In the past week I have met with several potential investors for Skimbit, and presented my spiel.
They were both really interesting and different experiences.
I found it fascinating how different views and priorities could be amongst parties that all make their money in similar ways. One party thought I should keep the Skim-in-a-box white-label solution and the other thought it best to divest of it and focus purely on Skimbit.com. One party thought I should focus on profitability and a strong business model and the other thought I should forget a business model until I have a large enough userbase.
Interestingly, I totally agree with both ends of the spectrum. The biggest web start-up sales have been of companies that had no business model and that had only a web site to worry about… certainly focusing on Skim-in-a-box distracts from building a large userbase and the gearing on businesses with white-label sales is much less than on businesses with a large loyal and active userbase.
However, I am convinced that I structure my company so that the Skim-in-a-box sales are managed wholly by a quality Sales & Account Manager, and that product development is not dramatically altered to support this business model at the expense of the free Skimbit.com, that I can make it work. That I can have a solid underlying business that I can build a free web service on top of, which surely will insure me against any major swing in user affinity towards social applications.
The other key reason to retain both sides of the business is the wealth of business intelligence it will produce. By retaining the anonymised aggregated analytical information of a diverse group of individuals and businesses, I surely build a lucrative database of information about what products people like, and what factors drive that decision-making. I dare anyone to say that is not a valuable resource.
Anyway… the journey has only just begun. I am courting investors as we speak. If anyone knows of an Angel or VC that might be interested in investing in Skimbit, please contact me!