Ads on Gentlemint
by glen on Wednesday, February 29, 2012
When Brian and I started Gentlemint, we never dreamed that a little 12-hour project would generate so much attention in such a short amount of time. We always thought that Gentlemint would grow gradually, like a snowball rolling down the hill. Instead, the growth has been more like Chuck Norris driving a snow plow down a mountain.
So, how do we accommodate the crazy demand, while keeping the experience fantastic for our community? How do we keep building features that make site better for Gentlemint members? And how do we add enough server juice to keep the site from melting down as we sort out the massive backlog of invite requests? All these questions lead back to one simple answer: We need to find a way to make a bit of revenue.
From the beginning, Brian and I have always wanted to build this thing on our own, without the outside help/influence of VC. Brian did a great job of making sure the site architecture is lean and fast, so our costs are relatively low. But as we've grown and continue to grow, so have our costs. And, we’ve got scores of people still waiting on their beta invites.
Right now we're losing money on Gentlemint—and we're happy to—but we need to start generating enough revenue to cover the costs of keeping Gentlemint awesome for you (or at least enough so that we don't go broke doing this). After all, this site is run by two dudes with day jobs, and resources like time and money are already scarce.
Introducing our home-grown ads
We've always said that we want our monetization scheme--whatever it ends up to be--to actually help people who visit the site. Display ads have their place in this world, but they feel impersonal and oftentimes are very off-topic.
So, we're building our own ads. I think you'll agree, they're different than the run-of-the-mill ad. These ads are:
- - personally vetted by us
- - pertain to the site's theme of manly stuff
- - and are often some of the more popular products being tacked on Gentlemint
In short: the ads will feature products that you guys already love on Gentlemint. We hope that they'll be just as interesting as the content that our great users post every day.
We're starting small initially; just linking out to stellar, manly products on Amazon. This will probably evolve over time, but for now it's a start. If it doesn't work, we'll scrap it and try something different. (That's the beauty of being a nimble organization.)
We'll always be upfront when it comes to making money on the site. Nobody likes to feel used, and real transparency in this day and age can be a lost art. We're hoping to change that.
We can't thank everyone enough for the support you've given us so far by using the site and sharing it with friends. The Gentlemint community is what makes the site so amazing, not us. We're just trying to hang on for dear life to this moustache-shaped rocket…