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Sole Proprietor Profile of Inc., an any-shoe-you-could-want Web site

By Michelle Prather

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

Nick Swinmurn, 27, admits, "I didn't know anythingabout shoes" before starting Inc. (, where you can find every size, style and color offootwear manufactured by about 100 brands. He was a film major incollege, for heaven's sake-and before getting a taste ofe-business, he worked for the San Diego Padres.

Knowing his career with the Padres had peaked, Swinmurn moved onto, where he witnessed another recent college graduateenjoy the venture's speedy growth. Swinmurn absorbed as much ashe could while conceiving of ways he could successfully utilize theInternet for his own means. Following a trip to the mall when hecouldn't find the boots he wanted, Swinmurn wanted a site whereconsumers could get every style from every brand.

To get footing, Swinmurn got a few retailers to partner with The concept was still limited by retailer stockrooms, but he knew he could make inroads-like adding a formerregional merchandising manager and regional buyer from Nordstrom tohis team. "Just putting the site up rather than waiting untilit was perfect was the smartest decision we ever made," saysSwinmurn, who went live with his San Francisco-based site in June1999. "There were people at that time thinking of doingsomething similar, but they kept waiting, and some are stillwaiting, whereas we decided to just let something evolve. It'snever going to be perfect."

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