Internet Outfitters grew. By 1999 we were acquired, and my generous boss had provided me with a great new career and vested stock options. I had created a comprehensive portfolio of Web design work that got me accepted into the CalArts MFA in Graphic Design program. However, I became a bit reticent to spend another three years in school disconnected from the explosive energy of the growing Internet, and I decided to give freelancing from my garage a try. Both Sides Design was born.
For the next three years I took advantage of all the venture capital funding various website ideas around Los Angeles, and I was able to support my family with entrepreneurs’ projects delivered almost exclusively by word-of-mouth. The largest of these was Beachbody, a referral from Internet Outfitters who decided that the project was “too small” for them. This was before Power 90 was released, and P90X was still a few years in the future. I opened an office in 2000, hired a couple of guys, incorporated Both Sides Design, and we were off and running.
Then it was 2001… the Internet Bust. All that crazy start-up money dried up, and Beachbody became responsible for 75% of our revenue. Because projects seemed to previously drop out of the sky without effort, we hadn’t developed the skill or discipline to go out into the world to prospect and sell. We had to close that office up and move back into the garage.
Fortunately, Beachbody hit the big time with Power 90. I met with the CEO, Carl Daikeler, for lunch (I think it was Señor Grandes), and he made me an offer I couldn’t refuse: Close up my shop, work for Beachbody, and build an in-house Web department.