When I first came across Red Herring, it must have been the late 90's or early in the new millennium, I thought this is a very interesting magazine. And when I saw companies being listed as a Red Herring 100 winner, I was hoping to one day be amongst them.
Fast forward to 2011, and Magnolia has reached that milestone. Will this change everything? Hardly. Earth will still rotate around the sun (unless you are a creationist, in which case it probably is the other way round); and all the world will not suddenly flock to Magnolia's website to try out our content management system.
But. And here is the "but": when you start out to build a business, you (hopefully) do so with a good reason (why are you doing this?) and dreams (what do you want to achieve?). And while your dream my be to write the best content management system on the planet, there are smaller, more tangible aspirations, which are often inspired by what you see elsewhere. The Red Herring award was such an aspiration, and that is why Magnolia (and myself) have reached another milestone.
For entrepreneurs, hitting such milestones is a confirmation that they are on the right track, that their aspirations can be fulfilled and their dreams eventually become reality.
For future entrepreneurs I hope you have your own dreams and aspirations, no matter how big or small, and that they too may come true for you.
And should the Red Herring Award be one of your aspirations, I encourage you to aim for it. Alex, founder of Red Herring, is certainly an interesting person to meet, modest but with great experience. He likes to give advise and simultaneously tells you that 90% of the advise anybody will give you is not going to help you. And meeting fellow entrepreneurs, people with ideas, ambitions, success or failure under their belt, certainly is a thing to aim for.
So here is one piece of advise you can take or leave: next time there is a Red Herring Award, apply for it. And even if you don't, or don't make it to the finalists, much less the winners, go there. The event is open for technology entrepreneurs, and if you are open to meet like-minded people, to exchange ideas or just learn about what others are up to, the Red Herring event is an excellent venue.