Anyone who has been following this blog from the start (I know there are a few of you out there) will remember a time when I was a solo entrepreneur and SportsLizard and iPrioritize were what I was trying to make a living with. And while that was a tough go and I ultimately needed to start doing client work and eventually take on partners to make a living, I look back fondly on those few months where my entire purpose in life was to market iPrioritize. I had decent success, made almost enough money to live off of, and learned a ton about web applications and web marketing.
However, once I realized the $10/month subscription fee for business accounts just wasn’t feasible, I/we kind of left the site for dead. Due to the good PR job I did, registrations have continued at a steady pace for free accounts and I get an email every few weeks from someone who swears by the service to organize their life. We also *almost* sold the site to a Japanese company that was interested in the mobile component of the site…but that fell through at the last second and since then I’ve only really thought about the site when I log in as a user (which is actually quite frequently).
That is, until yesterday morning. iPrioritize made the list of 100+ Ways to Organize Your Life on Mashable, which led to a review on Killer Startups. Big deal right? That’s what I thought, until I saw a wave of traffic and saw that Killer Startups had a RSS readership of over 3,000. Pretty soon iPrioritize was all over the blogsphere like it had just been released!
Realizing we needed to capitalize on this, I grabbed Mike for the day and we started working. First, I put an announcement up that version 2.0 was “finally” due out tomorrow…which was total BS because we had no plans to do a version 2.0 until about 10 minutes ago, but it bought us some time. Next, we really thought about what needed to be fixed with the site and what could be done quickly. The largest complaint (and hindrance to growth) has always been the $10/month subscription fee for business accounts, so we decided to axe that and make every feature free. Since the site does have a rather impressive feature set (share lists, RSS, print, email, assign tasks to others, mobile functionality, Outlook integration, etc) we decided then to focus on a redesign and keep the features the same…after all most users would see the business features as “new” anyway.
A few hours later, we released the new iPrioritize:
The site leans heavily off the design of SL (that’s how we did it so fast), but it solves a lot of sloppy design problems I created programming the initial site. We also removed the AdSense. There is no plan to monetize the site right now – I just want to open it up to as many people as possible and encourage growth. It really is an AWESOME way to simply manage your to-do list. If it steadily grows to the point where we can make real money off of it, we’ll revisit various forms of advertising to monetize it…but I doubt we’ll go back to subscriptions of any kind, so it’ll only make legit $ if it becomes huge.
More than anything, this just puts me at peace with iP. I always have loved the tool and been proud of it, however looked at it as a “failure” because it couldn’t make me enough money to live. Now that it’s been 1.5 years and it still gets users and press attention, I feel like I can hold my head high and feel good about the project. The YouTube video and aesthetic adjustments makes it look much better, so now I feel like it’s a site Pure Adapt as a whole can be a bit more proud of owning.
Plus stuff like this is really, really fun. It’s the rush every entrepreneur lives for: that feeling that your site/business could explode and become the next big thing. And who knows, maybe it will really “take off” and we can justify working on a new-and-improved version…believe me, I’d like nothing more 🙂
Oh – and if there’s a lesson to be learned in all of this, it’s that you should never ever take a website down. Even if you show no attention to it, someone else might think it’s a gem and it could explode.