One of the things about what I really want to do with my life is that it has a very high cost-of-entry. The other is that it has a very high failure rate. Thus, what I find myself casting about for these days is ideas for something I can do that’s web-based. The cost-of-entry is much lower, and if you can do a good job of balancing user growth with revenue, you should be able to scale accordingly without having to rely on a shit-ton of venture capital1. And maybe even turn a profit. Thus, my plans.
I’m not going to go into depth here on what I’m building — the most sure-fire way for me to not accomplish a goal is to talk about it in great detail2. Let’s just say that it’s an interesting marketing platform that will have an incentive for the target demographic on one side (in some cases), along with a platform on the other end that allow marketers to very finely generate a list of target demographics and market to them on a wide variety of channels. Cost per target will be based upon how finely you want to target that person, like you do.
So yeah. This is a bootstrapping project. Again, because it’s low-cost to develop and deploy, it puts me in a position where I can start a business without a massive amount of financial outlay up-front, and I can use that to generate the revenue I need to engage in future endeavors.
How far am I?
Well, I’ve got some back-of-the-napkin sketches done, and I’m framing up a document to code against so that I make sure I account for all the features I want to build in, and the order in which I want to develop them. This is going to be a side project, grabbing 30-60 minutes here and there, until it gains momentum. That’s something that’ll happen once I have a few other personal projects out of the way.
Should be fun.
Image Credits: Lawrence Monk/Creative Commons Zero (CC0).
The problem in the industry, of course, being that we have our heads up our asses about charging zero money to the users and hoping that we can get VC funds before growth does a hockey-stick and the demand outweighs the infrastructure, and then finding a way to drive revenue via advertising to hopefully start making up for the 8 or 9 figures we spent on building the site (nevermind that the ad revenues are never going to be as high as you forecast)).↩
No hard data. Just anecdata.↩