When I’m not toiling away in OmniGraffle, creating site maps, wireframes, and associated product documentation, you can find me creating DJ mixes using the digital audio workstation, Ableton Live. Before I got involved in building and managing really cool web products, I was a DJ in the Boston area. And, that’s where, in 1995, I launched Netmix.com. It was the first DJ culture website in the world to broadcast globally renowned DJs in the mix.
I originally ran the site out of my apartment in Brookline, MA. I paid a local web development shop about $10,000 over two-years to build and host the site and Real Audio streams. In 1996, I split up with my girlfriend at the time and moved to New York City to pursue fame and fortune as one of the first online music start-ups. After 5 difficult years working p/t to pay the bills and spending nights and weekends on Netmix, I sold the company for $3.165 Million in cash and stock. While that looks like a phenomenal sum on paper, it turned gold honey pot turned to a dark bronze.
Our deal closed on June 1st, 2000. I bought a few bottles of Moët & Chandon, then popped the cork in the office we were sub-leasing from one of my former partner’s friends on University Place at 10th Street in the West Village. I remember shedding a few tears of relief, for it was a long arduous journey from growing up in subsidized housing in the Allston section of Boston, to being handed a check for $100,000 with the next payment around the corner. Unfortunately, that payment never came. The bubble had burst and our parent company couldn’t raise a nickel to keep us alive. In fact, despite our combined traffic numbers and the dedication of our content team, our sales team hadn’t sold a dollar of advertising that summer. While Netmix was on its way to generating our first $100,000 in sales that year, our parent company folded only 6 months later. The advertising market bottomed out and the writing was on the wall.
After 6-years of continuous growth, Netmix went dark. I still have all the mixes. One day I’ll put them all online again.
It’s been 11-years since those tumultuous days of what is now called “dotcom 1.0.” In 2003, I discovered WordPress, a blogging platform that allowed me to bring Netmix back online as a blog. Since that time, I have published over 400 articles and launched my podcast, the Netmix Global House Sessions. It doesn’t matter where I am or what I’m doing–Netmix will always be live. It may not be as timely or as relevant as it once was. The inconsistent publishing schedule is evident and my mixes are the only audio on the site. But, I don’t do it for the money. I do to keep alive what I first started over 16-years ago. And, who knows where it will go.
In the spirit of Netmix, here is my latest Global House Sessions podcast. You can either listen to the SoundCloud version below, or subscribe to the podcast and download it with iTunes to your desktop or iOS device.