Declaring A Dividend To Our Investors, Our Employee-Shareholders

tdm-250x68Usually start-ups make the news because they’ve taken investment or been sold to someone. At Third Door Media, we have a different story to share today. Our start-up is paying dividends out to our shareholders, our employees.

Third Door Media was founded in late 2006, and it never took investment. Our business has grown organically. We’ve made the Inc 5000 list twice in a row, for 2011 and 2012. We’ve been profitable for all but one full-calendar year of our existence.

Now we’re declaring our first-ever dividend to be paid out to early employees who were granted shares in return for their sweat equity from when the company began. We’re also sharing profits with employees who joined later in our company’s history, based on their time with Third Door Media.

We’re pretty happy that the company has grown to the degree revenue-wise that its able to do this. It follows on the creation of a 401K program for employees last year, where Third Door Media makes a 3% contribution based on their salaries.

We’re also pretty happy that we can do all this navigating the complexities of being a company with no bricks-and-mortar headquarters. Our 23 employees work from home, in states stretching from California to Maine, with stops in places like Utah, Texas and Missouri. (By the way, as a small business, we’d love to see dealing with individual state governments made much easier).

We’re also proud to support some great charities. This year we raised more than $13,000 for three children’s charities and donated $200 per employee, for a total of $4,600, to the American Red Cross for Hurricane Sandy relief.

We also have some acquisition news to share, the acquisition of new talent. We’re going to be expanding positions across our company in the coming year to prepare us for further growth.

I’d like to do a special call-out to my co-president, Chris Elwell. Many of us within the company joke about him being “Dad” and watching over how we spend, how we grow and the business aspects of Third Door Media. But no joke, Chris has helped us navigate to success despite starting in one of the worst economies in recent history.

On behalf of Chris and myself, I’d like to thank all our employees, freelancers, contributors, sponsors and advertisers for helping Third Door Media be successful in delivering great services through our brands:

— Danny Sullivan, Co-President & Chief Content Officer, Third Door Media