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Fast 100 Class of 2004: Where are they now?

San Francisco Business Times
Sachiko Yoshitsugu

You still have to wait nearly six weeks to find out who made our 2013 list of the Bay Area’s 100 Fastest-Growing Private Companies.

However, in anticipation of this year’s Fast 100 list, which the Business Times publishes on Oct. 18, we decided to look back at old winners and ask the question: where are they now? It’s always interesting to see what happened to companies on the list. Did they continue to grow quickly? Slow down? Go out of business? Get bought by larger companies? Pivot?

Every week from now until we unveil our new list of the Fast 100, we’ll look at a few interesting companies that made a splash when they landed on the list. This week, we start with the Fast 100 class of 2004.

Headsets.com, Inc.
Then: #24 on the list

What it does: online headset retailer
Revenue/FY 2003: $10.26 million
3-year growth: 241.6 percent
Staff: 20
Funding: $40,000
Founded: 1998

Now:
Much has changed for the San Francisco-based online headset retailer since 2004 when it was riding high with explosive growth, including a business model revamp and purchase of their website domain name. In 2004, the company had a 241.6 percent growth rate and ranked 24 on the Fast 100.

“Amazon has been a game changer, and we have developed a lot more of our own product, rather than our prior model of selling everyone else’s,” said founder and CEO Mike Faith.

“Although we were forced to do this for price competition reasons, we have actually been able to develop better headsets.”

In an interview with one of our reporters in 2006, Faith set the bar high with a goal to reach $200 million in sales by 2010, but has since scaled back his projections significantly. Faith expects revenue to hit $18 million this year and is focused on surpassing the market leader for U.S. headset sales, Plantronics, by 2024.

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