Rogers Kills Sweetspot and a Few Dreams Too

I had a blog post all set to be published today, but when I got to my desk this morning, I came across the news that Rogers is shutting down 8 websites, including Canada’s beloved Sweetspot.ca .

It left me with a very bad taste in my mouth and a funny feeling in my stomach. Girls like me look up to women like Joanna Track, the woman responsible for starting SweetSpot in 2004. Track, who sold the company to Rogers in 2011 and has since gone on to start a new site called Dealuxe.ca has been tweeting  all morning about the news:

I launched Charming Dealights 2.5 weeks ago, but the idea had been formulating in my head for awhile. I was inspired by sites like SweetSpot and by trail-blazing women like Joanna Track to throw myself out there and try something new. It takes a lot of courage to put an idea forward to the world, knowing full well that you may fall flat on your face. But the fact that you could be one of the few people who succeed is what keeps you going. Watching Joanna Track’s success has been a total inspiration to me. While I don’t ever suspect I will be as successful as her, I would like to create something here that I can be proud of and is beneficial to the readers who use it.

When sites like SweetSpot get bought out by companies like Rogers, all innovators and entrepreneurs get goosebumps, because you never know what your original idea will evolve into and how successful you may actually one day become. I wonder if Track ever even imagined the success that was in store for her.

By when companies like Rogers buy out sites like SweetSpot and shut them down a year later, we still get goosebumps, but for different reasons entirely. While you can build something up, sell and make your millions, what happens when the corporate red monster who buys your baby gives up and can’t be bothered anymore?

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  • Info

    It does a disservice to other women entrepreneurs to refer to Sweetspot as a success. The sale price was negligible by all accounts – no one made their millions. The fact that the site is closing tells you it lacked the legs to stand on its own. This is the natural course, hardly a tragedy for innovators. And moving on: Dealuxe is hardly innovative – it’s another version of a business that others invented. Track has not done anything that competitively differentiates the business, and at a time when similar competitors are receiving investor and market validation, Dealuxe sits there, like a zit that won’t pop. Let’s focus on actual successes.

  • Joanna

    Dear Anonymous,

    Don’t speak of that for which you do not know a thing about. If you’re so great, why are you anonymous?

    Regards,
    Joanna Track

  • http://www.justinbaisden.com Justin Baisden

    Sounds like a jealous competitor here. It’s very telling you couldn’t put your name in front of your opinion. Counter criticism is hard to handle eh?

    Ms. Track; congrats on your previous sale and new venture. Best of luck as you continue to work hard and innovate.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=517000697 Anonymous

    To paraphrase White Goodman, Track built Sweetspot on nothing more than elbow grease and a can-do attitude. This was in 2004 before every VC was pouring cash into the next big thing. She started the site out of her condo with very little web experience at all. She built it up with hard work and then made a good exit, assuming that it could flourish with the backing of a big company. How is that not a success?

  • Cindy Fagen

    Well said. This is a wake up call for any small publisher dreaming of building to exit to a media giant; this especially if your model is based on media sales.

    Best to keep your head down and build a good business. In the mean time nothing wrong with finding inspiration in Joanna’s new adventure Dealux.ca!

  • Jeffg

    Dear Anonymous,

    What a pathetic post … the word that kept running through my mind as I read your drivel was “jealous.” Likely you are an unsuccessful entrepreneur or just have some twisted desire to try to stomp on the success of others.

    Suggestion? Lift that rock you came out from under and go back! Oh … and one more thing tough guy/gal, have some “moxy” and let everyone know who you are.

    Best,

    Jeff “Gleeker”
    (Ps – high five to you Joanna!)

  • guest

    what a jealous jealous person you are.

  • Andrew

    Funny, just the other day i was counting how many sites the Rogers franchise own. They are so many (family this, papa this , mama this) heck i got lost in all of them.

    Actually agree with Info above. sweet pot had nothing tangible. hence the reason Rogers shut it down.

    Why pay people over inflated salaries to write the same crap as their other 30 sites?

    just like the deal industry, buy them and shut them down to control the industry.

    As a Web engineer i whole heartedly agree with Rogers on this.

    P.S: Is this a deal site i am commenting on?

  • Andrew

    {Quote} When sites like SweetSpot get bought out by companies like Rogers, all innovators and entrepreneurs get goosebumps {/quote}

    There was nothing entreprenual about sweet pot.

    its all about content, good content = good traffic and good traffic = sharks noticing you and wanting you out of the business
    :)

  • Andrew

    {Quote} When sites like SweetSpot get bought out by companies like Rogers, all innovators and entrepreneurs get goosebumps {/quote}

    There was nothing entreprenual about sweet pot.

    its all about content, good content = good traffic and good traffic = sharks noticing you and wanting you out of the business
    :)

  • Anonymous

    Hi Andrew, thanks for your comment! All opinions are valid and nope, this is not a deal site you are commenting on, this is a blog called I’m Charming You. It’s sister is Charming Dealights which offers exclusive promotional offers from quality brands that are blogged about frequently on this site.

  • http://twitter.com/Ayngelina Ayngelina

    I was shocked to see this too. When Sweetspot came out there was nothing like it and I was a subscriber. Perhaps this means better things for Joanna now that she won’t be under the shackles of Rogers.