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David started Article-Writing Co in 2011. They detail the beginnings of their company in their Starter Story interview: 
Q: How did you get started on Article-Writing Co?
In 2011, coming out of college, I miserably tried to start a penny auction website. I studied Political Science at University, which had absolutely no bearing on this idea. I knew I wanted to do something entrepreneurial and was consumed by this auction model. I had my own specific mechanics that I thought would make the game a lot more fair for the average consumer. But alas, 6-8 months later, after burning through thousands of dollars trying to get the technology right, I was absolutely nowhere.
I was resigned to not give up, but the mechanics of the auction are critical to the smooth operation of the website and if you can’t get it right you don’t have a business. So I decided to start taking on some freelance writing work, just to get some cash in.
One thing led to another and I started getting some bigger clients with bigger asks. Eventually, I snowballed hiring some writers and copy editors. Turning this thing into a full-time business operation.
Within 6 months we picked up some wicked accounts. I was only 23 years old at the time. We had a contract with Answers.com to be writing 1000 x 750-word articles each week. 1000!!! They were all due Friday evenings. I can tell you that there were a couple completely sleep-ness Thursday or Friday nights trying to get that all in perfectly.
We were NOT equipped to take on that volume so early on in the company, but we went ahead and made do. The content was good. They paid on time, $40k - $50k / month. Lessons learned here were more impressive than anything you’ll learn in business school.
Doing > Thinking. No matter how perfect/smart you are, market forces are smarter. Dive into the river and figure out how to swim.
Contributors to this article:
- Pat Walls, Founder @ Starter Story
- Wiki Updater