Hobby Blog to Thriving Startup - Alex Richter of ThinkGeoEnergy.com

Ever wonder what might have been if you’d kept up with that blog you started oh so many moons ago? If you’re prone to regret, stop reading now, because we just interviewed a fellow who transformed his hobby blog into a quit-your-day-job success.

Since 2009, Alex Richter has been channeling his passion for the geothermal energy industry into ThinkGeoEnergy.com. The once modest blog has since evolved into “the leading website for news focused on the geothermal power and large scale direct industry,” according to their About page.

At this year’s Startup Iceland, we interviewed Alex, and found out he started out simple. “The simplicity of being able to use a blog platform, like WordPress, and Google apps to setup your domain and email address, was stunningly easy and enabled us to set the thing up quite quickly.” He was also able to self-fund the website. “I had a full time job. I was doing this project on the side. So any money I earned with the website I could flip right back into the website. It enabled organic growth.”

Then, he overcomplicated things a bit. “We added in a job platform and it was a complete disaster. We spent a lot of money and effort in doing it and setting it up, and it was unsuccessful. We spent too much time and too many resources getting it going. It’s still up today, but nobody is using it.” Hey, it happens. We learn and move on.

For the ThinkGeoEnergy.com team, moving on means making another leap. “We are the leading news website for this global geothermal industry. We’re looking for ways to extend the platform. For that, we need a lot of resources. People, programming, a marketing campaign. I see us raising money with strategic partners in the coming months.”

Alex calls himself an “accidental entrepreneur.” His previous employer, Íslandsbanki, encouraged the creative development of new products and services among its employees. There, he helped found a geothermal energy-focused investment banking team. He started ThinkGeoEnergy.com as a way to stay abreast of geothermal energy industry news. “I call myself an accidental entrepreneur,” he says, “but I’m a very passionate one now.”

Positive feedback from the industry has steeled his commitment to take his company to the next level. “What inspires me to keep going is the feedback that I get from people in the industry. Following the numbers on analytics gives me confirmation that we are quite hot.”

You can find ThinkGeoEnergy on Facebook here; on LinkedIn here; and on Twitter @thinkgeoenergy.

Underwriter: Promogogo

Interviewer: Thubten Comerford
Article: Eric Inman

Producer: Hrefna Helgadottir
Video Editor: Jacob Curtis

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