[Theforum] another online community^Wbusiness in trouble

Martin Burns martin at easyweb.co.uk
Tue Jun 18 04:11:46 CDT 2002

On Tuesday, June 18, 2002, at 06:36  am, Marlene Bruce wrote:

> http://www.kuro5hin.org/?op=displaystory;sid=2002/6/17/23933/5831

K5's problem? All the costs are staff time, and it's run by 1 guy who
wants to keep it as a paying job. And the justification he's offered for
doing it full-time is 'to be there to fix servers in case they go down'.

If you try to run something K5 size as 1 person and keep adding new
features and maintain the hardware yourself, yes, it probably is a
fulltime job.

Sorry, man, but if you want to run it as a business to pay yourself big
bucks and have no-one else involved, don't expect universal sympathy. If
you want it as a *business*, then don't be afraid to make money.

I'm only a bit of the way through the comments, but several people there
have already made the same point.

(He'd also be in a better place if his hosting company also managed the
kit - even if it cost real money on top of the bandwidth donation, it's
not going to be $70k)

Hmm - here's a good question:
> What do you wanna K5 to be? That is the main question, and not an easy
> one.
> a)	K5 as a social club, or a charitable entity. This takes some
> transparency from you. Post financial reports periodically - monthly
> for example. Show your balance sheet and cash flow statements; let us
> know how much do you have on reserves, and how many subscriptions are
> going to expire in the next months. This way, people can decide whether
> to send or not money to you, and how much.
> b)	K5 as an 'entrepreunership' (that's how it's written in English?
> ouch!). In this case, you want K5 to be a successfull company. In this
> case, a simple rule. Don't be ashamed to make money. Sell T-Shirts.
> Sell mugs. Make partnerships. Publish books. Do whatever you seem fit
> to leverage the K5 brand with the public.
> c)	K5 as a corporate sponsored site. That would detract a lot from
> your independent position, but that's nothing wrong with it - it's a
> choice like any other. Pursue a corporate partner that is willing to
> pay you, and to explore all commercial aspects of it for you.

Evidence suggests the answer is (b) but pretend that it's (a) for the
purpose of external relations.

email: martin at easyweb.co.uk             PGP ID:	0xA835CCCB
	martin at members.evolt.org      snailmail:	30 Shandon Place
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