Over the last year of Performancing, we’ve built some cool tools, posted some killer tutorials and built a community of over 26,000 professional bloggers. Not bad for a company started from virtually nothing.
It’s not been a year without lessons though, and of all the many lessons we’ve learned running a transparent community based company, the biggest is “get your business model sorted early”. We’re just starting to bring in money as a company, and this is good, but to survive, and mature as a startup we need to look at areas that are draining resources while not producing income.
The biggest pull on company resources is Metrics. Our pro-grade blog analytics service. It currently has around 16,000 registered blogs using it, and though it’s cool, it’s not producing.
There is no other blog analytics program out there that can scale as Metrics was built to. I remember MeasureMap showing signs of buckling under just a few hundred users but it takes a lot of bandwidth, and 3 very high grade servers to run the current system.
At this stage, and in the current climate of “free” everything, I’m neither prepared to put ads on it nor charge for it — What’d I’d like to do, is to give Metrics to the community by making it Open Source, or sell Metrics to a company with more financial resources that could continue to develop it, and benefit from the usebase.
We’ll decide for sure in the next week or so, but our current hosting agreement ends mid december and the decision has been taken to not move Metrics over to the new servers in it’s current state.
I will let you know more about this when the details are finalized. If anyone has ideas of what to do with Metrics, then please post here, or contact me privately ast [email protected]
With two major feature releases that will see Partners, our up and coming blog advertising network become more useful to publishers without ads yet, and easier to use for advertisers, our focus is tuned to giving that service the time it needs to mature, and to grow — We’ve no doubt it will become a great source of income for us as a company, and the bloggers who particpate in it, but it will take a little time.
One of the things we can do is to monetize our archives. We’ve always said that that’s where the money is anyway right? 🙂
So, over the next few days I’ll be working on putting a contextual ad service on posts, aswell as show our own Partners ads on all pages of the website — showing our own ads will put us in the same boat as our publishers and will hopefully provide us with some valuable learning experiences from your side of the equation aswell as produce income for the company.
Moving forward in 2007
The tighter, leaner and more profitable Performancing will consist of the Partners network, and our #1 blogging editor Performancing Firefox (which by the way, now has around 350,000 downloads!).
I hope you, the Performancing community, will understand the need to trim and streamline our services, and that you’ll support us and help us by making suggestions and letting the blogosphere know that we’re looking for help.
Comments and thoughts welcomed as always.