He’s at it again. Mark Bakken captured the attention of the medical and tech industry when he disrupted the world of radiology. Bakken and his partner built, and in 2007 sold, the 2nd largest teleradiology (online radiology) company in the United States. Already known for being part of the team that started the world’s largest physician recruitment and medical staffing firms at the age of 24 as well as several other medical start ups, Bakken was often featured in business news like Inc Magazine and Wall Street Journal.
Then he went radio silent. And finding him wasn’t easy. After selling his company, Bakken moved from the bustle of fast-paced Dallas and settled into a quiet small island town in the Puget Sound area of Washington State. He took a breather and focused on coaching his kid’s basketball, football and baseball teams and became more active in the picturesque harbor community he now calls home. He became comfortable volunteering at his kid’s school and being a mentor to troubled teens. At the same time, he continued to monitor the tech scene and stay engaged with several business ventures behind the scenes. But if that period was a quiet one, he is silent no more.
After watching what he believed to be the complete disregard for truth he saw online and deciding to take on the online review companies, Bakken started Big Web Machine. “We just read that 30% of online reviews are false. That means if you’re a business, brand or individual, your competitor or even an online troll can destroy your reputation online. That’s going to change,” Bakken said.
Bakken’s latest creation is a network of hundreds of review and news sites. Those sites serve as a platform for truth, so to speak. “We take a client’s best reviews and verify them. That means we have a company called TruWeb check them out. Make sure they’re legit. Then we post them online. The process of putting them online coupled with a proprietary (patent pending) system to saturate the web, gives an individual or business instant control of their message. SEO is old school according to Bakken. “It was created by geeks. We all know it’s not just about fighting for first place in online search, it’s about knowing what the prospect will find,” says Bakken. “The Internet is young. And the days of anonymous hit jobs and trusting our business to fate are over.”
Bakken’s Big Web Machine showed up with a bang. Ten major clients signed on before the business had officially launched. And they are selective. “No more than 15% of a vertical market. We’re just targeting businesses that are shooting straight and aiming high.” Some things never change.
D.Johnson 6/23/14 Tacoma, WA