How Share As Image Got to $1,000 Recurring Revenue

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By Adam Rotman

When Walter saw how his recent post on how iDoneThis reached $1,000 in recurring revenue struck a chord among readers, he thought it would be illuminating to talk with other entrepreneurs about their journey to $1,000 recurring revenue.

Here’s Walter’s interview with Adam Rotman, creator of Share As Image, a tool that helps people turn quotes into images.



Walter:  Hey, how’s it going? I’m Walter, and I’m co-founder of iDoneThis. I’m here with Adam Rotman who is the creator of Share As Image. Thanks for coming on, Adam.

Adam:  Yeah, no problem.

Walter:  So, I wrote a blog post recently about how iDoneThis has gotten to $1,000 in recurring revenue, and it turned out it’s really popular as the number one on Hacker News. And a bunch of people emailed me asking me how we did it, sort of wanting to talk more about how we did it, and I thought how cool would it be to talk with some other people who had gotten to $1,000 in recurring revenue and see how they did it, as well. One of the people who emailed me was Adam and he told me his story, which was the most interesting story I heard out of any of the people who emailed me; about how he got his company, or you know, his side project to $1,000 in recurring revenue. So Adam, I just want to start, could you just tell everyone what Share As Image is?

Adam:  Yes, so Share As Image is basically a bookmarklet that allows just about anyone to highlight text anywhere on the web, click a button, style it, choose some colors, choose a font, and a couple of other customization options, and you can then instantly turn it into an image. So it’s actually great for things like Pinterest if you want to share the written word, but don’t know how to use Photoshop or I guess Paint. It allows you to create images that you can then share things like quotes, reviews, anything that’s the written word.

Walter:  That’s interesting, because you’re probably the kind of guy who knows how to use Photoshop and knows how to use Paint, so how did you get the idea to make this?

Adam:  My fiancee at the time, my wife now, when Pinterest first came out she was all over it and I’d be kind of just watching TV and she’d be on the computer and I asked, ‘Where are all those quote images coming from?’ I’d seen tons of people posting these inspirational images of quotes.

Walter:  Right.

Adam:  So I’m like, how are they creating these; how are people making these quote images? Most people don’t have Photoshop necessarily, and probably don’t know how to use it too well, so how are they doing it? So like, wouldn’t it be cool if you could just highlight text somewhere, click a button, bam; you’ve got your image like that, just as easy as that? So I actually contracted a guy in Finland and he jumped on board and loved the idea right away, and I designed how it looked and how the experience would be, and he started building. And before long we had a working prototype and I was actually doing exactly that, and put it in front of some people and has gotten great feedback.

Walter:  Yeah, so there are a lot of things about that that are awesome. First of all, I think the idea of side projects that don’t scratch your own itch, but you know, scratch the itch of someone like your fiancee, someone who you know who may not be as tech savvy is awesome. One of my favorite companies is a company called Ravelry, which is like you know the sort of tag line might be like the biggest social network you’ve never heard of, but it’s like a two million member plus social network for knitters, and it was started in a similar way, which is I think the founder was a technical guy. He was not into knitting, but his wife was, and so that’s how he got started.

Adam:  Yeah, you never know what might point you in the direction of the next thing you build.

Walter:  Yeah, yeah. So tell me about working with this guy in Finland. I know you work at a tech company, but are you doing code; are you technical?

Adam:  Yeah, I have a background in some development. I’m stronger in design. I spend a lot more time in Photoshop and sketching out mockups and wires and stuff like that. But I’ve dabbled kind of on the back end the front end as well, just the whole design side of things. So it was easy for me to communicate with the guy I build it. I had a corporate job at the time, so I was doing my day job and it allowed me to outsource a lot of the heavier lifting to him. I probably could have built it if I did it myself, but it would have taken way longer and probably wouldn’t have been as good.

Walter:  Right. Yeah, I think it’s interesting, because it’s always hard to decide whether to build it yourself or to contract it out, because a lot of times contracting it out just feels like as much work as building it actually is.

Adam:  It can be, yeah. It totally can be, especially when you’re dealing with someone who doesn’t have English as their first language.

Walter:  Right.

Adam:  It can be sort of, you get a lot of back and forth over one particular micro interaction, and you’re going back and forth over that one thing—longer than you have to be. But I trusted his expertise and I kind of handled the design side of things and what the look and feel would be, and he kind of took it from there and matched it all up. So in this particular case it was really perfect, because we had those contrasting skills.

Walter:  That’s awesome, yeah. So tell me about what happened, so you built it, you worked with this guy and you built it and you had something. And then what happened? Did anybody show up? Did you start pinning? You had your fiancee pin stuff on Pinterest with it? Like, how did that get going?

Adam:  The first version we put out was actually completely free. It didn’t have any of the color options, no font options; it was literally just—I think the font was Quicksand, just dark gray on white background, centered text.

Walter:  Okay.

Adam: So it was pretty bare bones, but it did that fundamental core feature of just turning text into a .png.

Walter:  Right.

Adam:  And that was completely free, and I immediately jumped onto … I actually went to all the sort of tech blogs or social media blogs and I found all the authors that were talking about Pinterest or had talked about Pinterest in the past. So I’d search for the tag in Pinterest or would manually look for authors who were talking about Pinterest, and basically we just tried to find their email, or find them on a social network, just hit them with an email or hit them with a Tweet, telling them, hey, check out this cool thing I hacked together. What do you think? The email would say something like, I think your readers would really enjoy this. And right away a bunch of the good tech blogs kind of picked it up the next web. I had an author from a Read Write web give me a call out of nowhere, just like..

Walter:  That’s awesome.

Adam:  ”Hey, heard what you did; that’s really cool. There’s no other way to post text on Pinterest and people clearly wanted to do it, so tell me how this came to be” and similar kind of thing. And all of a sudden traffic just started to blow up. It wasn’t crazy, but it was definitely up and to the right and I started to see traffic going up immediately. It is a bookmarklet tool, so it’s hard to tell or track usage on it right away, but I could see how many images were being created. It was just like, my FTP or whatever —

Walter:  Right.

Adam:  Whatever’s cheapest and possible at the time, and I saw hundreds of images were starting to appear, and then more and more and more. And I started to think, maybe there could be a more advanced version that does more things, that I could charge a small fee for, and people might really get value out of it.

Walter:  Yeah, so how long did it take you to build the initial first version that you launched that got you to that point?

Adam:  Not long. He had a working prototype together I think in probably under a week.

Walter:  That’s awesome.

Adam:  Just very very unstyled, but the highlighting and turning to image function was there. And then probably the whole thing couldn’t have taken more than—to get the first free version out— couldn’t have taken more than a couple of weeks.

Walter:  Yeah, that’s cool.

Adam:  Three at the most.

Walter:  How did you choose, I’m curious; how did you choose, like, some of the design decisions you made were interesting. Why did you decide to go with, a bookmarklet makes a lot of sense, but did you ever think, hmm, for the MVP of this maybe we should ditch the bookmark and just go with pasting text into a text field and turning that into an image?

Adam:  Yeah, I don’t know. That’s a good question. My head for some reason immediately went to … I think actually my first reaction was that it should be a browser extension.

Walter:  Yeah.

Adam:  But then I started thinking, oh, then I’ve got to do one for FireFox and Safari.

Walter:  Right.

Adam:  I’m not too familiar with their extension marketplace. But for some reason, like I wanted the conception of the idea was going to a website, highlighting text, and hitting a button. So it took out that whole step of having a copy-text go somewhere else, paste it somewhere else. Because I figured there were services out there that already did that.

Walter:  I see; that’s interesting.

Adam:  What I really wanted it to do initially actually, was highlight text and when you right-click on the text in the contextual menu there’s a Share As Image or pin a quote option in there. But it turned out that was probably a little more complicated than I thought, or it just ended up being a bookmark. That’s a good question, how it came to be, but it just kind of did.

Walter:  Yeah, it seems kind of like a happy medium between having that sort of contextual drop down and like sort of a browser extension, like Super Native versus something that actually is just really generic and not interesting, which might be just going to a website and typing in text and having that turn into an image.

Adam:  Yeah, that’s right. Now granted, bookmarklets are not the greatest. There are some weird conflicts that can sometimes occur between the website you’re copying text from and the bookmarklet itself. Sometimes there are JavaScript conflicts or some weird CSS overrides happening. So it’s a little bit fickle, whereas I think extensions are a bit more stable. But you know, this made it kind of agnostic, so it would work on any browser that could accept the bookmarklet, which was basically IE, Firefox, and Chrome.

Walter:  Yeah. I think one thing that’s nice about it, too, not to harp too much on the bookmarklet, but it is that it’s sort of mirrors the way you might do something like that on Tumblr, which was really nice. On Tumblr early on, you know, when you wanted to share a quote you highlighted the text and then clicked the bookmarklet, and that was sort of like something that made sharing short form stuff super easy. But in any case …

Adam:  Oh, there you go.

Walter:  Yeah, yeah. So cool. So you started thinking then, you know, it’s interesting, a lot of people, and early on when I first got started, too, my first thought was not always like, so you got some early traction, you know, and it seemed like your next thought was how can I make some money off this. Early on when I got started my next thought was always like, how do I get to a billion users and become the next, you know, Facebook or whatever. Tell me about how you thought about, you know, why you thought about the next step as adding premium pay features, and how you sort of decided what features that you might monetize on?

Adam:  Now this might be my own personal experience with it, but I was working a job at the time that I totally hated. And I was looking for kind of—I’ll be totally honest—I was looking for any way to get out of there and still be able to pay my bills.

Walter:  Yeah.

Adam:  Outside of having to get another job. I’ve always wanted to have my own thing and do my own thing, so I started to think about what if I could have this thing generate enough income per month that I don’t have to come to this job anymore.

Walter:  Right, right.

Adam:  That’s probably a familiar story for some, but I never thought of it at the start as, like oh, this is going to be the next big thing kind of a thing. I’m like, you know, this could be a cool little app, but just I spin it up and it runs autonomously and just kind of works for me, and I got to sleep and I wake up and a bunch of sales came in.

Walter:  Right.

Adam:  And then you know, as I actually started to get feedback from users they’d be telling me, wow, this is so awesome; I wasn’t able to do this before. And you get that moment when it’s like, wow! It’s actually a useful application.

Walter:  Yeah.

Adam:  That people are using. So then you get that kind of intrinsic good feeling out of it; in addition to, you know, this thing could make enough money to free me from my nine to five.

Walter:  Right. I think, you know, I have that similar feeling like that with idonethis, which is, you know, after we put it out there I knew it was something that was super simple, sort of like yours. People started saying it was like the greatest thing they’d ever used, and that feeling is not only awesome and feels great, but it’s also sort of crazy. It’s like, you know, and it gives you the sense of the dawning possibilities of what you might be able to create that might make people even happier.

Adam:  Yeah, it’s great. You can actually search on Pinterest all the images that were created with it that people actually ended up sharing. It was great to see some of the quotes people were sharing, some of the inspirational quotes and all that. So it was like, wow, there’s something kind of here.

Walter:  Yeah, yeah. So can you talk to me about how you then decided which features to monetize on. I know that that’s really hard. There’s always this conflict between giving something away for free, which might increase engagement and you know, increase retention versus charging for something that you might not then just give it away for free to everybody. How did you decide what to monetize on and how to like draw the line between free and paid?

Adam:  Pretty early on I started getting a bunch of feedback saying, oh my God, I wish you had more font options; this is great. I wish I could add color. I wish I could change the size of the text. Stuff like that was coming in daily, sometimes multiple times a day. So I just had to kind of listen and it became pretty obvious that I needed to add these features. But then the question became like, okay, I’m going to have to pay to add those; I’m going to have to pay my developer to build these new features. So originally it was like maybe I could just charge enough to at least make—maybe I’ll break even, which kind of lead into why I went with the one-time fee as opposed to a monthly at the time. Because I figured it was kind of a fixed development cost; there wasn’t going to be a lot of iteration. It was going to be like here’s the features you asked for; it now does this, one-time fee I think at the time when I first put it out was $1.99, something really low like that.

Walter:  Yeah.

Adam:  And as you’ve seen, I’ve changed the price quite a bit. And the effect at first was pretty interesting; we’ll get there. Yeah, it just seemed like I had to cover my own costs, and beyond that would have been kind of a bonus, and who knows where it could go from there, kind of a thing. So yeah, it was just a matter of listening to the users and seeing what they wanted it to do, and then finding out pretty quickly that people were willing to pay to get those features.

Walter:  So it was $1.99; you said at one time fee. So it was a one-time fee per image, or to sort of add this upgrade package to your account?

Adam:  Oh, yeah, so $1.99 gives you unlimited use of the pro-version, which is color, font, sizes—unlimited use for the lifetime of the product.

Walter:  Wow!

Adam:  So pretty much, as long as time goes. And I think that was the appeal at first, because a lot of the apps you see out there are a monthly fee, which I totally get as well. We’re actually moving to a monthly fee now in the next version, because it’s going to help us to continue to develop new features as time goes on, and the residuals can be very nice, too, over time.

Walter:  Yeah.

Adam:  On a monthly model. But yeah, $1.99 at the time got you the whole show, unlimited use.

Walter:  Right. So I’m curious. You had this initial press bump because you went out and you pitched these publications and they were excited about what you were doing. After that, did you find that sort of often talked about like trough of sorrow in which like you know, [inaudible 18:04]?

Adam:  Yeah.

Walter:  How did you deal with that and how then did you start to pick up users after that?

Adam:  The interesting thing about this is that it all kind of happened in the span of a few months, and what happened was … I don’t know. I feel like I might have sort of bypassed that in a way, because the next idea that I came up with, one I broke even on the pro-version, and started making some profit beyond that, because every sale that would come in after that was just pure profit; I just had to pay my basically hosting costs, which were very low, and we were hosting the images on Amazon on S3, and I still have that free one-year tier thing, which was awesome. I got in touch with the guy who runs brainyquote.com.

Walter:  Oh, wow!

Adam:  Which is a massive quote website, probably, I think the biggest. And he turned out to be an amazing mentor for me. And immediately his reaction was, man, that tool is really cool. I get a lot of emails, and I’ve never seen anything quite like it, the way you highlight text and turn it into an image, like that. I wish I could install it on my website somehow.

Walter:  Yeah.

Adam:  I wish there was a button I could put on my website that would allow me to offer this to my users who don’t have the bookmarklet installed. So a big light bulb appeared on top of my head, and I’m like, okay, hold the phone. I can take the existing functionality and build it into sort of an embed code, kind of like I guess I addthis .com type deal.

Walter:  Yeah.

Adam: As a web publisher you grab the embed, paste it at the bottom of your page, and any text that gets highlighted now on brainyquote, a button appears that says, share this image. And that’s actually where the name changed [inaudible 20:08] Quote’s image, because the founder of brainyquote had suggested maybe it would be a good idea to branch out beyond just Pinterest. And calling it Pin a Quote was very siloed in Pinterest. Calling it Share as Image, which was a very actionable phrase, it can relate to anywhere I might share text as an image. And this button that appears when I highlight text on his website kind of needed to be actionable, too. Right? Share as image; because people would see the button and not know what to do with it. So that’s kind of how the name started to shift to shareasimage. He was nice enough to install it on the site, a very very high traffic website.

Walter:  Yeah.

Adam:  And it started sending a ton of traffic—surprise.

Walter:  Yeah.

Adam:  He gets a ton of people highlighting and copying quotes on his website every single day, and every single one of those people were exposed to the button. So people clicked the button, the shareasimage interface comes down, and they’re now exposed to the tool. They create the image and then when they get to the quote page that holds the image they are exposed to a bit of a call to action saying, hey, image looks awesome. Do you want to do this on all websites now? Do you want to do this everywhere?

Walter:  Right.

Adam:  If so, buy now. And it’s converting really well. It started, sales were coming in like crazy. And so I now had this embed version that was feeding traffic to my site from a very high traffic website. The goal at the time was actually to get that embed code on as many publisher websites as possible. But it didn’t actually end up … I didn’t get too much further than that because my developer in Finland got a full time job and kind of went off and did his own thing.

Walter:  So let’s take a step back. How did you get the brainyquote guy on your site? How did you get in contact with him, how did you get to show him what you were doing?

Adam:  Just a cold email. I found his contact on his website, shot him a nice email, told him what I was doing. Actually I’ll never forget; he got back to me saying he gets hundreds of emails a day and it’s lots of people pitching lots of things, but this one caught his attention, for whatever reason. And that was it; it was a cold email. And then I jumped on a phone call with him, and we kind of hit it off, and he loved what was going on. And to him this was a great value add for his users, allowing them to have this functionality where no other quote website or any other website really, had this functionality built in.

Walter:  Yeah, that’s interesting. Did he want any sort of profit share or anything? Was there any financial incentive?

Adam:  Actually, to my surprise, he was nice enough to just install it and let it run its course. You know, he’s been a publisher for a long time, and suggested the idea of sort of a revenue share model with publishers. But as it turns out the value that it adds for his users is valuable enough to him that he didn’t really even care to get a kickback or anything like that out of it.

Walter:  Cool.

Adam:  I’m super fortunate that he’s such a good guy.

Walter:  That’s awesome. I’m curious; when you are sharing something as an image is there something that designates where the source of the image is as shareasimage, or as from brainyquotes?

Adam:  Yeah, that’s actually a great question. That actually comes up a lot. So on the bookmarklet version the link always goes back to the quote page on shareasimage.com. And there has been some feedback about that, where people would prefer that it links to the page that it came from. We always link it to the source. In the quote page there’s a link that says where it came from.

Walter:  Got you.

Adam:  But I kind of consciously had it link back to this quote page, a) because it’s a great way to drive traffic back to my site, and b) is, that’s a central place where the image can then be re- shared from. That’s where all the share buttons are. So if I link back to that page it could increase the likelihood that people who are exposed to it will re-share it from there. But that’s the bookmarklet version. The publisher version, one of the subtle differences between the two is that the publisher version will link right back to the page you came from.

Walter:  Got you. That makes a lot of sense. That’s interesting. You know, one of the things that’s really compelling, a sort of nuance thing that’s really compelling about what you’re doing is how it’s a win/win for everybody. You know, it offers a lot of win/win to people to install on their site, and it’s such a win/win that you didn’t even need to offer financial incentive. And it’s cool to see how you tweaked that sort of return link to make it more win/win for publishers to install.

Adam:  Yeah, exactly. And he has suggested that, and I totally agreed for the publisher version that’s a big incentive for the publishers; it’s a way for them to get more traffic to their websites.

Walter:  Yeah, exactly. When you were pitching the brainyquote guy, did you pitch a bunch of different quote sites? And I’m curious; in retrospect it seems like, you know, obvious and genius that you are talking to different quote sites, but was there sort of a source of that insight, like hey, maybe I should talk to different quote people to see if there’s an opportunity there?

Adam:  For some reason I went straight to the big guy. I spoke to many quote sites after him, but yeah, I don’t know. It was like magic in the air or something, because he must have been one of the first, if not the first quote website I reached out to; and he replied.

Walter:  Yeah, that’s interesting, because when you were pitching press, too, it sounds like you went straight for the big ones, the thenextweb and all that. You didn’t start with pitching a bunch of small random news sites.

Adam:  Yeah, I don’t know; it was go big or go home, I guess, kind of thing. But I could totally see the other approach being … you know, with the press stuff, I think I did at the beginning reach out to some of the smaller ones, but I guess what happens in that case is like who gets the scoop first. So I was concerned that if one of the smaller blogs wrote about it first the bigger blogs would be less interested in it, because so and so already got the story first. I guess they fight over who gets the first story on something that’s new and unique.

Walter:  Yeah, right.

Adam:  So yeah, and I don’t even recall. It was just a frenzy, like I just started, grabbed a list of people. I had a Google doc Excel file and just started listing all the different blogs out there that I thought would be interested in writing about it, the person who is contact, and then in another column if they got back to me or not, you know, the standard …

Walter:  Yeah, sales pipeline.

Adam:  Ghetto cell file, CRM thing.

Walter:  Right. So you mentioned that you’re switching from a one-time fee to a subscription, and you’ve played around with the pricing. What is inspiring these new changes? I’ve talked to a lot of people who have done—whether it be app store apps where there’s a one-time fee, or like a sort of web service where there’s a one-time fee, and there’s a lot of pain around that, because you build something that is really useful and you see someone keep using it and you sort of kick yourself that you don’t have a subscription model, because they seem to be getting everything for free after that. I’m sort of curious as to what you are thinking around these changes in monetization.

Adam:  Yeah, you hit the nail on the head there. It’s exactly that; it’s just that, you know. People are continuing to use it over time, and as of late sales have sort of not been moving upwards; they’ve been kind of stagnant, if not even moving down somewhat. So it’s like, okay, maybe it’s time for a little bit of a change; let’s overhaul the entire thing, fix a lot of the conflict issues that are happening right now where it’s conflicting with some of the websites that it’s being used on. Let’s fix all that; let’s overhaul with an approach that bypasses that whole problem. And I guess it’s kind of back to the same old story of development costs money, and the revenue is slowed down somewhat, so let’s try a new model and see that revenue can continue to support iterations over time. I’ve actually, and it’s been almost a year-long search, but I’ve found a guy to partner up with now who is taking care of the dev side of things …

Walter:  That’s awesome.

Adam:  And he’s awesome, and he totally gets the vision, so now there are two of us. Before it was just contracting out the work and this guy is definitely more of partner. So there are more bills now … well, not necessarily more bills, but there are more chefs in the kitchen now and we’re going to be building out features month over month and adding new things. And we have some pretty cool ideas from the users, again, saying what they want, and we’re going to listen, and we’re going to do all that. And so, for all the existing users we’re going to figure out something really nice to do for them to make that transition really smooth.

Walter:  Yeah.

Adam:  And yeah, I’m thinking for the new ones we’re going to … You know, it’s something that we want to test with too, if the monthly model is something that people really aren’t happy about and it doesn’t, the model just doesn’t work, we might just have to go back to a one-time fee again. But there’s something on a business level, something very attractive about that residual monthly income coming in month over month. It’s amazing to think about. If we could get there with enough users we could be making some good revenue per month.

Walter:  Yeah, definitely. I think the nice thing about SAAS is as you just say, it starts to add up.

Adam:  Yeah.

Walter:  And when you see what it can add up to over time it’s something that you just can’t ignore. I’m curious; you mentioned that early on you had done calculations; it seemed like you were doing a lot of math, you know, like how much is it going to cost to get the contractor to do this, and so how much should I charge, and how many people will I need to get to buy this. But bringing on sort of like a co-founder, you know, someone who’s a partner, did you do a lot of math, or was it something that was like more from the gut?

Adam:  To begin with the choosing of the price was more of a guessing game than math in a way. A lot of just estimating, like okay, at this price how many sales do I need to make just to break ever, is probably the extent of it. This time around it’s a gut feeling. I’ve tried to get a whole bunch of developers onboard over the last year, and no one really was the right fit. One guy I also hired overseas kind of disappeared off the face of the earth after a few weeks of work—just gone. I don’t know what happened to him, but he’s MIA. But this guy is actually local here in Toronto.

Walter:  Oh, cool.

Adam:  And we don’t live too far from each other, and we can get together. We’ve been getting together about once a week, and we’re emailing all the time back and forth, just bouncing ideas and figuring out the different flows, because the new version actually is going to work quite differently. It’s not going to be like here’s a scaled down version of it without features, pay to get the features. The new version is going to be you get all the features, but you can only create a certain amount of images for free.

Walter:  Yeah.

Adam:  So let’s say three free images; once you’ve done those three free images it will be time to upgrade to the pro-account, which is unlimited images.

Walter:  Yeah, I think that’s really smart. And one thing that that reminds me of; I’m sure you know Buffer, you know, the sort of..

Adam:  Yeah, totally.

Walter: Their tweak on that is that … I don’t know if you’re doing three images for free for all time, or three images for free per month …

Adam:  Hmm, yeah.

Walter:  But the nice thing about doing lifetime is that you still get these sort of free users to continue to use your product, but you’re monetizing basically on the distinction of the type of person I am. So like, if I’m using it for business purposes, which I might be if I’m like say a life coach or something, then I’m going to be creating more images and therefore because I’m using it to generate revenue I’m more likely to pay. Right?

Adam:  Right.

Walter:  And having this cap be monthly is nice in that respect, because it lets people continue to use it until they might use it to make money, you know. For instance, I might use it to post stuff on Pinterest, but when I find that it’s super useful, then I ramp up my use of it for my business, right, and then all of a sudden I’m totally willing to pay because I know it makes me money.

Adam:  Yeah, exactly. That coupled with, let’s give them the whole experience; that fun feeling of being able to customize your own image, your own kind of, and having some touch on the design. Like, you can’t do all the things that Photo Shop can do, but within the structure of the application, being able to have fun doing anything you want and then the actual production of the image itself, but processing of the image is where it will end up being where the charge is. So it’s like this way the user gets to get the full experience on a trial basis essentially.

Walter:  Yeah.

Adam:  And then from there it’s like, if they’re going to be using it for business for example, it’s a no brainer to upgrade.

Walter:  Exactly. Yeah, that’s cool. I’m curious. You mentioned that one reason why you switched from Pin As Quote to shareasimage is that Pin As Quote is limiting to Pinterest. Are you seeing now another ramp up of sharing quotes on others, like on social media channels?

Adam:  Yes, actually. Have you heard of Po.st?

Walter:  No, I haven’t.

Adam:  It’s very, very similar to like add this.com; it’s like an embed code with your social bookmarks. I’m actually just checking here, because I can’t remember the name of the company. Po.st is owned by I think RadiumOne.

Walter:  Okay.

Adam:  I think is the parent company, yeah, RadiumOne; that’s the one. And so, what’s cool about Po.st is after you use one of their share buttons, you get served with an ad on the page that it was shared from, so when you go back to that page you get served a small little ad.

Walter:  Okay.

Adam:  And that generates some revenue just on its own completely autonomously, just in the background as people share.

Walter:  Right.

Adam:  I can’t remember why I brought it up now, but we installed that on the quote page now, so that’s another way that revenue is coming in as well—not much, but something small there as well. I can’t even remember the question, why I brought it up.

Walter:  I was asking you, you started out as building something for people to share quotes on Pinterest.

Adam:  Oh, right, so, sorry. The Po.st application comes with its own analytics suite, and it tells you which social networks are being used the most.

Walter:  I see.

Adam:  It turns out it’s not Pinterest, it’s Facebook.

Walter:  Okay.

Adam:  They have a metric called Virality, which is probably just a fancy way of saying how many times it’s being reshared on Facebook.

Walter:  Yeah.

Adam:  And Facebook is also overwhelmingly the most, the highest Virality. And I think Twitter is second, and then Pinterest. I also recently did a survey of all of our users to ask them what social network they use the most to shareasimage, and the same answers came up. Facebook is actually number one, not even Pinterest at all. So it turns out it was actually a pretty good call to open it up to other social networks as well, because Pinterest isn’t even the top one anymore; it’s probably sitting at third right now.

Walter:  That’s crazy.

Adam:  Yeah, I had a bit of a surprise there. I don’t know, you know, it could have been called Pin a Quote and people still would have used it on Facebook, but this kind of makes it rather agnostic in that sense, like you can use it with whatever you like.

Walter:  Yeah, that’s really interesting. So you started out building this with the aspiration of quitting the job you hated, and presumably maybe you love your job now. No, I don’t want to encourage you to say anything bad about your current job. So what are you thinking in terms of where you want to take this?

Adam:  Yes, I actually found my way into a much, much better job, that I actually enjoy a lot. However, my dream has always been to be kind of self sustaining in that I don’t need to rely on a job for income and all that stuff. As great as a job can be, in my eyes it’s still a J-O-B and you know, I’ve never fit too nicely into that mold. I’ve always wanted to do my own thing, and kind of have money work for me, instead of me working for money. As counter intuitive as that sounds, I think it can be possible if I can have it built to the point where it’s really just a matter of me answering support questions and thinking about the types of features we’re going to add in the future. I think that for the next version, I don’t know; I’d like to get to definitely 5,000 or 10,000 users or something like that. It’s not that I’m aiming ridiculously high, but I think it’s a realistic goal to try and go after and at the monthly fee that it will cost I think both me and my partner will be in a good position to start thinking about maybe starting something else together—spinning something else out that also generates cash monthly, autonomously, working for us. So we’d be putting that work up front, do all the product design and development, and all the heavy lifting, and get it to the point where it kind of runs on its own. I guess it’s like a vending machine.

Walter:  That’s funny, yeah. That’s a cool analogy. Well, Adam thanks so much for taking the time out to talk, and I know I learned a ton, so I really appreciate it.

Adam:  Yeah, thanks so much for having me. This was great.

Walter:  All right, see you man.

Adam:  All right, Walter, take care.

Walter:  Bye.

(Transcript by SpeechPad)


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