When we started Rocket Fuel in 2008, we thought we could create a great company by building superior technology for making campaigns work better for advertisers.
But back then, all we had going for us was our good looks, charm, and PowerPoint skills (for writing venture capital pitch decks).
In other words, things were pretty grim. But, we believed we could do it.
And we found some investors who shared our belief in a coming quantitative revolution in advertising, and suddenly we had the funding to begin hiring engineers, calling on customers, and running and optimizing their campaigns.
Since then it's been an iterative process of making our technology better and better; bringing on more and more customers, partners, employees, investors, advisors and friends; and learning from our experience and your advice, and getting better and better at making our customers successful.
Looking back, our growth was really fueled by the risks that all of you took in betting on us.
Agency media teams took a risk that some crazy new company called "Rocket Fuel" could really be a trusted long-term partner on their Fortune 50 client's media plan.
Major supply partners decided it was worth their time to negotiate a deal with a company that had $50,000 in revenue for all of 2008.
Investors risked their capital on a bunch of guys who had a history of success but were first-time company founders.
We keep track of all the inspiring things customers say about their experience working with Rocket Fuel. One of our favorites is "I'm a believer."
The concept of trust, faith, or belief comes up a lot across everyone we interact with. Even employees, who often say during new hire training that Rocket Fuel almost seemed too good to be true when they were being recruited, but after a week of learning about our tech and processes, they believe in the company.
Our hope is that with our attainment of a $100mm run rate and $50mm of funding, we now have the resources to make believers out of the whole universe of advertisers and investors.
And what are we going to do with all that cash? Well, we have some really exciting products in development, and now we can develop them better and faster. We're going to help advertisers take advantage of all that data they've been stockpiling, understand it, and create much more value with it through advertising.
And since we're Rocket Fuel, we will strive to make it easy, automatic, and let the computers do all the grunt work while we sip margaritas.
It's too early to declare victory of course. We'll make mistakes along the way, but we'll learn from them and continue trying to get better every day, and bit by bit build that great company we believe in.
Thank you for your support and belief in Rocket Fuel.