Businesses Don’t Want Websites Anymore

Apr 1 2014 by Jacob Gube | 19 Comments

A good online presence is key to the success of modern businesses.

Or is it?

There’s a new movement brewing up in the business world: Companies no longer want to have websites, mobile apps, social media accounts, or any sort of presence on the Internet.

Businesses are shutting off their websites, powering down their servers, pulling out their apps from app stores, terminating their Twitter accounts and Facebook pages, and firing their web developers.

I managed to talk to and interview one such entrepreneur in the front lines of this latest trend.

His name is Buck Cooter — one of the many successful CEOs on a mission to usher their companies back offline.

I could not find a photo of Buck Cooter so here's a guy playing the banjo instead. From Gratisography. Awesome site. www.gratisography.com

Here’s my Q&A sesh with Buck.

So You Took Your Website Down?

Buck: Yes, we deleted that thing a while back.

Our developer, web designer, UX/UI designer, usability analyst, information architect, server engineer, and IT staff — a guy named Larry — has unfortunately been made redundant.

No more sites. Or mobile apps. And tweets are for twits.

Seriously: Your Business is Completely Offline? On Purpose?

Buck: Yeah. The Internet — we decided we’re not doing that anymore.

What is the Reason for Going Offline?

Buck: As a business, you have to continue to innovate and iterate on your unique value proposition (UVP). You have to apply the Agile method to your business model.

Our company is now on stealth mode and we’ve brought it back to a minimum viable product. Our innovation here is that usually tech startups do these two things in the beginning, but we’re pivoting in the late-stage and disrupting the startup template (with support from our VCs) because we believe it’s really going to get us some good traction and a great termsheet if we ever get aquahired by Facebook (which did wonders for Oculus Rift, their early adopters love them even more because of the recent acquisition.)

What Are the Benefits of Taking Your Business Off the Web?

Buck: As the leader of a company, you have to promote that passion for innovation and you have to mix things up.

One of the key advantages of taking down our site and social media accounts is we’re able to focus on exploring new ways to communicate our brand and getting our message across to our target demographic.

For instance, sending them our message via mail through the postal service, telegraph, fax, the like.

Or cutting a hole at the bottom of two tin cans and attaching them together with a string and then giving one can to our customer and then our PR manager and marketers are speaking on the other end of this device. This is really fun.

From Gratisography

How Has This Changed Things at The Office?

Buck: Not sure I understand the question. Has my office changed? No, not really.

Here’s a photo of my office:

This is from New Old Stock: nos.twnsnd.co/image/75491786304

I still have my custom-built PC (it’s by the window) and my ergo chair.

No. This is What I Meant: How Has This Changed Your Company’s Culture?

Buck: Our employees are spending less time on Facebook. In fact, they spend no time on Facebook because I got our ISP to shut off our office’s Internet connectivity.

If you’re going to do something, you gotta go all out son.

Any Parting Words?

Buck: You can’t end a business interview without somehow mentioning Steve Jobs or Apple.

So I’ll end with a Steve Jobs quote, but just pretend in your head I’m the one saying it to you:

"We have an environment where excellence is really expected. What’s really great is to be open when [the work] is not great. My best contribution is not settling for anything but really good stuff, in all the details. That’s my job — to make sure everything is great. "

The Buck stops here. I’m out.

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About the Author

Jacob Gube is the founder of Six Revisions. He’s a front-end web developer by profession. If you’d like to connect with him, head on over to the contact page or follow him on Twitter: @sixrevisions.

19 Comments

mork

April 1st, 2014

Great office – looks just like mine. Except the electricity – that is also overrated. Our clients already majorly communicate via smoke signals so we locked in on that too.

5 x smoke, pause, 9 x smoke, pause, 4x smoke, pause, smoke

Tony

April 1st, 2014

Nice try, Jacob! 1-st april story is fun )))

Jay Johnson

April 1st, 2014

Ok, you almost got me.

RPat

April 1st, 2014

Light bulb went on when you mentioned the custom pc by the window. Good one Jacob!

Lee

April 1st, 2014

You say a new movement is brewing? That companies (plural) no longer want to have a digital presence? But the only example you cite is a gentleman named Buck with an obligatory Steve Jobs quote?

A more appropriate quote:

“Extradordinary claims require extraordinary evidence.”
-Carl Sagan

I love Six Revisions, but this is rubbish clickbait.

Laki Politis

April 1st, 2014

For a business whose model is to not acquire new business this makes complete sense. But for your average startup, your average local business, your average new clothing company, this is completely ridiculous. I can’t believe, for one second, that is anything more than someone trying to do something different solely for the purpose of doing it differently. For accomplishing nothing more than simply being able to say they don’t follow the mold.

As a small business owner (who runs a web development company, obviously), I’m 1,000% positive that this model wouldn’t apply to any of my customers. I’m not worried in the least. If you want to slow your business process down with snail mail, feel free. The rest of the world values the efficiency and speed of the internet.

bob

April 1st, 2014

LOL Buck Cooter. Good (April) one!

kennii

April 1st, 2014

“*Apr 1 2014* by Jacob Gube” nice try ;D

Daniel Donohue

April 1st, 2014

Alright… you got me.

In other news, you also created a new word – aquahired. It is the ultimate way to get acquired, just requires a lot more water.

Pawel P.

April 1st, 2014

April Fool’s Day?

Austin Bollinger

April 1st, 2014

This article is truly great! I can’t believe you thought of this and went through with it. Very, very funny!

Kathy

April 1st, 2014

APRIL FOOLS DAY JOKE??? Lol.

Adrian

April 1st, 2014

Not sure if Lee and Laki are joking or not … but if not, I am betting they wish they could un-comment :)

Daquan Wright

April 1st, 2014

Wow, I thought this was interesting.

And I thought to myself, ok….keep at it “Bucky” while your comp leaves you in the dust. ;)

Jacob Gube

April 2nd, 2014

Seems like I can’t get anything past you folks! :) You all spotted it a mile away. I have to be a bit more creative next year.

Replies to some comments:

@mork: I imagined that scene while reading your comment. Hilarious!

@Lee: I like, and agree with, the quote you included in your comment! Thanks for sharing it!

“Extradordinary claims require extraordinary evidence.”
-Carl Sagan

Truth! Thinking of including that in our article-writing guidelines/tips. Thanks for sharing!

@Laki Politis: You’re absolutely right: It’s ridiculous for small businesses not to be online.

@Daniel Donohue: I can’t take any credit coming up with it :) Here’s some etymology info about the term on Wikipedia.

@Austin Bollinger: It took me a long time to debate whether I should hit the “Publish” or not but it looks like a majority of our readers got the joke.

Steve

April 2nd, 2014

What’s a “fax”?

Pavel

April 2nd, 2014

I know it is only once a year but what exactly is the purpose of making such a April fools joke anyway? It took some time (money) for author to write it and much more time for thousands of users to read it. What is the bright side of it? Being funny? Come on, you can do better than that.

Stef Gonzaga

April 2nd, 2014

Wow, you almost got me there. Haha! I’m all about looking at the unconventional, so the idea appealed to me at some point. ;)

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