Back in 1992, dot-com businesses didn't exist and few people even knew the term "Internet." Nowadays it's hard to go a day without hearing someone make at least one reference to the Net. Chad Mattix knows firsthand how big dot-coms have become in the last dozen years.

The 33-year-old started his first dot-com company in 1992. He was a junior majoring in finance at Miami University in Oxford. Mattix created his company, Pinnacle Computer, to help set up PCs for local businesses.

"As time progressed, we moved from hardware sales to software sales, and then to services," Mattix says. Pinnacle then started specializing in email and focusing on law firms.

The business evolved further, into selling larger email upgrades and network projects. By the end of the decade, Pinnacle had become a Novell Premium reseller with an additional concentration on managed services. When 2000 rolled around, Pinnacle had turned into a $3 million company.

In 2003, the company merged with Mycom Group Inc. Mattix is now the vice president of managed services for Mycom, which in its current incarnation provides managed services for companies across the country, scanning email for viruses, spam, and content problems.

"The managed service called mailMAX continues to grow to a national footprint, competing in the competitive space of email filtering services," Mattix says. "We are working with industry magazines on product reviews, expanding our client base, and building relationships with organizations to 'resell' or 'rebrand' mailMAX. The company is creating a larger presence in the email world with this service."

Other services provided by Mycom include network security, network management, hosting and server protection, and Web design.

Mycom is now an $8 million company and Mattix credits the success to keeping up with client demands and industry trends. His advice to someone who wishes to start a dot-com business is this: "Have a plan and know what your performance variables are and how to gauge them. You will know what levels to pull with a plan."

He also adds, "Be prepared for a lot of frustrations, and never give up."