Simpleet is the website design company me and my partner; Hawk, started. However, we never started Simpleet as Simpleet. So I’d like to share how we started Simpleet and keep this as my note of historical events.
Back in the days
Me and Hawk made our first contact in our secondary school years. It so happened that our friend; Terry, put us in touch because I had some web questions. From then on, Hawk was always my go-to-guy when I had technical questions. However, we kind of last touch when we went to college and university.
just like fate
My lecturers in Australia had me motivated and inspired as I completed my multimedia degree. This gave me my higher purpose to return to Malaysia, help and show students interested in pursuing a career in the Internet industry that there was a future and they should pursue it if they had the passion for it.
Just like fate, a website project brought me and Hawk working together. At the time, we were both freelancing under a project manager. However, a fallout happened in a project between the customer, our project manager and even, us.
The first step
Of course, the story didn’t end there for me and Hawk because we were both doing what we loved. We both saw how our skills complemented each other and not long after distributing my business cards like confetti, we got a project from my brother’s friend.
We didn’t call the company; Danny and Hawk, or had a cool name at the time, but we did agree to start calling our makeshft company; Websites Made Simple. And because the domain was taken, the default website for our outfit was my personal domain; dannyfoo.com
People found us
Ever since we started, it’s been about people finding us through the search or having referred by friends or relatives. And I do find it weird sometimes when people say they found us online, because we never exactly optimized the website for targeted keywords. *shrug*
World of business networking
I was invited by a friend to experience word-of-mouth marketing. It was an event that started at 7:00AM in morning and all I was told was it would be a great opportunity for me to network with business owners. And honestly, the word “network” worried me and thought what I had gotten into. Because the word was easily misconceived as mutli-level networking. Thank God it wasn’t!
The organization called; BNI or Business Network International, was me and Hawk’s first serious step towards marketing our business. I really liked the idea and experience of how a room of business owners exchanged business referrals for one another AND didn’t expect commission in return. It was fantastic!
But…yes, there was a but. In order to qualify for participation, we had to be a real business with registration and all. Though this would sound embarrassing, this was the truth. When me and Hawk ran Websites Made Simple, it was sheer simplicity. All profits were split 50-50 when projects completed, that’s it.
How we ran the business changed when we joined BNI. We approached a company secretary to register our company. But we didn’t want to call it; Websites Made Simple, because it was a mouthful. And our research showed, a good name is between 2-3 syllables.
Simple 1337 gamers
We cracked our heads coming up with names. But the one which stuck is now known as; Simpleet.
It was really tough deciding on a name. So much so, I started to read articles how web company names were made – joining 2 words and how choosing a good company name is between 2-3 syllables.
One night over mamak, Hawk and I tossed names for the company. We both wanted to keep the word “simple” in our name because we built websites made simple for users. But being a mamak session, conversation detoured to games we were playing too. Then, I asked if he knew about the leet language so he told me about the hackers language and origin of 1337.
From that point, we slowly came to the name from simple and elite to simply elite then Simpleet. And the rest they would say, is history.
Simpleet’s higher purpose
I just finished reading the book; Delivering Happiness: A path to profits, passion and purpose by Tony Hsieh, CEO at Zappos. I was absorbed through the whole part of Tony talking about company culture because this was what I want in Simpleet ever since we started and I know we will be doing it.
But other than that, reading this book made me feel it’s time I sat down with Hawk to find out, what is Simpleet’s higher purpose now.
To Tony Hsieh: Thank you for writing this book and making it really real. Thank you for sharing your experience and I know that I would’ve wanted to work for Zappos if I finished my degree in the US and worked there. Thank you for the motivation and inspiration from your book. And if given the chance, I would definitely love to tour the Zappos office, experience the WOW, bump chest with you and give you a hug as a final thank you. Thank you.