Simage Network Shuts Its Doors
Adrian J Cotterill, Editor-in-Chief
After two years and we think something like a two million dollar investment, Tom Simonds founder of The Simage Network shut its doors.
Although we hear that CEO Simonds and the management team he initially hired were unable to raise a dollar of investment money and sign one real advertiser it’s actually a mystery as to why Simonds would give up at this stage of the game.
The company we understand was finally taking a profitable position for the first time in their two year history. Venture capitalists were circling the waters looking to take the fledgling network to the next level. Things seemed to be going in the right direction.
In September 2010, Simonds relinquished the role of CEO to a new management team, who took the opportunity to re-brand the company and unveil a new strategic direction that showcased their original content strategy.
By February of this year, The Simage Network and the new management team had signed national brand Miller Lite as a client and were in pre-production to produce the very first beer branded digital short features that were going to premiere on the network.
However on February 28th, Simonds we are told announced internally that “he didn’t like the industry, didn’t trust the people in the bar business, wasn’t happy” and wanted out, effective immediately.
We understand that somewhat rash decision has left some employees without any severance, as well as vendors and customers confused and in the dark.
It actually seems that before a management buyout could be arranged or another network could come in and buy the remainder of the network, Simonds dismantled Simage, changing the locks and leaving his staff without jobs and the industry confused.
April 24th, 2011 at 13:17 @595
“he didn’t like the industry, didn’t trust the people in the bar business, wasn’t happy”
Perhaps it was the other way round!?
Terrible thing to do to staff.
April 24th, 2011 at 21:38 @943
This article contains little more than cheap gossip however based on my own experience trying to work with bar owners (in this context) there is indeed something to be said and made known about them and in too few circumstances its not very flattering at all.
April 24th, 2011 at 22:50 @993
Its not a mystery at all. Tom Simonds burns $2m, didn`t raise a red cent in new investment, and failed to sell any space, hired a new team who then wasted even more money re branding the company. Like it didn`t occur to the new team that selling space was more important?
Not terrible, this management was more concerned with holding meetings to unveil a new strategic direction than grasp the fundamentals of the business.
Tom probably just got fed up with mediocre, average middle managers and made a strong decision.
April 25th, 2011 at 14:22 @640
Ah well, bar owners run bars and make their money selling drinks. anything happening on screens in the bars (unless it is live sport) is fairly incidental and never going to be their primary concern. Then there is the conflict between third parties selling ad space on these networks and the bar owners’ own relationships with the majority of potential advertisers from the drinks industry who are already supporting their brands through trade marketing spend. Just got to work very hard and provide an excellent service to survive in this space.
April 25th, 2011 at 15:21 @681
Sounds like a smart guy (but a bit late) – running from this project as fast as possible seems like a great idea. Got to give him credit. There are a lot of folks who stay in bad DOOH businesses way too long. Some find an exit strategy but at what opportunity cost in terms of your own precious time and not so precious money.
April 26th, 2011 at 04:24 @225
@Clinton G. – This may be off topic, but care to elaborate on your experiences with trying to work with bar owners? What do we need to know? Btw, checked out your blog.virtualcable.tv site. Nice articles, esp the one on QR codes!
April 26th, 2011 at 17:16 @761
The Company had a great idea. Just a terrible CEO David Wallach.
April 27th, 2011 at 06:24 @308
I too give credit to Tom for being wise to get out of this opportunity. I agree with all the previous comments in that Tom got fed up with mediocre, average middle managers and made a strong decision.
It took the CEO/ Executive Producer that Tom hired in September 2010, only seven months to turn the company around so it was not profitable anymore. Whilst the focus should have been on getting clients, he was too busy being creative and spending money on branding. It was the second management team that destroyed Simage by not raising the required investments. The first management team was able to raise funding from two outside sources and was the reason why Simage was in business for the time it was.
The Simage customers and vendors have been supporting the decision that Tom has made and have been extremely helpful during this time. To imply the opposite is a misrepresentation.
Other employees like myself have been able to find work elsewhere due to a strong reference from Tom.
All this article shows is a bitter employee that did not have the market knowledge or professionalism to make this work and due to underperformance in his role is now unable to get another job. The tone of this article reflects this.
April 27th, 2011 at 14:51 @660
I worked for that company it was very innovative and a great marketing concept. With a super smart founder Tom Simmonds. Then he made a big mistake with hiring David Wallach as CEO. He seemed to divide the staff and really couldnt sell to bar owners, or raise additional capital. In my mind his hiring was a big mistake.