“We just want to make sure when the consumer chooses a product, that we’re ultimately the company they are buying the product from — regardless of which brand they’re choosing.”Meyers may seem like all work and no play, but he’s cut his workweek back to a manageable 50 to 60 hours and says things have calmed down to a saner pace.“After I worked in equity research, which has notoriously long hours — everything else feels like less hours.”But certainly his present life as People Media’s CEO is a far cry from the kick-back rural life he enjoyed growing up on the banks of the St.“Not only had the economy unraveled, but the epicenter of the economy was the Internet,” Meyers recalls.“We were at ground zero for what made the economy implode.”One after another, the “dotbombs” piled into Meyers’ inbox — all those vaporous, venture capital–funded dotcoms that floated to the top of the NASDAQ and then sank like balloons with fatal leaks when it became apparent there was no real income to support them.It was on that first job that Meyers discovered his passion for how the web, as a business platform, was evolving. One that caught his eye in particular was Overture, a Pasadena-based company that Meyers says pioneered the paid search and search advertising business.“When I was an equity research analyst, I got a perspective of what would make a company ultimately successful on the Internet,” Meyers says, “and I went to work for what I thought was the most promising — which was Overture.” He says it had real customers who paid actual dollars for its services.Most of the Internet companies that failed were trying to make money from advertising revenue. It sounded like a spaceship or something.”On Meyers’ advice, American Capital purchased Zencon, a name that turned out to be a fusion of “zen” and “connections,” and hired Meyers to run it.“How can you be the president of Ford Motor Company if you’ve never driven a car? So he created profiles on several different matchmaking websites and started his research. “Prior to that, I met people through friends or through work,” he says.“The traditional route.”And even though social networking websites like Facebook vie for people’s attention, he doesn’t consider them to be competition.
Like all other things, it has both the good and the what-the-hell side.
“You’d figure out what you’re going to say, then write all night long and be up when the financial market opened at a.m.
There was really almost no time to sleep, and when I did, I slept on the floor of my cube.”He says it was like being in the eye of the storm.
Golf is also a big part of his life these days, and most of his ski trips are to Mammoth, although Vail is still an all-time favorite. “You have to roll with the punches, especially in this environment,” he says.
“If you get put into a different position, you have to figure out how to make the most out of that position, and if you’re laid off, you have to look to apply the skills you’ve learned and take it to the next level, even if that means working in a different industry.”And although it may look like he’s sailed from one great job to the next, Meyers says there were many times, with each change and at each juncture of his career, where he felt like he was hitting a brick wall.“I just hunker down,” Meyers says, “and I focus on what I can control.