Ten Years Later


October 8, 2014


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The year was 2004, and I was unemployed.

So I networked, networked, networked, and then I wanted to thank all those people who took time out to have coffee with me. Often, I heard myself saying, “Why don’t you let me evaluate your web analytics?” Most of those companies had some crummy server-side analytics, and somehow I found insight in all those metrics.

Gradually, I found a business for myself and landed a few gigs. I was an early user of Google Analytics, and I kept trying to figure out how to make this interesting tool more powerful. What is that setVar thing, I kept wondering, and what is so regular about those expressions?

Even though I really didn’t understand why _udn should be equal to none, I still knew more about analytics than I did about SEO. So I hired my first search employee, Taylor Pratt, in 2006. By March 2007, I had written enough about Regular Expressions that Google asked our company – all two of us – to become a Google Analytics Certified Partner. I found out that we had been listed on the Google Analytics Partner page when Sirius/XM called us for GA consulting.

It sounds good, but I had problems. We didn’t have enough revenue; we still didn’t really rank organically. We didn’t have enough cash flow, and the CEO was a control freak (that was me). Then the Great Recession of 2008 hit.

It was an amazing wake-up call.

The process took both work and years, but I learned to change my management style, and with that came other changes. I came to value my employees more than anything. I learned that smart employees like to hang out with each other, and now we try hard to only hire the best, even if that means turning away work while we wait to find the right people.

By having the best players, we gradually made a name for ourselves, and the phone rings with inbound sales.

The potential customer says, “Oh, everyone knows who you are. I’ve been reading your stuff for years.”

Or the customer writes, “Yeah, I met one of your guys at Pubcon years ago. That’s why I’m calling you to talk about Google Analytics Premium.

The best is when the current customer writes, “I love working with {insert any LunaMetrician name here}. I want to do another project with your company, and please be sure that I get to work with the same analyst.

OK, it wasn’t quite that simple. We have amazing discipline when it comes to our blog and content creation. We put an amazing amount of time into training each other and ourselves. I was blessed and cursed to have lots of empathy/anxiety, so if the phone rings and no one answers it, or if the customer doesn’t get white glove service, I get upset.

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So here it is, 2014. We’re still a small company – just under twenty people – but we now work with Fortune 1000 companies, with the federal government, and with the United Nations. In 2013, we won the trifecta, but in 2014, we won the Quintifecta (I made up that word).

We made the Pittsburgh 100 list for fastest growing local companies – we were the second fastest growing tech company. We also made the Tech 50 list for innovative technology companies, the Best Places to Work list, and the Diamond List for leadership. Finally, we came in at #1525 on the Inc. 5000 list this year.

Owning your own business does have its risks, but it has rewards as well, and this is a time to celebrate. Many thanks to the crew at Google Analytics Premium, our great customers, and especially to the whole team here at LunaMetrics. You guys rock!