How to Start a Two-Bit Operation: Small Business Tips

From start to small business. Learn and live vicariously.

It was more than 4 years ago that John and I quit our corporate jobs at Microsoft and HP to start our Two-Bit Operation.  My how time flies (or does it).  It’s interesting to think back to what you can learn in 4 years of college vs. 4 years of running your own business – one full of academic theory and one packed with practicality.  One is not necessarily better than the other, but there were times these past years when I said to myself “I wish I paid more attention in <that> class.”  But, alas, nothing good ole Google can’t teach us.

As a small business it’s always important to celebrate the milestones and that’s something we haven’t been good at, but we have definitely been better at celebrating than updating this blog.  Some high level notables:

  • continues to chug along profitably.
  • The Wedding Lens continues to grow and have very happy customers.
  • PickFu, being a lean service, is profitable on it’s own.  We could use more growth here, so let us know if you have an ideas or want to try out a beta account.
  • A couple side projects that bring in money but we’re not ready to share 🙂

What’s interesting about this milestone is that it feels like an eternity on the Internet and it’s surreal to watch other similarly aged companies fold due to lack of profitability or pressure from VC investment.  People ask us if taking or not taking VC investment was a hard decision for us.  In fact, it wasn’t a decision for us.  Not taking it was sort of the point of the whole venture.  We didn’t want to work for anyone else and we wanted to run our own business.  Sure we haven’t had the budgets of our competitors but we get to work on:

Flexibility and owning your own destiny is an amazingly empowering feeling.  Here’s to 4 more years!


April 24th, 2010

Posted In: Announcement, birthday

Happy birthday Two-Bit Operation! Today marks the one-year anniversary of our last day at our previous jobs. It seems like just last week that, wide-eyed and full of boundless optimism, we started the company and this blog. What difference a year makes! Our eyes aren’t as wide anymore (fatigue-induced :)), but we’re still optimistic. In a couple days we’ll post a Two-Bit retrospective about the past year.

One thing we’ve definitely learned is to keep moving forward, and in that vein, we’re super excited to announce the first monthly Menuism Food Fight! You might have heard about it on the Menuism Blog, but a good thing bears repeating: Eat PANCAKES and win prizes! In honor of National Pancake Week (Feb 18-24), we’re looking for the BEST pancake in Seattle, Chicago, New York and San Francisco, and you can win by just eating pancakes and reviewing them on Menuism. You can win even if you’re not a pancake fan – just refer a winner and you’ll win as well. So get out there and spread the word, or check the press release or contest page for more details!

Publicity in all forms is great, and we’re really excited to be getting Food Fight coverage from the awesome guys at Tech Cocktail and WindyBits. However, you know you’ve really made it when your name shows up on a banana, courtesy of the fine folks at BananaName:

This is proof positive that Menuism’s Food Fight is something to go “bananas” over… sorry, couldn’t resist. 🙂

– John & Justin

February 4th, 2007

Posted In: About, Announcement, banana, birthday, Brand, Food Fight, HP, Learning, Microsoft, Personal Issues, Startup