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  1. #1
    SitePoint Addict Xeliber's Avatar
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    Making a web business off 1000$ investment

    Hello,

    I may have be given a chance to invest at least 1000$ into a new business venture.

    I've been already thinking about some things. For example, i wanted to bootstrap a Linux PC business (since i'm a linux advocate and enthusiast and that market here is still not quite saturated).

    However, as i'm already running a site with great potentials (and only know starting to show even some possible commercial potentials) and as i have most experience on the web than on anything else (more or less) i'm thinking about two possible ways to go, but i need some help, guidance, opinions.. feedback, not to make a mistake.

    First is to invest directly into libervis.com and commercialize it in such a way that it doesn't impairs principles under which the site has been started (as a Free Software community site)

    And the second is to open a new site and network it with libervis.com and use libervis.com current traffic for *some* starting promotion.

    In both cases, i need a model that will work as fast as possible, bringing at least some significant revenue as soon as possible.

    In both cases i want it to be something related to Free Software and Open Source or generally open computing as such. So, i wouldn't definitely go about affiliating with proprietary software and technologies. I'm an advocate of an open world and "liberated" computing and thus, i want my business to solidly lay on those foundations and with those principles in mind.

    Please feel free to take a peak at my current site (libervis.com) and see if you could suggest an effective way to commercialize on it (without going against site's principles). Or post ideas on what kind of a web business could i open with 1000 dollars kickstart investments.

    Thank you very much.
    Daniel

  2. #2
    SitePoint Evangelist Fergal's Avatar
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    Please feel free to take a peak at my current site (libervis.com) and see if you could suggest an effective way to commercialize on it
    The site has a good PR, you could sell some text and banner ads on it.
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  3. #3
    SitePoint Addict Xeliber's Avatar
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    Hm.. yeah that's a good idea.. I actually thought of selling some advertising although my traffic isn't the best yet, but i saw that some people look for good PR links so i might be able to offer a nice deal there..

    That's sure one way of commercializing on it, although i search for additional possibilities.

    Anyway, i've been thinking of using that money to buy at least somewhat profitable site and network that one with libervis.com.
    Also, since i for some time have an idea of opening a new libervis-like, but on a different subject site (something i'd also love to do) i would also open and start developing that one.

    From the money that would come from that one site i would buy i would invest somewhat in that new one and grow libervis from itself. That could lead to almost a self sustaining network of three sites.

    What do you think about the idea?
    Also, would anyone be interesting in selling a site for 1000 dollars that does brings in some money. For now it's just a thought (i still have to setup online payments system that'll work in my country (Croatia) and i'm thinking of stormpay.)

    Thank you
    Daniel

  4. #4
    SitePoint Addict orion_joel's Avatar
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    I think that your idea of the Linux PC's could be a good one. Which could actually use the money.

    Because i think with your priciples on Freedome of software and such you would really need to look at setting up a site yourself and this would not really cost a lot of money. Because the problem i would see is though many people would use free scripts and such for there site you would always need to look at every aspect to ensure that they are only using free scripts.

    To monitize or commercialise the site you would probably be best off with Text Links, and possibly opening a similar site that isnt necasarily focused on somthing like software freedoms which can more easily be monitized without going against the priciples of the site. Because if you say put something like adsense on there then you are likly to get a problem such as the ads displayed are selling some form of software based on the keywords picked up.
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  5. #5
    SitePoint Addict Xeliber's Avatar
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    Well, the poor adsense is already displaying on libervis.com and there hasn't been a single complaint about that. Also, there unfortunately really are no networks that use Free Software (open source) for it so i'm really left with no choice. And unlike some people, i myself do not see an ethical problem with using unfree tools when there aint no other alternative nor ability to make my own free script, as believing in ethics of computing freedom..

    Now, the goal of entering any business venture (and any "venture" at all i'd say) is success. And i myself have my own definition of what that success would actually mean.
    It indeed means developing a stable and profitable business (money, yes), but i have another goal to guide me through - promoting open and free computing and *proving* that business can be done without compromising that computing freedom (unless i'm forced to).

    Now the idea of buying a new already at least somewhat profitable (about 150 to 200 dollars per month) site isn't about buying just any site, but the one that i can turn into a paramount example of an open computing supporting business. And the whole network of mine (which i mentioned would consist of about three sites at first) would be a network that would highly function in the spirit of free and open computing. If succesful, we would be able to start funding and/or developing our own free scripts and technologies at some point to replace any existing proprietary ones we may have been forced to use before, and even build a further business in it..

    Eh.. ok.. i got a bit carried away by that above..

    The thing is that i believe in Free Software, open standards, free unrestricted computing and what's more i strongly believe that that's the future and i want to be part of building such future with my own venture. Selling Linux PCs is one nice way, but i definitely have more experience on the web so..

    Hm.. seems i've already developed an idea a bit there.., but your comments would still be appreciated..

    Thanks for your time
    Daniel

  6. #6
    Webwellwisher Robert Warren's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Xeliber
    Now, the goal of entering any business venture (and any "venture" at all i'd say) is success.
    As it should be.

    And i myself have my own definition of what that success would actually mean.
    As you should.

    It indeed means developing a stable and profitable business (money, yes), but i have another goal to guide me through - promoting open and free computing and *proving* that business can be done without compromising that computing freedom (unless i'm forced to).
    Daniel, I'm going to offer you a bit of advice here. Please take it.

    I'm a long-time Linux geek and a major Free Software advocate; I'm definitely closer to the RMS end than the ESR end, if you know what I mean, and so I respect your goals here. I have the greatest amount of respect for anyone who gets into business for idealistic reasons. Be aware, however, that it's a long, hard road full of tests and trials.

    I can sympathize, because my own ideals have cost me money in the past. When I started my copywriting business, I began with a very simple principle: I will never help my clients lie to their customers. Period. You either treat your prospects and clients honorably in your marketing, or get someone else to write it for you.

    You'd be shocked and dismayed over how many prospects that disqualifies. If I'd been willing to be a simple spin doctor, it might have been an easier road to where I am today. Or maybe not. Either way, I'd have been a hack.. and, let's just say, there's a point where you just can't wear white to your wedding. Taking the high road is hard when you weren't there the whole time.

    My point here is that your goal of immediate money may well be incompatible with your ideals. Be patient and be prepared to operate in a loss for a long while; that's just the nature of starting a business. Most businesses fail in the first year and take two years before they show a consistent, stable profit. You shouldn't expect to be the exception - it'll only tempt you to forfeit your ideals for money, and trust me, you'll have more than enough opportunities to do that as it is.

  7. #7
    SitePoint Addict Xeliber's Avatar
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    I very much appreciate your advice Robert.

    However, i consider myself being on that road for some time already (about seven months, since i started libervis.com). From the very beginning, even though started out of newfound passion for Free Software (that i first called "open source") i wanted it to be a meaningful and contributing project to and for Free Software and open source communities (a platform for discussing/communicating/expressing/advocating about Free Software), but i also wanted it to be a base for a real business. Thus i never for even once pondered about establishing that site as a non for profit venture. Idealistic, yes, community driver, yes, but still not completely abudant for profit. Reason for that is unemployement, not too good financial picture and a strong will to pull myself out of that reality into something better and bigger.

    And i consider myself being offered a chance (this 1000 dollars investment possibility) to make it a turning point. I believe i can use this chance and use my current assets (mainly libervis.com) to make it through to the real business (as i've actually earned no cent of profit from the very moment libervis.com was founded).

    As for the compromises... you probably well know that there can't really be a way up without ANY and i mean ANY compromises. For example, just using a proprietary technology powered network (like adsense) is, i think you'd agree, at least a bit of a compromise. I mean, you do have a choice not to use it at all.. but you also wont be able to earn a cent without it.. Another example, if i may, is you using pdf and offering your visitors to download Adobe Acrobat Reader to read your pdf's, which is as you know a proprietary one.. I know this may sound extreme, but that's what i'm talking about. Some compromises seem to be "forced" on us given the circumstances.
    But when you look at it, without those rather reasonable and possibly justifiable compromises we as an advocates wouldn't get too far, right? Who would hear is if we can't even get up and outhere? There need to be some sacrifices done on both side for a "war" to be won.

    Anyway.. i think i'm gonna investigate my ideas presented above and see how it goes. Of course, risk is always present. That's what you need to take for going into any business ventures. As long as it's acceptable, it's ok.

    (sorry for another long post)

    Thanks
    Daniel

  8. #8
    Webwellwisher Robert Warren's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Xeliber
    As for the compromises... you probably well know that there can't really be a way up without ANY and i mean ANY compromises. For example, just using a proprietary technology powered network (like adsense) is, i think you'd agree, at least a bit of a compromise. I mean, you do have a choice not to use it at all.. but you also wont be able to earn a cent without it.. Another example, if i may, is you using pdf and offering your visitors to download Adobe Acrobat Reader to read your pdf's, which is as you know a proprietary one.. I know this may sound extreme, but that's what i'm talking about.
    Dan, I think you misunderstand my point, which had nothing to do with the free/proprietary question. As much of a Free Software advocate I am in private life, I have no problem using proprietary software when it suits my purposes; professionally, the issue simply has nothing to do with my business ideals. Apples and orangutans.

    (And as far as my own ideals are concerned, no, they're not compromisable. The few times I've rationalized my way around my ideals, they were tragic mistakes.)

    My point is this: your business goals do involve this issue, and running a business on ideals means you have to steer it carefully. By all means try to get on a paying basis as soon as possible, but be prepared to be very, very patient. Accurate maneuver is more important than speed.

    Good luck,

  9. #9
    SitePoint Addict Xeliber's Avatar
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    As much of a Free Software advocate I am in private life, I have no problem using proprietary software when it suits my purposes; professionally, the issue simply has nothing to do with my business ideals. Apples and orangutans.
    Well, i see, although i may not agree about accepting proprietary solutions when there is an alternative (i'm only accepting when there isn't). I tend not to separate the two (private and prefessional life) when it comes to my principles and ideals. But i don't wish to debate that now.
    Accurate maneuver is more important than speed.
    Wise words. I'll try to remember that.

    Good luck,
    Thank you

    Daniel


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