A New Blank Slate
By Phaedra Hise

(FORTUNE Small Business) – Matt Moog, 36 Viewpoints Network Chicago (viewpointsnetwork.com)

I'VE ALWAYS HAD THE entrepreneurial itch. I started out working for Microsoft in business development. Then I got hired as the fourth employee at an online coupon company that later became Q Interactive. I was president when it went public in 2000. We took the company private again in 2005. I enjoyed growing Q Interactive to the size we did. But in a public company, you have a lot of other people to worry about.

I was working for Q. Interactive when I came up with the idea for my new startup, Viewpoints Network. When it is launched next month, subscribers will be able to post and read reviews on the arts, events, and other topics. Q Interactive wasn't interested in my business plan, so I showed it to venture capitalists, who were willing to invest $700,000.

The timing seemed right to go out on my own. I love the idea of starting a business with a blank slate, without the bureaucracy or legacy of a large company. Beginning with a blank slate, retaining majority control, and taking more risks in the business—that's invigorating. I've told my friends I feel as if I'm 18 again.

BYE-BYE, BOSS Number of CEO departures

SOURCE: Challenger Gray & Christmas (challengergray.com)


Percentage of Americans who say they want to own a business "late in life"

SOURCE: Yahoo Small Business and Harris Interactive survey

Please open foldout for entrepreneurship map.