My friend Patrick Spain sat down with me to talk about the process of launching, growing and selling HighBeam to Gale/Cengage all in the span of 6 years. (Full disclosure – I was on the board of directors at HighBeam). Patrick’s first CEO job was at Hoover’s, which was a fledgling publishing company at the time he moved to Texas to join. Ten years later Patrick had grown the company to an IPO with a multi-hundred million dollar market cap. After leaving Hoover’s and moving back to Chicago, he bought the assets of Infonautics, which became the kernel from which HighBeam grew. Highbeam is one of the biggest article and research sites online.
While at HighBeam, Patrick created Newser along with Vanity Fair columnist Michael Wolff. In this interview Patrick shares how he ran both public companies (which he says has its downsides) and private. He also gives his thoughts on the mistakes entrepreneurs make in addition to the best quality an entrepreneur can have: patience.