How Common Sense and Karma Have Kept One of the First-Wave Internet Start-Ups Alive to Celebrate 18 Years - CW15 - OMAHA

How Common Sense and Karma Have Kept One of the First-Wave Internet Start-Ups Alive to Celebrate 18 Years

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ASHEVILLE, N.C., May 14, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- The short history of the Internet is littered with thousands of start-ups that have come and gone. Eighteen years is a long life for a small Internet business, especially a thriving and profitable one. "We are older than Google, Facebook, Bing, and Twitter," says co-founder Kurt Irmiter. "We survived the 2008 Great Recession, the dot-com crash in 2000 and the infamous Y2K crisis of 1999."

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Photo - is the most comprehensive festival and event web resource in North America, connecting artists, musicians, food vendors, promoters, festival-goers and service providers. It started as a 2,000-event downloadable PDF in 1996. Today, it is a user-friendly, highly functional, well-trafficked site of 750,000+ monthly visitors and 26,000+ events. Add to that an online marketplace, a festival business social networking community, advanced web tools & search features, promoter & member resources, advertising opportunities and a festival biz directory, and you start to see what they have been doing all these years!

So what is the foundation of FN's 18-year survival? Co-owner Connie Morris sums it up to "common sense and karma."

Customer service has always been top priority at FestivalNet. All customers really are treated with respect and courtesy. They're even nice to the meanies. Each member of the FN crew cares about helping new and old customers make excellent use of the site. Free members and paid members are given equal attention and time.

Feedback from customers is valued and acknowledged. New features often result from customer surveys and suggestions, and product quality has always been essential. The intent is to continuously upgrade and improve, expanding the database of events and adding functionality that supports the success of the small biz folks working in this industry. One example is the FestivalNet Marketplace where members can sell their products online.

Profit is essential, but FN also cares about cooperation and returning good fortune to the world. The feeling is that profit-driven motives and competition alone can take you down in the end. Each month a staff member chooses an organization and a donation is made from company profits. This allows everyone to enjoy their contribution to AND from the company.

Staff members strive for a cooperative, respectful work environment. That's even more important in a virtual company because communication can be misunderstood. Everyone supports each other when someone has a sick child or even a fun trip that pops up so that life activities aren't excluded by work. Silliness is encouraged during the day. Turnover is rare and 90% of staff members have been with the company for 8+ years. is not a big corporation, and isn't striving to be, but they remain a leader in the North American festival industry, ever-expanding and growing, and it's a company that sleeps pretty well at night. is based in Asheville, NC.

Contact: Julie Cochrane



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