Patrick Llewellyn on why 99designs made the “tough call” to kill off a popular brand

Patrick Llewellyn, chief executive of 99designs, explains how making the difficult choice to kill a spinoff brand that wasn’t working led the design startup to profitability and becoming a better company.

Any entrepreneur lucky enough to get out of the gate with a pioneering concept that quickly gains popularity understands the challenges of balancing innovation and investment in new ventures. With today’s “grow or die” startup mentality, it’s tempting — and often rewarding — to take risks and stretch your offering and resources into new opportunities. However, it is equally critical to know how and when to pull up the stakes, cut your losses and retreat when that venture doesn’t pan out.

My company, 99designs, learnt this lesson firsthand a couple years ago when we made the tough call to kill off a popular, but underperforming, spinoff brand in order to focus on our core brand and ultimately achieve profitability.

By 2013, 99designs had established itself as the largest global online graphic design marketplace largely via the popularity of our design contest model (designers compete to design logos, websites, book covers, etc. for small businesses or anyone seeking design work). Read more

Patrick Llewellyn – Smart Company – 28 Nov 2017