July 12, 2002

RealMetros.com Founder Mark Metz Celebrates Full Decade in Business

HOLLYWOOD, Fla.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--July 12, 2002--During the summer of 1992, Mark Metz embarked on the dot.com adventure known today as RealMetros.com, Inc. (RealMetros). In the realm of crash-and-burn dot-coms, Metz and RealMetros instead commemorate this summer, 2002, a decade of uninterrupted service to the public. Metz is gratified his enterprise both survived and remained true to his vision. He hopes his "never quit" philosophy might be a inspiration to other entrepreneurs in what has become a somewhat grim business environment for small tech companies.

The technology landscape in 1992 was vastly different from today's. Computer use was rising fast, computer prices were dropping, yet the Internet was a mere wisp of the force it soon would become. Metz, who held a bachelor of science degree in engineering from Massachusetts Institute of Technology, was recently returned from active duty military service, and was attending grad school. He sensed enormous changes were afoot.

A well-respected management consultant came on campus that spring to deliver a lecture to his MBA class on "thinking outside the box." Following the presentation, students discussed their information technology-related business concepts. Metz shared his vision for "contextual commerce."

Metz believed a viewer is more likely to find an ad for a Miami Beach restaurant located next to content about Miami Beach dining to be of greater value and act on it than the same ad next to an article on fashion in Orlando. Metz' business plan called for development of a network of computer-driven touch-activated kiosks that would provide not only travel and tourism information, but advertising relevant to the subject requested. Profit would come from viewers acting on ads presented in the context of information he edited.

"Mark's vision for contextual commerce was ahead of its time, but in less than ten years, nearly everything he proposed has happened," said Scott Rogers, Esq., vice president of RealMetros. Rogers left the practice of law with a prestigious law firm in the late 1990s, having met Metz and been won over by his vision and work ethic.

But that day, the highly-paid consultant scoffed, and told Metz his idea was unworkable. "I knew there were possibilities just over the horizon," said Metz. "Those who saw it coming and seized the opportunities would reap the rewards." Metz left at the end of that semester, founded his venture and never looked back.

By early 1993, Metz launched TouchGuide(R), his original advertising-based contextual commerce kiosks. Next came EventGuide, the groundbreaking broadcast-faxed and fax-on-demand service that quickly became a fixture in offices throughout South Florida. Metz was among the first to establish a site on the World Wide Web in the early 1990s.

Over ten years, Metz' enterprise evolved into a contextual commerce mainstay, the company deriving income from people buying through the various Guides on RealMetros' site. Metz and his staff protect customer relationships by ensuring site information is accurate and customers are treated well when they visit DiningGuide, NightGuide, EventGuide, RetailGuide, and LodgingGuide, which includes HotelGuide and CondominiumGuide.

Metz has served in many capacities, as founder, president, CEO and chairman. His engineering background served him especially well in his role as RealMetros' chief architect. Where most dot-coms were established from a marketing perspective, grabbing at revenues without regard for profitability, Metz created his site from an engineering perspective, designing systems to solve specific problems for customers. He knew what he wanted the company and website to accomplish, and engineered both to achieve it.

His initial concept was radical for its time. Being right too early exacted a high price. At one point, Metz was $100,000 in debt, mostly high-interest credit cards. Able to demonstrate viability, he sought venture capital. None was forthcoming. Although devastated at the time, today, holding the reins of a thriving enterprise, Metz is glad investors hadn't been able to see what lay ahead. He steadfastly refused to declare bankruptcy and repaid all debts.

Incorporated in 1996, RealMetros today is a continuously-expanding multi-million-dollar contextual commerce site, more than a quarter-million pages that welcome over two million unique visitors monthly. The firm's share of the growing on-line hotel market continues to increase, as does staff, including his partner, attorney Scott Rogers, who safeguards RealMetros and leads the legal charge against digital pirates and cyber-squatters.

For information or a press kit, call (954) 981-5850, or visit http://MetroGuide.com