Someone happening upon one of the Websites of Wilson Internet Services for the first time might imagine an army of writers and editors working behind the scenes, all fed by venture capital millions. With about 1,000 idea-crammed pages at WilsonWeb.com and its associated Doctor Ebiz site, plus more than 7,500 links to Web marketing and e-commerce resources, the Wilson sites comprise the largest research center on Internet marketing anywhere on the Web.
Yet creating and managing Wilson Internet Services is largely the work of one man. Ralph F. Wilson, a Baptist minister, runs the site, handling ad sales and nearly all of the writing, with the help of just two link editors and his daughter, Ann, as subcontractors.
“I’ve very deliberately kept my organization lean, so I can focus on what I do best, be nimble enough to change as the markets change, and have the freedom to pursue my calling in the Christian ministry,” Wilson says.
When the industry mantra was “grow, grow, grow,” such amazing efficiency was regarded as quaint and silly. But with so many venture-funded dot-coms now dead or in trouble, bootstrapped Internet operations that have attracted a following, despite a tiny staff, begin to look smart.