Sixteen:Nine Has Been Acquired, But Sorry, I’m Still The Editor
September 14, 2021 by Dave Haynes
Sixteen:Nine is now an online publication and podcast owned by Spectrio, a customer engagement platform based in the Tampa, FL area, and one of the fast-rising companies in this industry.
The deal closed last week and we’re now doing the work to transition things.
Readers may be particularly excited about this because they may think, “Oh good, I like Sixteen:Nine, but that snarky old guy Dave will maybe go away.”
Alas, no. Very little changes with this. I’m still the editor and primary writer. I’m still going to publish at the same kind of cadence. My point of view remains independent. And I will continue to be a smart-ass when it is warranted.
So why sell Sixteen:Nine?
The main reason is quite simple – my daughter is pregnant with her first child and she needed a good stroller. If you are a parent or grandparent, you know the good ones cost roughly the same as a BMW. So I had to find that money somewhere.
Also, it made sense on several fronts.
First, I’m going to be humming The Beatles tune “When I’m 64” come January. I genuinely enjoy what I do, but not so much that I want to do it until I drop. We’d like to travel. I’d like to stop staring outside from my office when the weather’s nice, and go outside without guilt. Plus … grandson!
Second, I have been thinking for some time that I had built up something pretty good with this – with almost 8,200 posts – and I really wasn’t in love with the idea of just typing in a last post one day, saying I’m done, and shutting it down. This gives me the opportunity to keep it going through new owners and supporters, and mentor some poor soul as my Mini Me. The goal is to eventually have someone in place who is capably doing what I do now.
Finally, and the big one, is that I saw the opportunity with Spectrio to both tap into its considerable resources and help raise the company’s profile and brand among the signage community and beyond. Backed by a private equity firm, Spectrio has been on a tear acquiring digital signage CMS software companies, and has very quietly – almost in stealth mode – built up a BIG footprint in the industry via acquisition and organic growth.
But I think it is fair to suggest there are some industry people reading this, who are asking, “Who is Spectrio?”
Their boilerplate description suggests there’s a LOT happening:
Spectrio is a leading provider of comprehensive digital signage solutions that empowers clients to transform their business locations into modern, dynamic destinations for customers and employees. Headquartered in Tampa, Fla., and founded in 2002, Spectrio serves over 150,000 franchise and enterprise locations in multiple industries, including quick-service restaurants, automotive, healthcare, and financial services. With supporting offerings geared towards Overhead Music, On-Hold Messaging, WiFi Marketing, and more, Spectrio offers businesses a complete customer engagement solution at scale.
Sixteen:Nine provides a nice way to help raise Spectrio’s awareness and offer the depth and breadth of content that it would be super-hard to build up on a more conventional company blog. I have had years of people telling me that Sixteen:Nine is their go-to, part of their routine and also their resource to get some context on things like announcements or big changes. One of the cool things has been hearing people tell me that reading or subscribing to Sixteen:Nine is part of their new employee on-boarding guidance.
I am still amazed something that I started in 2006 to scratch an opinion itch gradually turned into a thriving business that defined my later-stage career. But I’ve had to juggle a lot of other jobs – like consulting and ghostwriting – to make it really work. I can’t count the number of times companies have contacted me, and asked if I could have someone from my team get back to them. Then I’ve told them, “Well, I’m, the team. Whatcha need?”
So it’s going to be kind of awesome to have more resources available, and also have the luxury of focus.
This deal came pretty much out of the blue, and I am honored that smart people like Spectrio CEO Dax Brady-Sheehan saw what I’ve developed had real value to his company and team, and the larger industry. It’s been a fun ride producing Sixteen:Nine, and this gives me the opportunity to keep it going, even if I slip out the side door some day.
Here’s what Spectrio says in the official release …
Spectrio, one of the nation’s leading providers of comprehensive digital signage solutions, announced that it has acquired Sixteen:Nine, a digital signage blog produced by industry veteran, David Haynes.
Sixteen:Nine has been covering the digital signage industry since 2006, and is well-known for Haynes’ unique take on news and analysis for an industry audience. Business owners and network managers also follow Sixteen:Nine for in-depth insight, recommendations, and other digital signage commentary.
As Spectrio continues to expand its presence across more than 150,000 client locations, the acquisition will allow the Company to further develop innovative digital solutions for enterprise clients, while contributing to the growth and enrichment of the digital signage industry as a whole. Through the acquisition, Spectrio will also gain a holistic view of the digital signage landscape, including trends and opportunities that will benefit its clients.
“As one of the largest digital signage providers in the U.S., we know the industry is perpetually growing and evolving. Spectrio is proud to support that growth by investing in innovation and the overall enrichment and improvement of the industry,” said Staisey Divorski, vice president of marketing at Spectrio. “The unique voice of David Haynes has always been at the leading edge in digital signage, and we are excited to bring his knowledge and expertise to the team so we can continue to propel the industry to new heights together.”