06 Nov, 2011 – 3 comments

would you fund a new site for creative inspiration?

I’ve been blogging here since July 2008 and I’ve been incredibly fortunate to amass a small group of dedicated, kind, and interested readers. I attribute my small measure of success to this blog’s format: a mix of daily inspiration and the occasional deep dive on a wide range of intellectual pursuits. Well, I attribute 30% (roughly) to the format, 60% to the people around me both physically and online, and 10% to the silly images.

I really enjoy blogging, for the mental exercise, for the immediate feedback, and for the value of amassing interesting content close at hand. At the core of everything I do here, I believe that creativity needs both a mix of highly divergent beauty and deeply applied thinking.

Lately I’ve been considering scaling the site to make it more valuable to the creative community at-large. If I do it, I want to build the definitive inspiration engine for the creative community. Doing this would require some investment into the site, in the form of design, development, and most importantly new editorial blood (that could generate and curate a wide range of topics).

I’ve already developed a pretty robust vision for the site and how it would work. Just like this site, I see a strong emphasis on daily doses of interesting (but far wider topics and much more content) and then longer-form, incredibly valuable and deep pieces of analytical or logical reasoning. No middle ground, whatsoever. But even more critically, I see a set of tools that would mine our content to create valuable tools to be used in the creative process. I don’t just want to create another content portal, or an aggregator, I want to take the site to a new, functional, level.

But.

I’m curious if you feel that something like this is actually missing. If I created a Kickstarter project for this, would you consider funding it?

Also.

If I’m actually going to pull this off, I need this to be a project owned and obsessed over by more people than myself. I’m less interested in owning ideas these days. I’m more interested in making them happen. Are you a blogger or editor interested in a new project that you could be a part-owner in? Are you a development team looking for part ownership in a platform that you can use as a test bed for your best ideas and a powerful marketing tool to reach new clients? If I do Kickstart the site, I aim to be able to actually pay folks, but I’m not sure it will be full wages. To even consider it, you’ll probably have to know me and trust me that we’ll make it awesome together.

Quite premature, but in terms of business models, I don’t want to build another Huffington Post. Revenue on the back of free labor. I want to build a worker’s cooperative, where those that create/aggregate content and develop the site are invested in the success of the business. Generating revenue off content is no easy feat, though. It’s actually pretty rare. But I think there are opportunities beyond display; opportunities in our tools and thought leadership (conferences, workshops, videos, etc.).

Right now I’m just interested in feedback. Let me know in the comments or shoot me an email.


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3 Comments

  1. Sean Wood
    Sean Wood November 8, 2011 at 4:08 pm .

    You’re on the right track in the last paragraph. Musicians don’t make money off record sales anymore – they earn it through touring (events), licensing, merchandise (products) and brand sponsorship.

    Best wishes on building your house of creative knowledge. Lord knows we need it.

  2. Erickjam
    Erickjam November 14, 2011 at 12:11 pm .

    I don’t comment on your blog much, but when I do, I drink Dos Equis while doing so….

    I think one of the good/bad things about Kickstarter is the possibility for every project to get funded. For every “tech thing that changes the world” posted there, there are the same amount of “stupid ideas from my cat” that get funded.

    You truly are asking the wrong audience (your blog readers) for advice about the audience that really matters (Kickstarter donors) and although I am sure there is a bit of crossover, they are not the same.

    I figured out long ago that those that say “great idea” are not the investors. “Great idea” is only an investment of words, and you can’t pay for a project with words alone (i.e. Twitter so far).

    My advice would be to post it to Kickstarter and see… Worst case scenario is that you find nobody cares enough to give you money, and that’s really what you need to know.

    On the above note, I personally thing it is a great idea. Would I invest… likely not yet. It seems as if you have a very unique and individual direction you want to take this, and it would be hard to say “Here’s some money” without seeing the full direction first. The common problem of chicken vs. egg.

    My real advice… Bootstrap it.

  3. Victoria C.
    Victoria C. December 12, 2011 at 2:50 pm .

    If its your dream I say go for it. The whole thing about kickstarter unless you’re funded you have nothing to lose. It may be a little cliche, but the only way you truly fail is not trying.

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