WebSource.it wants you (to run it)

Now that other projects are unfolding it may also be a nice opportunity to re-examine what’s the status of previous ventures.

And by that I mean websource.it, a simple website that allows you to compare the number of Google results for up to five searches simultaneously. It’s a simple way to basically compare spelling of phrases or alternatively determine which of terms is most ‘popular’. As simple as the concept is, so is the business model: just display Google ads that are relevant to the terms searched for.

We started all that less than a year back and managed to achieve quite a few of what we thought back then were milestones for such a project. However, getting written up in a few popular blogs of the field and generating some buzz isn’t that important as we found out. And in that websource.it was an important learning experience for us. Your service has to be both useful and stay pretty constantly in the news in order to spread and gain critical mass.

It also demonstrated brilliantly even (or perhaps because of) its primitiveness that ads can only take you so far in terms of revenue.

We also had a few positived surprises though. We didn’t expect the service to be a hit by editors, translators and proofreaders – in their case where Google-comparing alternatives is a quick way to avoid checking the dictionary, websource.it makes good sense.

We also didn’t expect websource.it to be a hit in China and Brazil – but it was. Poor English skills, a desire to look in the developed world, who knows what the reason is – these two countries registered many hits. And also the Czech Republic – we still haven’t figured that out…

But with all its failures and successes we must admit that the project has become stale. And it really is time to take it to the next level – or to abandon it alltogether. Instead of abandoning it entirely, we thought we could do something more creative with it. So here’s the offer.

We are willing to pay 50% of the revenue for the next 3 months to anyone who is willing to take on the business development aspect of the project. The person we choose will be responsible for detailing a business plan (no need to actually write it, just formulate it), promote the service, handle marketing and SEO services, manage the community, use social and new media and generally be creative about expanding it. And at the end of the 3-month period we discuss the collaboration anew.

That’s it really. There is no restriction as to who can apply. Wherever you are in the world and whatever your background, if you’re willing to put in the hours, you’re eligible. All we ask of you is a short (one page) description of what you plan to do – and a short CV (a LinkedIn url will do). We will choose the most impressive and creative entry. You may send it here, or just put the text in the comments below, and this is it!

Cross-posted by the websource.it blog.

  • Pingback: George Tziralis is like Robin Hanson: He spreads himself to thin. | Midas Oracle .ORG

  • http://metablogging.gr nikan

    Pretty complicated proposition for such a simple service. Why don't you simply sell it?

  • http://gtziralis.com George Tziralis

    Thank you Nikos. I personally don't consider the model as complicated, you get 50% of the revenues while developing the business around websource.it for 3 months. What's more, we want to keep experimenting with the project rather than anything else :)

  • http://metablogging.gr nikan

    Yet, you did not answer my question: why don't you sell it? You are effectively trying to hire a manager at an unknown salary. The project needs an entrepreneur and since you lost your steam, try to find a buyer. Exit strategy.

  • http://gtziralis.com George Tziralis

    I think I've answered you already :)
    First, we do not consider – given the amount of work that we have collectively put on the project- that it is saleable. Second, we don't want to give it away, we'd rather keep experimenting with it; the core benefit we have received and enjoyed so far is *learning*.

  • http://metablogging.gr nikan

    What I am simply saying, and I stop here, is that “we'd rather keep experimenting with it” and having somebody else to run it for three months are not compatible ;)

  • http://gtziralis.com George Tziralis

    Point taken, and you're right at this excerpt. However, by somebody else running it, we may help co-shape decisions, while having access to all the results data :) Thanx