What do you get when you mix a self-professed telecommunications “wannabe” with a healthy dose of bootstrapping, a little naiveté and a dash of revenue sharing with a small Iowa phone company? Make sure to leave out the venture capital. Cook 15 years. And that, somewhat surprisingly, is the recipe for nine-digit revenue and the most recognized retail conferencing brand on the planet. As FreeConferenceCall.com founder and CEO David Erickson tells Dean Rotbart on Monday Morning Radio, it’s “some kind of nutty professor stuff.” Indeed it is, Dave.
The interview also dives into deeper waters: Rotbart asks if Erickson has any regrets, or teleconferencing takebacks, if you will. Erickson reflected not on a particular decision or a deal gone wrong, but on managing stress — on learning to bear the weight of the behemoth he was building. Cash-strapped, Erickson “was an entrepreneur that was maybe a little bit over my skis…” FreeConferenceCall.com was in a relentless pursuit for the marketplace — and then 2005 came, when that same booming market threatened to max out the platform. “The thing kept growing and growing and growing and I’m thinking, ‘Oh my gosh, what are we going to do?’ We just made it through on the skin of our teeth.”
Looking back, Erickson remembers, “Those were actually really beautiful moments, but I think I spent time a little stressed out…I should’ve just gone for the ride and not let it emotionally affect me.” Well, the skis are definitely under him now. FreeConferenceCall.com just celebrated 15 years in business this October.
There’s a lot more to this story. Take a listen to the whole podcast.