Aquascapes problems

123_2359.JPG Aquascapes is a multi-million dollar organization that has seen an amazing rise in its fortunes over the last couple of years. They we’re featured in in an article titled, “And there was happiness in Aqualand.” The article written August of this year describes the amazing perks that the people working at Aquascapes have. The article describes how employees came to owner Greg Wittstock and said, "we have no soccer field. When we play in the parking lot after work, our shins, they get scraped, and we cannot do our sweet moves."

‘If I built you a soccer field, would that make you happy?’ the CEO asked.

‘Almost,’ answered the employees. ‘We could use a hot tub.’

‘I will see what I can do,’ the CEO said.

As he was walking away, the employees added, ‘Oh, and if we could have a place to nap in the afternoons, that would be great. Thanks!’”

Did I say they built everything the employees asked for, including the nap room? The article continues with, “Oh, and they did some work too. The company grew to $56 million in annual sales.

And they all lived happily after.” (my italics)

Fast forward to today when I read at Open Register about owner Greg Wittstocks new blog. It would seem that just four months later all is not so well at Aquascapes. As a matter of fact things have gone downhill fast. They have recently laid off 17 employees and Greg has admitted that they are having a serious cash flow problem. If you read the blog check out the comments from some former employees. It must really hurt being the owner and having to read that stuff. Never the less that comes with the territory.

Let’s give Greg credit for starting his blog and laying out the problems for all to see. It is a bit weird that he started the blog one post before admitting all was not well at the company. Better late than never, perhaps.

Hines nurseries, one of the countries largest wholesale nurseries is having something of the same problem. They do not have a blog and as such folks have been finding my post of August detailing Hines de-listing on the stock exchange. The comments continue to trickle in. The problem for Hines is no one at the company is trying to get the organizations point of view out, so there is nowhere to get up to date info and as such people are using my blog post to vent. That’s o.k., but Hines really should be out in front laying its cards on the table concerning its future. It has been and continues to be my belief that a blog is a necessity for a well run company.