Betting It All… And Winning

Isn’t it great to have the last laugh? This is the position Peter Pathos. President and CEO of ThePlanet.com, is in today. In 1994 Pathos was working as a support engineer for a major telecommunications company and presented a proposal [hat would give the company an early competitive presence in the Internet arena. His idea was .shot down, but Pathos was on his way up. “I still have the letters from their lawyers who told me what a bad idea it was,” he says.

Pathos did what any bom entrepreneur would do. He harnessed his idea and started his own business, launching an Internet startup with his wife Terry. Although he sold Terry’s car to fund the venture, their company grew and was bought by Verio, a national Internet service provider. The buy-out provided the financial backing for another Internet start-up, ThePlanet.com-an advanced Internet web-hosting provider offering a full suite of hosting solutions for the latest generation e-business applications and rapidly growing companies.

ThePlanet.com clients provide the development, content, marketing, and business end of their web sites while ThePlanet.com takes care of the technical infrastructure, service, support, and Interne! bandwidth. ThePlanet.com is different from its competitors because of its industry experience, management and technical staff, and its cutting-edge data center facilities located in Dallas’ Infomart.

The company has grown to more than 40 employees and has doubled its revenues every four months. “It” you do a good job for your clients, someone will refer you,” Pathos says. “In the Internet world, a quick response is essential for success, and we provide that.”

Pathos understands why fever runs so rampant. He’s had it. The day he checked his balance at an ATM following his first company’s sale to Verio, he was dazzled by all of the zeros. “Joining the world is the way to make that life-changing amount of money, but while the rewards are there, the risks are there,” he says. “When you enter a start-up, you really do bet it all.”

Even so, Pathos points to the many peopie who leave their secure companies in search of the almighty stock options offered by dot.coms. He is especially aware of the temptation in Dallas-where, for high-tech companies, business is good.

“Dallas has a lot of talent,” he says. “It’s cheaper to do business here, and venture capitalists like that. I think Dallas will remain in the top five cities for Interne! start-ups.”

On Pathos’ mind now is what is on the minds of most every Internet start-up CEO: Managing a company with a lightning-fast growth rate, securing additional venture capital to manage the growth, attracting the best technical talent in the business (he’s hired tech experts as young as 17 who amaze him), and, of course, going public.

“We have a long way to go.” he says while inspecting the new boxes of computers and other high-tech equipment that has just arrived to boost ThePlanet.com’s technical powerhouse. “But. we’ll get there again.”

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