Founded in 2009 by Babbit, a former ad man, and Leavell, a keyboardist for the Allman Brothers Band and The Rolling Stones, Mother Nature Network (MNN) is a for-profit online network focused on environmental and social responsibility.
Both wish they'd had some idea of how much the digital space and their publication would change in a short amount of time. Small businesses have to be able to adapt.
"We launched MNN in 2009, and while it doesn’t seem that long ago, the role and usage patterns of technology, social media, and search tools since have shifted dramatically," Babbit says. "I wish I had known then which would grow to become culturally important on a long-term basis and which were simply destined to come and go. Regardless, it demonstrates how important it is to not only understand and appreciate the current landscape, but also what is fast approaching in the rear view mirror."
"While I was confident that MNN would do well, I didn't anticipate we would go far beyond environmental concerns, and deep into personal, social, and corporate responsibility issues," Leavell adds. "Lesson learned? Life and business inevitably throw us curve balls, so be prepared to broaden your horizons sooner than you might expect."