You might think we were jumping on the same bandwagon as everyone else. Well, in that we didn’t invent the principles of Lean Startup, I suppose you could say we are hopping right on the back. But, we are firm adherents to agile, test-driven development: making the leap to applying test-driven development to crafting the business model isn’t that much of a leap at all. Perhaps a slight hop.
RE isn’t my first startup; I would like to think I am applying the lessons of what did and didn’t work from all of those past attempts to make RE succeed. Chief amongst those lessons is to make sure that the bills can be paid on time and that people value the offering enough to write checks. After all, everyone loves free products.
I believe that the era of “build it and eventually figure out how to pay for it” is drawing to a close, Twitter not withstanding. Back in the .com days, the prevailing model went something like “if we have enough users, we’ll make it back in advertising,” which is a close cousin to the other approach. What we’re trying to do at RE is provide a service which can bootstrapped into profitability in very short order. We may have to accept some funding to get us through what I expect to be a rough patch at the start, but I don’t think we’ll need much or for a very extended period of time.
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