I’m a dreamer – a big thinker. I like the idea of creating something that has lots of value for the people that use it. However, one thing I am learning is that I need to balance the big vision with real-world results. I need to view things AS THEY ARE vs. how I envision them to be.
Three months ago, we changed our business model in an attempt to ride the wave of social networking. We envisioned a site for the millions. We figured that by dropping our fees to zero (free), we would attract lots of people. Our paying customers told us is that it was a bad idea – that we would attract free-loaders with nothing to offer to the community.
They were right.
So after three months, we’re reverting back to our model where we have less people, but those people are 1000% more committed to us and their craft.
While we must continually look for opportunity, I’ve learned to be very cognizant of what’s working. Finding a paying customer is very hard for a start-up to do, and we’ve been lucky to find lots of them. We’ve decided to measure our success not by page views and unique visitors, but by the number of customers who see enough value in what we’re doing that they are willing to open their checkbooks.
The grass may seem greener, and the pasture may seem larger somewhere else. But what I’ve learned is that I must be able to answer the question, "What is the value we’re creating that people are willing to pay for?"
Let someone else have the green grass. I want a business that produces green money – and true value for our users.