, this award embodies much of it. Business operators really love getting their blogging done for them. (I know I do. We use the same writers for our blog that write for all of our clients, and I just love not having to worry about writing posts. When I do write one, like this, it’s not a burden at all.)

The writers do amazing work every day.

And because blogging gets more important to the marketing efforts of wildly diverse companies, our business has grown and grown and grown.

And, just to be clear, all the credit for all this success goes to me.

That’s right, it was all me.

I know it’s fashionable for successful CEOs to talk about how they only succeed because of the hard work of others bla bla bla, but we all know that’s just what they have to say so that nobody will slip arsenic into their 30-year-old Scotch at the Country Club.

I’m not that kind of CEO. I don’t belong to any clubs, country or otherwise. I’m the CEO because of my love of lording my power over minions and making them tremble with fear when I walk by.

Oh, wait. I think someone handed me the wrong speech.

Look, it is a clich√©, but it is also true: BlogMutt’s success is shared by many.

Where at first it was Wade and me sitting in a tiny office, wondering if this was any kind of business at all, we now have an in-office team that is remarkable. BlogMutt-staff-2015-05-28Each one brings skills, focus, and a winning attitude every day. You know how playing someone really good at Words With Friends makes you a better player? That’s what it’s like coming to our office and working with this team.

Our customers clearly are the most direct reason for our success. Delighting them every week is itself a delight. They also get extra credit for being willing to enter a valid credit card number on a site that’s named for a decidedly un-fancy dog.

The digital agencies that use BlogMutt are remarkable, too. They are fun to watch because they clearly are the ones doing the very best jobs for their clients because they understand how to add value by doing what they do best and getting help from others for what they don’t have time to do themselves.

And given a safe and encouraging place to flourish, our writers have done exactly that. They’ve also exceeded our wildest dreams in how well they work together, encourage each other, and celebrate the individual and shared dreams they all have.

In conclusion, thanks, BizWest, for this recognition. Our goal is to be back again. There are something like 12 million small businesses in the United States, and nearly every one of them needs to be blogging every week to help their businesses grow. We want to be a part of solving that problem that so many of those businesses have.


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