The end of year again! Time for some semi-public reflection. First of all I've been neglecting my own blog, which for the record has been in this form since 2005 (and funnily enough started also with an end of year review). Which is kind of a waste given a blog is a great way to commit your thoughts.
I won't make any promises I might not keep, especially at a time of new years resolutions. But I want to share more here, and especially less based on me only checking in to promote some new launch (for which I've been abusing the blog now for a while). I like Seth's idea of just showing up which he re-iterates in his new book This is marketing (nice read). But I have not been doing that for a while...
I have mixed feelings for this year, but overal 2018 was a year with a good personal & professional focus (I think I know by now what makes me happy), but maybe not much luck with results (given my entrepreneurial KPIs are way 📉).
I launched Mailbook (which gets almost daily happy testimonials), my son went to school (and is very happy there), I totally enjoy development with React now, my daughter is potty trained at 2.5, and I launched several new projects under the build.amsterdam concept, and found a new (possible) partner along the way (hi Marco). And of course, our family enjoyed a healthy year (needs a mention when you pass the 25 I guess)
But the new year starts with a sad decision: I decided to stop operating Directlyrics (after over 11 years and 1 billion (!) page views). I've seen and enjoyed the high tide of lyrics, ringtones, licensing, ads and seo, but also the downsides of low value content, decreasing CPMs, increasing costs, and complexer competition. Read more in this IndieHacker post 👉.
I wasn't able to re-invent the project, didn't surprise users and stuck too long to SEO as acquisition strategy. But also to be fair, not from a lack of trying (lots of things were tried). In this case lyrics are a high traffic business and without the traffic (e.g. under 100k a day is unmaintainable) the revenue isn't enough to continue. Kevin (the editor) was amazing over the last decade. Hire him.
But this makes room for 2019 to let go of old habits, and start of fresh, finding new fuel and route to succes (defined as... ). Less lurking (bye Twitter), more actionable days (Hello OKRs) and even more focus (oops, this now does sound like a new years resolution).
I'll be enjoying the Swiss mountains the last few days. I'll keep you updated :)