Brad Greenspan, the CEO of eUniverse, posted about the history of his company leading up to MySpace. His company survived the dot com meltdown (while profiting the whole time). By the time they created MySpace in 2003 they had a top 20 (US web traffic) network of community driven sites. When they launched MySpace they were able to leverage their other content sites and traffic streams to help MySpace spread quickly. MySpace may have appeared as an overnight success, but it didn't hurt that eUniverse had years of experience launching numerous high growth community sites.
Almost all high growth web businesses start out with an idea that works but a model that does not, but that is why the evolve, and why experience is worth so much. Paul Kedrosky recently shared this Niklas Zennstrom video:
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