This is the story of a million dollar business idea I had in 2011, drew up on paper, found the right partner to help build it out technically, launched it, ran it for 10 years, and then shut it down in 2022.
Have you ever thought about what your perfect online business would be?
- What elements it would have?
- What it would look like?
- What space it would be in?
- How it would make money?
- Who it would serve?
In 2011 I started to think about this and came up with an idea.
This is a behind-the-scenes business story of how we created and launched onehundredtables.com (now defunct) from scratch.
One Hundred Tables was the global online showcase of some of the best places to eat in the world.
In 2011 I was working for a company called MFG.com, an online marketplace for industrial buyers and suppliers from all over the world to connect and do business together.
The business model was simple and modeled after LendingTree.com but instead of having banks compete for your mortgage the idea was to let suppliers anywhere compete for your manufacturing needs.
One of the main aspects of the business was a powerful Supplier profile that was SEO optimized and helped each supplier garner a better, more muscular internet presence.
The business generated millions of dollars in revenue 100% from the supply side (potential suppliers and successful bidders). Suppliers would pay an annual membership of several thousands of dollars and the Buyers would use the site to source production for free. No commissions.
Suppliers would and could make far more on the platform than what it cost them to be there.
One day the founder of the business held an all-hands-on-deck meeting for the whole US-based staff (there were offices in other countries as well). The founder was a very smart guy who was willing to take business risks and then put in the work to make things happen.