March 21, 2012

Unrequited Millionth of a Dollar Business Idea

Yesterday @dcurtis released a teaser for svbtle:

This is the blogging platform designed for creative, intelligent, and witty people.

Cool, cool cool cool.

But here is where it gets interesting:

Membership by invitation only.

If you read Dustin Curtis blog, it’s easy to infer that this is not Google+ fake scarcity invitation model. Svbtle is for people Dustin thinks are creative, intelligent, and witty, which are going to be few.

Since migrating this blog is my perpetual procrastination for why I’m not writing enough, I immediately decided it was perfect for me1.

I’m aware that an unrequested business plan is as welcomed as an involuntary prostate exam, but I couldn’t help daydreaming about what model would feel exciting as an user and also profitable — while still keeping a creative, intelligent, and witty community.

3 Step Plan:

Monthly Subscription:

I know, mind-blowing. But just agree with me on the principle that a quality (design, uptime and sustainability) web service needs to charge money.

Let’s say $9.99 a month. Too expensive? It isn’t, but read on.

Blogging Cashback:

Write more than 500 words every week2 of the month, and you get $5 cash back towards the next. You get paid to blog more. Wise economists have already figured out that tricking yourself with a payment makes us go to the gym. If it makes people go to a sweaty, smelly place, it has to make creative, intelligent, and witty people write more from their couch.

This is also aligns incentives: bloggers want to write more and the (my) assumption is that @dcurtis wants a community that generates real content. Maybe all content won’t great —I submit this blog as evidence your honor— but you have to start somewhere.

Ad Network:

Creative, intelligent, and witty people usually talk about creative, intelligent, and witty products and services. The Deck has shown us that ads can be relevant and unobtrusive, and that both writers/readers enjoy sharing screen space with quality products.

So, after a few months of keeping up with the 500 word/week/month level, you are invited to opt-in to the ad network. Creative, intelligent, and witty people have already agreed that web traffic and page views are a bad metric for success (although it doesn’t hurt), which means these analytics won’t be the deciding factor.

I really don’t know what the perfect recipe is, but it won’t rhyme with SEO. Again, this is invitation only, your LOLCats fiction writing blog can be great and all, but svbtle is a business, and maybe you don’t have an audience. No hardz felines kay?

That’s it. As always, ideas are worth their weight in bytes, but making an actual product generates real value. Congrats to Dustin for that.


  1. A month ago I also decided scriptogr.am was perfect for me. And while my tumblr export experiments have been an utter failure, I still think this blog is moving there soonish. 

  2. <blockquotes> don’t count. 


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