Some things we’re working on…Posted: September 10, 2010
It’s been a busy couple of weeks for the myTooq staff, that staff being Richard and myself (Roy just writes blog posts for now, but nothing yet this week. What the hell, Roy?).
Our new landing page and pricing ended up being quite a chore with all kinds of last minute surprises and difficulties. I was away in Kananaskis celebrating my tenth anniversary and ended up making my poor wife a start-up widow for hours at a time as I tried to coordinate the release and solve the subsequent problems. It turns out that the site is incredibly complex due to the initial architecture being very well designed due to my want of reducing future technical debt. We end up having a Rolls Royce engine in a Ford Festiva at this point. The good news is down the road, we will minimize a lot of heartache, but right now, it is complex, and expensive to get anything accomplished.
I had contracted the creation of a few reports out to a local developer with them expected to be ready for testing on Monday of this week, when I received an email from said developer telling me that he had spent too much time on them and would not be delivering said reports as expected. Or ever. Another result of a backend designed for what it will become, not on being the minimally viable product.
This week has also taken shape around laying the groundwork and removing roadblocks to getting the actual subscription work added to the site. Last weeks shenanigans resulted in me having to make a call to push the new pages with the 14 day trial messaging without actually having the subscription wiring hooked up. Worst case scenario for anyone trying us out? A longer, unannounced free trial period. We are on schedule (for now) to have things ready for the end of next week and then I’ll spend the weekend testing to make sure it works. With any luck, we can push by the following Monday and maybe, just maybe, start making a little bit of income.
In order to balance the stress of very trying times, I began to seek some positives to focus on over the last couple of weeks, and I’m happy to say that I have made some headway. An idea I have had all along, though it was mostly reserved for the recruiting module, was to grow some group buying power. Instead of waiting for a future module, things have been shaping up to start building some connections now.
Over the next few weeks, I should be able to announce access to some services and products for myTooq.com subscribers. Some offers may only be available to those on a paid tier, while others should be available to everyone. I originally set out to simply “find a deal” for our subscribers, but have run into many existing programs where a referral model was already in place. I soon realized that multiple income streams may be available via some of these services, which is good for us, but I’m still trying to figure out a way to balance things out for users already paying us.
The intent is not to monetize subscribers at any cost. I do promise that I will clearly disclose any benefit we receive for any offer that you might undertake as a user of our site. I’m also thinking of some form of credit system that would reduce your myTooq subscription fees depending on any referral income we might be seeing, but this depends greatly on how well we can track things from several other businesses. For now, we’ll keep it simple and tell you if we’re receiving any benefit.
For now, most of the offers will be available to only Canada and/or US subscribers, but we will display them to everyone with the hopes that people in other countries will suggest partnerships in their area that we may want to pursue.
Without giving too much away, and knowing that two of these deals are already agreed upon, with a few others looking very positive, you should see offers on: Health services, merchant accounts, payment gateways, business insurance, advertising credit, reduced membership fees and others. I’m also trying to find a way to provide referrals to legal and accounting resources, but this will probably take a little longer to accomplish.
So, the roller coaster continues for now. When the subscription hook up happens, I can likely chart our trajectory and hopefully hire at least one more developer to roll more features out faster. We’ll continue to add value when and where we can, keep our nose to the grindstone and our fingers crossed.
Have a good weekend and thanks for reading.