top of page

Remember, every downhill has its uphill.

Bill Bowles
Today's fortune submitted by:
Bill Bowles

Cumberland, RI, USA

Bill Bowles, owner of WB Web Development, is distinguished for his advanced website development and design skills. Adept at building complex web projects, his proficiency ensures innovative solutions and long-term client success.

I first met Bill when we were fifteen years old. I was the "new kid" who showed up at a tiny little private high school and we became good friends. The school was so tiny that Bill and I were in a graduating class of just three. Although our families had never met before, it was amazing to discover that his grandfather Rocky and my uncle Guy were partners in a boiler repair business many moons ago. Bill has worked with me in nearly every business I've had and I am grateful for our friendship.

On Top Of The Hill.

Today's Marketing Cookie is about the heyday of the dot com boom.

During the "dot com" boom of the late 1990s, web development skills were suddenly in extremely high demand. Since I had been working in the space before the invention of the web browser, I already had five years of experience. So, I put my resume up on to see what was out there. Within a few hours, my phone began ringing and I soon had ten interviews booked over the next seven days.

When I went to the first interview, they already had a contract, stock options, and a substantial signing bonus waiting on the conference room table for me... and I hadn't even said anything yet. I told them I was not prepared to sign anything at the first meeting without learning more about their business, and maybe a chance to speak with my wife. Many of the other interviews went the same way. By the end of that week, I had ten legitimate offers to consider.

I told a friend about all the opportunities I had been offered, and he suggested I start a web development company. He advised me to go back to each of them and see if they would be willing to become customers. Well, nine of the ten companies said, "yes!" Next, I explained to each of them that they must pre-pay for my time in blocks of 100 hours. They agreed. Some of the companies pre-paid for as many as 400 or 500 hours. With that, my company was born, and on the very first day, I had nearly $250,000 in the bank, but still hadn't done any work yet.

Over the next few years, I bought a house and a fancy new Audi. I was a regular at some of the best restaurants in Boston, had season tickets to the Red Sox and Celtics, and everything was terrific. I had earned a reputation for being among the best in the business, and I was on top of the hill.

Then the dot com bubble burst. Companies became much more conservative with their budgets. The competition had learned some new tricks and had caught up with my depth of experience. Suddenly, I wasn't winning every pitch just by showing up anymore, and I found myself working harder for less money. After the tragedy of 9/11, the economy began to slip. Budgets got even tighter, and the competitors all around me were going out of business. They vaporized and disappeared from the digital landscape almost as rapidly as they had rushed in.

For the first time, owning my business wasn't an easy walk in the park. I learned that while I might have been king of the hill, I was about to take my first ride down into a valley. Some of my customers went out of business before I could collect my receivables. Others decided to put projects on hold or tried to wiggle their way out of their contracts. It was a tough time for everyone. I probably survived the turmoil much better than most, but still had to get up and climb up the other side.

Even so, I can say that I've learned the best lessons from the whole experience, which has served me well in both good times and bad. Whether you're on your way down, you've reached the top, or you're trying to climb back up, it is important to do as today's fortune suggests and "Remember, every downhill has its uphill."

Nutrition Facts

Serving Size: 1 Cookie

Percent Daily Value


Percent Daily Values are based on the essential nutrients required to maintain a healthy mindset, fostering success in your marketing, prosperity in your career, and fulfillment in your life.








Submitted by:

Bill Bowles

Unpackaged in: 

Cumberland, RI, USA

Cookie Ingredients:


What marketing is really saying:

"We won't have to give out too many free meals this year."

What marketing says:

"When the home team wins, kids eat free."

Learn to speak marketing.


Get cookie alerts.

Have Today's Marketing Cookie delivered directly to your inbox every morning.

Today's Marketing Cookie


by Myles Bristowe

bottom of page