netmeg - 12:51 pm on Jan 5, 2013 (gmt 0) [edited by: goodroi at 4:24 pm (utc) on Jan 5, 2013]
Making money does not equal running a business.
True. Any idiot can make money. Not every idiot can run (and grow) a successful business.
I'm curious about your thought process here, do you believe that the mobile app is going to get you more/different traffic or help you retain/convert your current traffic or both or something else?
Yes to all of this.
@netmeg - I'm curious if/how you plan to monetize this.
Initially with an ad. If it seems popular enough and I get enough downloads, I have an idea for enhancements and a game that could be included with it where I could maybe sell a premium version of it for 99 cents or so, without ads.
but no mention of what the specific alternatives to it are. How about a list?
Pretty sure I posted a list in the item about what makes a brand. It's in this forum somewhere.
So how is this such a bad business to be in?
It's not a bad business to be in. I'm in this business myself. But it's not a reliable business to be in. I have learned a little about how to manage risk; it took a lot of mistakes and I've lost a lot of money at times too. The problem is that once the organic traffic (and the money) start rolling in, pretty much instantly you start thinking it's always gonna be that way. So that's where you focus your time and efforts, and you count on it, and even if you do plan for the future, the fact that Google can (and probably will) shut the spigot off at some point doesn't enter into it. And maybe you hire people, and buy a house, and it's all based on what is essentially a cardboard foundation. It *might* hold up - but it's become increasingly clear that it might not. Because it's cardboard. And because you don't really have any control over it.
I love organic traffic, and I've made a ton of money from it. But it has become too passive for me. Basically I have to sit here and hope A) that someone is searching for what I have, and B) that I show up at the top. That's a lot of if. Whereas, if I pay attention to my users and figure out where they are, then I can go to there and get more of them.
BTW I work in some of the most boring-ass B2B niches on the planet, and there are ALWAYS multiple channels to reach people. I've never yet met one where Google organic search is the ONLY available channel. If I did, I'd either create a churn and burn site to get what I could out of it (but make no plans for the future) or more likely I'd run like blazes away from it. The fact that there's short term money there doesn't mean it's a viable long term business option. It just doesn't.
[edited by: goodroi at 4:24 pm (utc) on Jan 5, 2013]