I built my first website in 1995. It has been a long and exciting journey since. Here are some highlights…
1995 - 1998
Mania Magazine / Another Universe
In 1995, I joined American Entertainment Group as their Creative Director. The direct response company was the leader in the comic, sci-fi, pop culture and collectibles space. In April, 1995, we launched a static web magazine designed to attract an audience we’d hoped would opt-in for our printed catalog. It worked. We kept iterating and analyzing, and our part-time web operation became a full-fledged contextual commerce platform in less than three years. I became VP in charge of this new web division, eventually leaving the catalog and print materials to a new art director. Along the way, I worked with Paul Graham and his excellent ViaWeb platform (which became Yahoo! Store). This was during the crazy dot com years of getting ridiculous funding. We did not. But we did generate millions in revenue on the web. Good times, phenomenal team.
1998 - 2003
I was a happy web consultant for about a year. Solo. One of my clients was Raytheon Corporation, and they asked me to work on the e-business strategy for Raytheon Marine. Once it was done, they couldn’t find an agency they felt could build out the idea, so they asked me to build a team. I hired five people, bought the computers, set up payroll, 401k, health insurance and the rest. A year later, the dreaded dot com fallout began. We survived another three years and eventually merged clients and employees to another company.
2000 - 2003
Portrait of Jaco: The Early Years
When I met Bob Bobbing in 2000, he was working on an ambitious project. “Portrait of Jaco: The Early Years” included loads of Jaco’s earliest recordings – before he was famous – as well as interviews with many of the legends he performed with over the years. I ended up in a warehouse in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, scouring through boxes of Jaco’s belongings and photos. There isn’t a bigger Jaco fan than me on the planet, and those days were among the highlights of my life. Three years later, the box set was complete. I designed and produced all the packaging and 80-page booklet for this project.
2000 - present
While working on the “Portrait of Jaco” box set, Bob Bobbing recommended me to Jaco’s family and made an introduction. They were looking to launch Jaco’s official website and needed help. My team at Solutions Factory built the first version, which we managed from 2002 until 2007. My time at Squidoo made it challenging to maintain this project, but once Squidoo was acquired, I took over the site once again and revamped it from top to bottom. Building a site for my biggest musical inspiration was a dream come true.
2003 - 2018
Coreyweb began the way Solutions Factory did: as a solo consultancy. Over the 15 years, I worked with companies and organizations to help them optimize their web presence and teams. As time went on, people started asking me for more, so I pulled together a small team. Once again, I had a web design and development agency. Despite working with incredibly talented people I love, I regretted falling once again into the CEO role (more on that below). But I’m proud of the work we did – and how we were able to continue in a different way today.
2005 - 2014
In 2005, I responded to a blog post by Seth Godin. He was asking for help with an idea he wanted to try. Codenamed “Plexodex”, the idea was actually what became Squidoo. I spent the summer of 2005 writing the spec and producing all wireframes. We hired Viget Labs in August (2005), and then our Editor in Chief, Megan Casey, followed by our Chief Engineer, Gil Hildebrand some time after that – the founding team. Squidoo launched as a closed beta in October 2005, followed by our public beta in December. We ran the site for 9 years, and I was as thrilled to be working with Seth every day. There’s never been a more generous, thoughtful, inspiring, genuine person I’ve met. Our team grew with even more people I loved working with, but we always remained lean and mean. Squidoo remained in the top 100 most visited sites in the U.S. for some time, reaching a rank as high as 35. Squidoo was acquired by Hubpages in August 2014.
2009 - 2014
I became aware of the coworking movement early on, with the launch of Citizen Space in San Francisco. I had moved to a small town for a slower pace of life, but I missed the community events of the big city. The community of web professionals was fragmented at best. As Twitter grew, I found people that could form this community. So I decided to start a cowork in the tiny city of Winchester, VA. We opened the doors in January 2009.
2009 - present
What started out as a pet project has grown beyond my early expectations. No Treble in a phrase is this: the online magazine for bass players I wished existed but didn’t. There were plenty of bass-focused sites out there, and many bigger names participating. I don’t like entering spaces where there’s no chance to be #1, and while I knew it would be a big climb, I felt it was possible. It took about three years to get No Treble to that spot, and we’ve never looked back. This niche site now gets over 200,000 unique visits a month, with a Facebook page followed by more than 215,000 people. Even better than all those stats: I met Kevin Johnson, who has become No Treble’s Managing Editor, and even better than that, a person I consider one of my best friends. I hope Kevin and I get to work together for a long, long time. Plus, we get tons of CDs, backstage passes, attending the annual NAMM show, and other shenanigans.
2009 - 2014
Refresh was the thing I wanted to start at first (not Bright Cowork). But I couldn’t find anyone willing to host it, so we needed a space. Nine months after Bright Cowork’s doors opened, we kicked off Refresh Winchester. For three-plus years, the community grew, and lasting friendships developed.
2018 - present
I started Coreyweb as an independent consultancy. Later, it became a full-blown web design and development agency. I met Knucklepuck’s CEO Brett Snyder in 2017, and we started working together and hit it off. Brett was looking to expand Knucklepuck’s services, and I was looking to not run a company any longer. It was a perfect fit, so we decided Knucklepuck would acquire Coreyweb in 2018, and the rest is history. It was a great move.
2019 - present
This project took me 5 years to launch. Actually, it took me a couple of months – after 4+ years of thinking about it and talking about it. However, the initial idea wasn’t all mine: some coworkers of mine at Squidoo suggested I share albums I love – in the spirit of musical discovery. I started looking at my catalog of records and thinking about what I’d write about each of them, and the idea was set. One of my coworkers suggested the name “Corey Spins” – and it stuck.