In startups, as in life, you cannot have regrets. Here’s a story about an acquisition offer that I rejected in 2006 that would have been worth millions today.
It was winter 2005. I was a 20 year old just starting my second semester of my sophomore year at the University of Wisconsin. I’d just finished my first six months running ExchangeHut, a tickets and textbooks trading platform on campus. In six months, we’d earned over $20,000 in revenue, much of it profit, and grown to over 7,000 users. My cofounder and I had dreams of expanding. If we could continue to grow Wisconsin and expand to other campuses while replicating our success, we’d make a pile of money! We were having a ton of fun, learning new skills and meeting lots of interesting people.
One day, I got an email from a company called Cheggpost. They said they wanted to chat because they had a similar service and we might be able to work together. I checked it out and it looked like a college campus specific craigslist with users at Iowa State. I was interested and so a few days later, we got on the phone. (more…)