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Peter, I agree with Mike's comment. It is a hard lesson to learn. If you sell your product too cheaply, people will think it is a cheap product. It is incredibly demotivating to work that hard and then to get exactly nothing back. And the best advice someone can give you is to recognise you've learnt a valuable lesson and then to try again. My background is in telecommunications (i.e. some kind of IT) and I build products too. The best technique I can recommend is something called "Lean startup" (a book by Eric Ries). In your case, you invested a lot of resources into a product and afterwards you tried to sell it. And as you learnt, your customers didn't want to buy it. So this technique is to proceed with very small, calculated risks and to make scientific measurements upon which you base the next try. You only proceed with something if you know it will improve your product and if the risk is low. If you had to apply it, you would have sent a letter to everyone describing your video and asked them to pay you with stamps. But most importantly, *before you made the video* and spent all that time and energy. Sending emails costs nothing. If you got 3 back out of 44, you learned something. Then you try to send the same letter but asking them to pay you $20 and you send it to 44 different people. If you get 9 back, you learnt that $20 will work better than 3 stamps. In the same way you can test the interest in a specific topic. Etc. And if you can't get the model to work, then you should try something else. Like targeting the video for broadcast by the BBC. Or making prints. Anyway, I think you'll get the idea. Best of luck. Rudolph van Graan
Ctein, I just read my post again and realised that I said: ...To track a thousand monthly accounts are really child's play and something all of us have to do... Sorry, I didn't mean to imply that it is an easy thing to do. I meant that it is a common business function and a service you can buy. Rudolph
Hallo Ctein. It is your favourite ask-too-many-questions fan again. I am sorry in advance if I appear to patronise you herein. I am not. I love your work and I can't wait for my parcel. My opinion as quasi businessman is that you made two mistakes here. The first issue is that try to do too much yourself. You are not a bookkeeper and nor should you be. You should pay a bookkeeper/accountant to manage your monthly billings etc. To track a thousand monthly accounts are really child's play and something all of us have to do. Pay someone to handle it for you and let them collect the money as every business needs to do. I an recommend one or two that will gladly handle this for you for a good price. Second, as James B wrote earlier, and I think I wrote the same to you a few months back, is that people prefer photography in a certain style or subject area etc. Sometimes a surprise would be nice, but I would rather give you a brief of what I would like (perhaps by saying I don't like rockets, but I like leaves) and I am touchy about composition (as you well know by now) and that you use my preferences to turn your concept into a service that delivers something that I will probably like. A service with mutual value. You get my money and I get art that I would love to display. Personally, I want to pay you X a month. But I am too distracted with work to take the time to figure out how I am going to persuade a certain English bank to somehow drop the payment into Ctein's bank account on the prescribed time. What I think you should improve on is to try and continually refine the business model and kept at it until it became a consistent revenue engine. You have all the ingredients. A great product. A swathe of fans. Don't stop what you are doing, but take advice and farm out some of the drudgery and you will easily succeed. Fan rot? Yes that will happen if your product does not evolve with your customers. You will need to experiment with new concepts of value and you will be able to solve that big drop off. That should be fun. It teaches you to be creative in another way. Best, Rudolph
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Aug 2, 2012