I started this blog in 2004.
Back then there were a handful of bloggers around.
It was the beginning of what was called Web 2.0 – the second wave of the Web after the 2000 ‘dot-com’ bubble burst.
The gathering of the renegade band of independent publishers that existed back then, felt like the beginning of a revolution – and as it turned out – that’s exactly what it became.
On the wave of this revolution, this blog became very popular. At one stage, around the year 2010, it hosted around 125 000 unique visitors a month and was ranked in the Top 100 Marketing Blogs in the World by AdAge magazine.
The momentum for Cherryflava.com was at a peak.
Unfortunately, I didn’t recognize it as such. And didn’t have a plan to ride that wave out and generate new momentum on the next wave.
As if by fate, a perfect storm of disasters then severely hit that momentum.
The website, which was hosted on a rather dodgy server, got hacked. And it resulted in about 90% of our content being lost. For months we tried just about every trick in the book to find the parasitic code that had invaded the site and caused so much damage. But in the end, we failed.
Nearly a decade of work and all of our momentum was gone.
With no forward plan, I missed the next wave and had to start all over again.
But here’s what I have learnt from this, and hopefully you can take something away from it too.
You start small, grow rapidly, hit a high and the momentum dissipates over time. If you don’t have a plan to jump onto the next rising wave as the one you are currently on starts to lose its momentum, you will squander all of the energy that you’ve managed to build up.
• Know where you are on the curve – Being sensitive as to where the world is heading will give you an idea of where you are in relation to that change.
• Spot the next wave early – Proactively plan your own exit from your present momentum a few months in advance.
• Never be arrogant enough to think that you don’t need to adapt – Change is inevitable. You can make it happen; or let it happen to you. The biggest danger is not being humble enough to recognise that you will need to jump at some stage in the future.
In catastrophic failure comes learning and with it wisdom. I know that this isn’t the last mistake I’m going to make, but thankfully I took a lot out of this one.
It hurt, but it’s getting better now.