Recent Growth as We Move Into the Year of the Ox

The final year-end results for 2008 are trickling in, and despite the headwind that we faced in 2008 with the economy going down the drain, we achieved some remarkable results. In fact, there was a steady crescendo of activity through the year, and by December, a palpable buzz of energy was radiating from within our offices. So it should not come as a surprise that the results were strong.

  • Record revenue: We just closed the books for December, and it turned out to be the first month ever that we hit $6 million in revenue.
  • Record searches: We grew search volume over 40% during the year on our main website, WhitePages.com, to reach over 100 million searches in December. And across all our sites, we did 1.9 billion searches in 2008.
  • Record audience reach: comScore credited us for 24 million unique users in December, or 11% reach. (And our internal web analytics numbers are even higher.)
  • Record database size: With approx. 205 million unique people in our database, we now cover 90% of US adults.
  • Record user contribution: Based on our current rates, we’ll reach over a million registered users contributing to our database sometime in 2009. The uptake is accelerating, so it’s just a matter of when in 2009. (Add your own privacy-protected Connectory listing.)
  • Record mobile usage: We grew mobile searches by over 600% during the year, with over 600,000 downloaded iPhone and Android apps contributing strongly to the total growth.

2009 is going to be a tough year, but we have good momentum and we’ve been through tough business cycles in the past. After all, I incorporated WhitePages in June 2000, right as everything dot-com was imploding. And while the media characterizes the current period as gloomy for online, it’s times like these that allow us to continue focusing on growth and making sure that WhitePages remains a profitable Seattle company. In addition to what many of us learned about growing a business during the dot-com bust, I think we can all learn something from the Chinese. Today marks the beginning of the Year of the Ox, which represents “prosperity through fortitude and hard work.” It’ll be a tough environment, so we’ll just have to make our own luck and success.

What’s your own outlook on 2009 and the Year of the Ox?




by Alex Algard

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