When and why did you start business here on the Costa?
Having created the first Mortgage Shop in the UK, a very successful business, I became disenchanted with the politics of the 80s & 90s which resulted in the severe recession that followed. I had even contacted 10 Downing Street expressing my fears which in fact materialised with the first historical loss of bricks & mortar values and homes being repossessed at a rate of never before. I sold the business and decided to move to Spain for a better quality life because Julia, my wife, told me it was then a nice and a safe country in which to raise children.
Here I realized there was a real need for an effective Medium dedicated to foreign nationals on the Costa. In order to learn the market, I worked as a sales person for The Reporter magazine but, despite my successful contribution, a commission payment dispute convinced me to start my own business two years later.
I love creating from new ideas and even if I knew little about the internet (no one else seemed to know much either at that time), I decided to create a Portal for the Costa del Sol. It was a failure because no one seemed to know it existed. This is when I decided to print the Portal and distribute it free as a magazine. I never looked back since. One thing lead to another and today I still have the only Internet Portal that invested over 1.5 million in promoting its web address in print over the years.
What makes you different from all the other media?
I thought it is obvious, we print our website while others put their publications online, a substantial difference. I said at the outset that Internet is the future and it seems I was right, unfortunately it is not being used quite as it should because again greed seems to take over some people.
Perhaps you will understand better what I mean when you actually realize that my website is one that makes the most appearances on Google searches and that most of my contents, including advertisers, appear on the first pages of Google searches.
I dont follow. What do you mean?
Well, for a start our database goes back some 15 years, our present website is not just any cheap website, it took 3 years to develop and it has been designed and programmed to provide the results I am describing. So in the first place you need a fairly substantial investment to create a similar machine and I need to stop feeding my database for the next 15 years before you can catch up with it.
Do you aim at a certain market? How do you control this when the internet is worldwide?
The publication is not a magazine it is a printed portal, this is why it has to be portable and not a heavy table top at the same time it must contain different articles and topics at monthly frequency. The publication is produced in a good quality paper, print, images and contents within a reasonable price. This means to say that it is intended for a quality market while still retaining its commercial power. We then control the distribution making certain that the publication is only available in quality locations and locations frequented by the right quality readers. This is why you will never see Web Express Guide in seedy little bars or similar.
The articles we publish, and I remind you online as well as print, are originals and provided exclusively for us by a number of authors such as myself for a start, Count De La Perrelle, a secret writer (Prickly Pair), Chevalier de Fleury and others.
What of the future?
Fifteen years after its infancy, Web Express Guide is still here, live and kicking. I have seen media of all types and colours appear and disappear, some have even tried to copy what I do. They have gone! I expect others will follow in the future because in the first instance most do not understand or appreciate the size of this rather small multinational market, others do not have a clue of what publishing really means and entails while others believe that they can master the internet with a cheap website designed to impress the public with its appearance but not really doing the job.
Unless the Mayans were right, I expect Web Express Guide will see many more Christmases yet whether with me at the helm or someone who takes over.