In the meantime, Nick had started to dabble with Website design and had bought the domain name CoffeeCup.com to promote the Coffee house. As an involved small business owner, Nick spent his days mingling with his customers and helping them to navigate the Internet. Before long, he was teaching people how to create their own Websites and his time was spent increasingly in front of the computers rather than behind the counter. People were grateful for Nick’s advice and down-to-earth approach to technology and offered to pay him to create their Websites. A part-time Webmaster was born.
One of his customers happened to be a computer programmer and Nick approached him with the idea of creating a software application that would enable ordinary people to quickly and easily create Web pages. With the intention of freeing up his time and allowing him to get back to the business of the coffeehouse, they went to work and the first CoffeeCup HTML Editor was developed within weeks. Nick installed the program at the coffeehouse and posted it on CoffeeCup.com so that customers could download it to their own Computers and create Websites for free.
Almost immediately, Nick started receiving email from people around the world that stumbled upon his website and downloaded the software. People were insisting on paying for the fine tool that allowed them to create professional quality websites in a fraction of the time it would have taken without Nick’s software. The door had been opened! Nick posted a message on the website asking people to send in $20 for the software if they found it useful and the orders started pouring in at the rate of about twenty a day. Realizing that if this were going to be his business, he needed to focus on marketing on a larger scale rather than hoping that people continued to stumble across his website, Nick contacted Shareware.com, a website specificallydesigned to offer its visitors a wide variety of software on a try-it-before-you-buy-it basis. One could download any of the many software titles available and use it for thirty days before making the decision to purchase or not. This gave Nick tremendous exposure and the quality of the program spoke for itself. Suddenly, Nick found himself filling hundreds of orders a day, and he was astounded at the popularity of his software.