Taylor has bootstrapped Wiredrive over a 17-year period to about $10 million. Today, he has options ahead to grow organically or raise money. Either way, an interesting journey.
Sramana Mitra: Let’s start at the very beginning of your personal journey. Where are you from? Where were you born, raised, and in what kind of background?
Taylor Tyng: I was born south of Boston, Massachusetts in a town called Duxbury. I was born the son of two entrepreneurs who went through a line of businesses from early plastic mold injection technology companies and ended up working in a luxury travel business. I got bitten by the entrepreneurial bug early. I was raised in a middle class setting and my parents made sure that they raised children who were thoughtful and mindful. I had a real good platform to practice at an early age. By trade, I’m a designer. Art and commerce has always been a big part of my life.
Sramana Mitra: What did you do for education?
Taylor Tyng: My official major was Kinetic Sculpture.
Sramana Mitra: Where did you do that?
Taylor Tyng: I was an Art major from Skidmore. It’s where I met one of my business partners, Mitch Bassett. I studied sculpture and computer graphics animation. I came out from Boston to Los Angeles to be involved with a company called Digital Domain, which had done Titanic and Terminator. I was also in a band as well. For a few years, my art career was put on hold for music.
In that process, I met my other partner, Bill Sewell, who was my bandmate and a developer earlier. He built the first extranet for CBS. At that time, I was starting to do a lot more design for small agencies and production companies around Los Angeles and New York. This was about 1999. It was when the Internet hit. We were there at the right time. We formulated a design agency that was doing branding and interactive design, mostly, for creative companies and television networks.
We built the software that became our company. We built an early version of what became Wiredrive, which was a review and approval service. This is pre-YouTube and before video was even being sent around the web. We were doing a lot of design with our customers video portfolios and had to send them over the Internet.
At that time, large complex videos were the size of postage stamps on the Internet. Immediately, that became a very interesting challenge for our customers. They were more interested in how we were sending the work we were doing. We decided that that was an interesting business to pursue. We followed our nose into it. We’ve been bootstrappers since day one.