Stealth Player Development

My MicroISV. Where software development and pornography collide...

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Thursday, January 27, 2005

My Boostrapper's Bible After Thoughts

Reading the Bootstrapper's Bible got me thinking about a couple things. First, I think I should start marketing now. Stealth Player is not done yet, but it's close. It's certainly not vapor ware. Second, I need to learn more about my market and the particular industry. So here are my plans...

Google will be central to both my endeavors. Soon as I get the Stealth Player website done, I'm going to start marketing it using google Ad Words. I can budget the ad campaign to $100 bucks a month. I don't want to be done with development and THEN spend a month figuring out how to use Ad Words. Since I should be done in a month or less, I think that's money well spent.

The major purpose of this exercise is to figure out who's interested in the product (if anyone). Visitors can sign up to be notified when Stealth Player is ready. If I don't get $100 worth of traffic, then I'll be learning ahead of time to adjust my campagn. If I do get $100 dollars worth of traffic and not one person signs up, I'll know ahead of time that I have issues, business model issues. Knowing this ahead of time will allow me to adjust my business model...ahh...ahead of time.

This leads me to my second thought. I need to know more about the industry I'm venturing into. I originally thought I was in the software industry and just happened to make software for porn. Now, I'm starting to wonder if I'm actually in the porn industry using software as a competitive advantage. The difference between the two realities is the business model. Am I selling software or porn? I'd rather think software.

I'm not a sleazy guy. Really I'm not...I'm out going, I surf (I'm not talking about the web), I love to hang out with my wife and friends...

There's a certain shame in pornography, it makes me uncomfortable. However, I think that aspect makes this market attractive. The barrier to entry is shame.

I wrestle with this because, after doing some research, it seems I have two potential business models. The first, which I prefer, is to sell access to the data my system aggregates through a value added interface. Doesn't that sound nice and sterile?

The second model is to give away the software for free with access to my data as a draw, then sell premium content to the users through the same application. After looking into it, purchasing distribution licenses from adult content providers is easy; easier and less expensive than I ever thought. This is inline with the Bootstrapper's Bible, which uses a Nike sneaker as an example. The manufacture in China gets $1 a shoe, Nike gets $10 a shoe, the distributor gets $25 a shoe, and the retailer gets $80 a shoe. Anyway -- If you don't know what I'm talking about GO READ IT! The point is I'm surprised at the margins that can be achieved.

To sum it up, here are my options:
Model 1: MicroISV - (Preferred)
Model 2: Porno Peddler - (I wouldn't go telling everyone about this one)

My first attempt at marketing will determine which direction this heads...I sure hope I can make Model 1 work.

Not to drag this on, but I just thought of something terrible. I've mentioned the work "Bible" in the post a couple times, I hope no one comes here from a search engine looking for religion...Oh, the nasty emails I'll be getting


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