GoldFire Internet Services

December 03, 10 by admin

This is the first article in a series of articles that detail some of the business ventures that I have been involved in over the course of my 10 years of running a technology company here in San Diego.  Most of the articles will detail my post business pursuits including many ideas that have failed and many more that just never got off the ground.  My goal in writing about this is to underscore the importance of never quitting and also to seek some sort of closure on many projects that are just hanging in limbo.

Let me start this article series with my original business idea which was begun in the early days of the Internet.  My first online venture was a small site named GoldFire Internet Services.  For this business venture, I acquired the domain name gfire.com (no longer in my possession).  At the time, this website was pretty well designed.  It had a clean interface with rounded boxes to hold the navigation and the site news.

In these early days, I was creating websites using Perl CGI since it was easy to administer under a Linux server.  CPAN really allowed me to install and update modules necessary to create advanced functionality on the website.  Another related technology I used was Mason which allowed you to mix Perl and HTML together just like PHP does it today.  It also had the added benefit of being very efficient and a high performance server-side scripting language.

On my website I offered professional services for creating and designing web sites, creating e-commerce applications, and helping with database design and administration.  Without doing much Search Engine Optimization, I was still able to obtain pretty good exposure on the search engines.  Back then, Google was still being developed in a garage and the best search engine was AltaVista (remember those days?)  A lot of the big search engines back then are no longer around.  Website directories were more important in those days and Yahoo’s front page had a directory of websites along with a search box.

This website was mostly a content site with a lot of marketing materials and promotional ideas.  I did take out some advertising for the business in a local publication.  Responses to the ad were not great.  My first exposure to print advertising was not exactly a good experience.  Like most other online businesses, I prefer to advertise online now.  With certain services, the amount you pay directly corresponds to the number of click-throughs you receive.  This seems like a fair way for both the buyer and the seller.

This business was in operation for a couple of years while I also worked on other projects.  A few of which I will detail in a future post.  It was a good exposure to starting a new service business and the many difficulties you will encounter.  I definitely just got a taste of what running your own business is like with this venture.  I don’t have many regrets with this project.  The amount of knowledge I gained included: Linux, MySQL database, Perl, CGI, and Apache administration.  Most of this knowledge I am still using today in most of my current projects.

At the same time I worked for a small Internet startup in San Diego that was also building web applications.  Our technology consisted of mostly Windows servers and a horrible scripting language which has thankfully died out called SMX.  We did some good things back in those days and had a lot of fun doing it.  Together with my startup business, I got a well-rounded knowledge of the different website hosting platforms.  GoldFire was run on a FreeBSD system (technically not Linux) but I had previous experience with RedHat that helped me in various different projects.

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