Welcome to my Next Venture
My name is Paul Chen, and Venture 3.0 is the starting point of my next journey. After almost two decades of successfully building technology start-ups, I believe that I have finally reached my nirvana about business building.
Although I am not yet ready to share many details of this journey, I can certainly tell what it is not going to be. Unlike my previous ventures where successful quick exits were the modus operandi, Venture 3.0 will be a long term venture that is measured in decades rather than years.
Building on the Past
My past ventures brought many successes – but they also involved many mistakes along the way. Those experiences lay the groundwork for where I am today, and where I am going with my next venture.
My first exit, Flonetwork, was the pioneer in email marketing back in 1998. Within a short period of three years, the business grew to become the market leader in the space with Fortune 500 customers and eventually got acquired by DoubleClick for more than $80M. More than ten years later, I am very proud that the business and technology we created continues today as a thriving entity, now owned by Google.
My most recent venture, Fortiva, was a Software-as-a-Service email archiving solution. When we started Fortiva, many companies didn’t even know about email archiving, much less see a need for it. The industry experts we spoke to didn’t believe anyone would even consider outsourcing their archiving to a third party. In short, no one believed there would ever be a real market for our product. Today, Fortiva counts many Fortune 500 companies as customers, storing petabytes of instantly searchable data. I am confident that Fortiva, now part of Proofpoint, will continue to grow and be successful for many years to come.
Toward the Future
I have been told to have the unique ability to create new ideas from nothing. I couldn’t have disagreed more. It’s true that my previous ventures “grew out of a garage” and in both cases, they targeted a nascent market space. However, turning those ideas into a reality required much more – a team of talented and hard working people, some resources and of course, some luck. My real uniqueness is that I have had the good fortune to work with great people who built solid product, secured key customers and had fun at the same time.
So after two successful exits, I feel confident that with patience, time and hard work, any solid business venture can get its lucky break. And with enough time, a business backed by a good team of people should able to grow and join the $100M revenue club. And so the journey begins…