The Perks And Perils Of Launching A Massively Successful Startup

Before Twitter grew wings and Facebook went public, Lane Merrifield was figuring out how to create a safe social networking destination for kids. Club Penguin launched with a flood of traffic in 2005.

Lane Merrifield

His big idea? Recognizing early on that the Internet is an inherently social place.

Two years later, Disney swooped in with a $350 million offer to buy the popular service. For five years, Merrifield helped his Internet baby grow within the entertainment juggernaut.

He resigned late last year to work on a new startup, the student assessment software company FreshGrade, which will focus on “building some cool stuff for schools,” among other promising-sounding ideas.

During this episode of Dialed, Merrifield discusses the challenges of launching, running, and selling a startup–and finally figuring out how to be an entrepreneur without totally losing your mind.

[Image: Flickr user Bart Hiddink]