So I'm looking to launch the stuff I've been demoing. I want to add some more features, etc. but in general I just want to get it out there to generate interest. There's a certain level of anxiety about launching before it's ready and scaring away the big fish, but like I said a few days ago, if my ideas are so great, they should be able to be out there getting users and generating cash quickly. But if not and it takes a year before my ideas take hold or the site generates enough cash flow to be a real business, then I still want to start right away - a year goes quick might as well start now. Hell, this time last year I was still in Spain.
There's a ton of missing elements in my Mobile Content idea - the most important of which is that essential viralness that a non-marketed product/service requires to grow fast. Viral isn't a "send this site to a friend" link. That's not viral - that takes active effort on the part of the user. Viralness by definition just happens as a natural part of using the product. Hotmail had a link advertising its product at the bottom of each email - so as a normal part of using the product, users also advertised it as well.
Also, because my development time has been so short, the barrier to entry for others competing with me is essentially the same amount of time. Minimal. Thus I'm flipping back to the idea of advertising instead of subscribers (nothing will create copy-cats faster than charging for a relatively easy-to-create service). I go back and forth on this quite a bit. Which is better? 1000 subscribers at $3 a month, or finding enough advertisers (and/or generating enough traffic) to generate $3000 from advertising? Which is better when you grow?
Maybe a combination of both? Well, that's the trick isn't it? Not only would I have to find and manage advertisers and their ads (remember, I'm talking about mobiles - so I can't just slap AdWords or Banner ads on the pages) but *also* worry about "premium services" of some sort to provide to paying clients. I have problems with "premium services" actually - I hate it when sites segment their users like that. Here's some dregs for you, and for the rest of you, here's the good stuff.
You know why advertising sucks? Because it makes you lazy and makes you focus on the wrong thing. Instead of creating a product or service that people are willing to pay for, you end trying to create something that attracts as many hits as possible instead to bump up your pageviews and advertising dollars. Though many times they go hand-in-hand (a more useful site gets more users) I think most times it's just the wrong track. I'd rather create a Salesforce.com rather than a Friendster. A real product, not just flash and fad. But despite this gut feeling of mine, because my limitations in time and money, I think I'll just have to do this step by step. Throw the prototype out there, hope it's useful and generates interest and see what I can do from there.
Thinking, thinking, thinking...