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They're Survivors, Too

What's the secret to their success in the dotcom world? People.

This story appears in the April 2001 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

Kevin Benz, 44, and Fred Barrett, 41, like to play. Their suburban Seattle office is cluttered with Rocky and Bullwinkle paraphernalia, a favorite "novelty" toy (we promised not to mention what it is), Web phones and laptops. Once a month, Benz (below left) and Barrett order pizza and use the projector in the conference room to play movies all afternoon. Some days, they take their 15 employees to a rock concert or invite them and their families water- or snow-skiing. Is that any way to do business with so many dotcom failures littering the landscape?

You bet it is, say Benz and Barrett, self-proclaimed Internet gurus and co-founders of InterKnack.com, a 2-year-old XML Web design company in Bellevue, Washington. But these survivors of corporate America also know how to work hard. They didn't just weather last year's dotcom bust; they thrived: 2000 sales hit $2.65 million, up from $1 million in 1999. And this year, sales are expected to reach upward of $3.5 million. The company's client list is equally impressive: To date, it includes Cisco, Seafair (Seattle's summer festival) and a project for Vatican-sponsored World Youth Day.

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