The site grew slowly with Birch tweaking things until he could get it right.
Then AOL did what it does best and after absorbing Bebo ran it into the ground.
Now Birch has announced on Twitter that he’s buying back “his baby,” as he’s called it, for a paltry $1 million eight years after founding it and five years after selling.
Yes, Birch was lucky, but he also made his own luck.
While he’s often viewed as a ponytailed Brit who came out of nowhere to hit pay dirt, the man paid his dues.
This pushed the viral coefficient above 1.0, with 10,000 people a day joining.
The site generated revenue from banner ads through advertising networks that took a 30-percent cut, and the Birches added e-cards, since it was natural that users would want to send greetings to their friends.For VISTA: Accept Hi John, Thank you for your expertise and, more important, for your kindness because they make me, almost, look forward to my next computer problem.After the next problem comes, I'll be delighted to correspond again with you. But system administration has never been one of my talents.This was about six months after he sold Bebo, the social network he had largely bootstrapped with his wife, Xochi, for 0 million to AOL.Together they held a 70% equity stake in Bebo and walked away with 5 million – enough, I suppose, to buy a small one-bedroom apartment in the Bay Area.For a viral business the Holy Grail is a viral coefficient above 1, where each user is responsible for bringing onboard more than one additional person (on average).