This is our first blog at Web Asylum and we’re very excited. Not just about the first blog, but because this is the beginning of something that I hope becomes very special for small and medium businesses, entrepreneurs, non-profit organizations and anyone interested in successful website strategies.
Web Asylum is 6 days shy of our 10th anniversary, at least in terms of registering the domain www.webasylum.com. Ron Smith and I started the company in late 1996 and somehow came up with the name, which we thought sounded cool. Ron and I had successful careers in radio in the Chicago area and we both felt that the Web at the time was kind of like radio 70 years earlier – only better. My, how things have changed in ten years!
Our name came from some online application, where we typed in something like, "Kurt and Ron’s excellent adventure." and out popped the words web & asylum, another word long since forgotten and a couple of letters. We wish we could remember what phrase or sentence resulted in Web+Asylum, but it probably doesn’t matter. We were immediately attracted to the idea of ‘asylum’ being a refuge or safe harbor, which positioned us as a great resource for our customers. We only joked about phrases or positiong statements like, "We’re crazy about the Internet" or "You’d be nuts to go anywhere else."
And so we began building websites early in the history of the World Wide Web. We promoted ourselves by doing seminars introducing people to basic browsing or sending and receiving e-mail. The sites and the applications behind them kept getting more complex and by 1998, Ron and I were heading is separate directions. Ron had an itch to get back into radio (he’s the best oldies music director in the country!) and I wanted to significantly build Web Asylum. So, I bought Ron out and we amicably parted company professionally and remain very good friends to this day.
I merged Web Asylum into a Naperville company that was our sub-contractor for programming projects. We built our customer list, revenues and employment roster in a short period of time and I think we garnered some measure of respect, which was very gratifying. Unfortunately, my partner and her husband were going thru a nasty divorce and I felt a professional split was in the best interests of all involved.
Several of us who worked together in Naperville began working for a another agency and I ultimately moved on to manage the Chicago and illinois franchises of SISNA Intenet, an ISP. But we all stayed in touch and collaborated occassionally on projects, including a new website for the Holiday Inn-Naperville. That sort of thing continued when I moved on to Novacon, where I ultimately became the Managing Partner. We were able to successfully increase our revenue and cash-flow in a business that was primarily based on selling T-1 lines. Part of our success was in devloping a website development division based on some of the same ideas that morphed into Web Asylum; e.g. providing Internet services that our customers could have confidence in from a company our customers could trust.
Since selling Novacon on Halloween day 2006, I have worked to re-instate Web Asylum, which has remained registered with the state, and developing newer and better Internet success services for small and medium-sized organizations — all within the context of providing a safe harbor for our customers.
Our process began nearly 10 years ago and we continue to modify and improve it. It was initially designed to simply document the project plan and support fixed-bid quotes. And while that is certainly a part of it today, our current process is designed to better identify customer opportunities and strategies and plan for a successful outcome.
Simply, we develop websites that meet or exceed out customer expectations. We build them on-time and on-budget. That leads to customer loyalty and referrals.
Our team has been together off and on for eight years now. We work well together and have had our share fo successes. We’ve worked on small projects, large e-commerce sites, non-profits and intranets. We did search engine optimization long before the pay-per-click model became the norm. We built banners and e-mail applications. And we’ve done ‘old-school’ advertising like direct mail and collateral, like business cards and stationary.
And we continue to grow…daily.
That’s our job – being there when you need us. Knowledgeable. Experienced. Enthusiastic. Trustworthy.
But that’s part of what this blog is about – discussions of interest to managers of medium-sized organizations who desire increased revenues, traffic and profits. Check back often and participate in this new resource. We’ll get started with our next post. But that’s a short history of and introduction to Web Asylum and our Safe Harbor Internet Services.
— Kurt Scholle, Founder/CEO