Dave Garrett started gantthead, an online community of IT project managers, at the height of the dot-com boom in 2000. About a year later, it was time to try to make money, and advertising—“the thing that everyone said doesn’t work,” he told me back in 2010—was the only thing working. Eventually, the company became successful and changed its name to ProjectManagement.com.
About three months ago, Garrett emailed to tell me—happily—that they were in the process of being acquired by a trade association. “We’ll be their front-end community portal and have a lot of money to grow, etc.,” he wrote.
Sure enough, a couple weeks ago I saw this: “Project Management Institute (PMI), the world’s leading not-for-profit membership association for the project management profession, today announced the acquisition of ProjectManagement.com and ProjectsAtWork.com; two of the largest online resources for project managers and professionals.”
“Today is an amazing day for us here at ProjectManagement.com,” Garrett wrote to his audience. “Everything you love about the site is about to get better. As a part of the PMI family, we will have the resources to step up our game and become more responsive to your needs than ever before. Our reach will grow exponentially, so more of your peers will be here to answer questions and to share ideas with.”
Back in that 2010 interview, I asked Garrett what his defining moment had been. He harked back to those early days. “It was at that point I knew that this was something that people had been doing for decades; it’s just that some of the mechanics had changed. For years I thought there was no place where I could find publishing peers—people who ran niche companies that are the same size as mine. I joined SIPA as soon as I found it, and it’s been a helpful learning experience ever since.”
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Ronn Levine began his career as a reporter for The Washington Post and has won numerous writing and publications awards since. Most recently, he spent 12 years at the Newspaper Association of America covering diversity, Newspaper in Education, marketing and leadership before joining SIPA in 2009 as managing editor. Follow Ronn on Twitter at @SIPAOnline