Nua Internet Surveys was taken over by Jupiter Media yesterday. The final remaining Nua server will be switched off soon. It is a bit like the final nail in the coffin of an era. Things will never be the same again.
It’s just over two years since we shut down Nua, an Internet consultancy and software development firm with various portal offshoots. We had a great team at Nua (get an idea of what it was like in the Wayback machine).
If you don’t know the story, basically what happened is that in 1995 or so, Niall, Gerry and myself decided to start an Internet business. We knew a bit about the Internet (well, Gerry and I did anyway) but none of the three of us knew much about business. In retrospect, it was a pretty dumb thing to do. Opening Internet businesses was neither fashionable nor profitable at the time. I remember ringing pretty much all of the top 500 companies in Ireland. None of them were even slightly interested in having a website.
Anyway, we staggered along and got involved with some interesting characters, and raised some early funding (less than EUR 100K) from an animal by-products specialist and a vet we happened to know. We continued on to get a bunch of prestigious clients in Ireland, Europe and the US. We got investment from the national Irish telco along the way.
In 2000, we realised that something seriously bad was going to happen to the Internet space. We tried to restructure the company so that it would be on a more solid footing for the long term. But we were too late, and we didn’t have the expertise or experience at the time to get it onto an even keel.
There were some tough times and a lot of pain, but we had great fun (although some people whinged a lot at the time), and we all learned lots about business, the Internet and ourselves. We also got to have an Internet novella written about us. But we just didn’t manage to make enough money. Oh well. I learned a lot more than I could’ve any other way and it cost me a lot less than two years in a high-end business school.