I can’t compete against Six Million Dollars

A month or so ago I was chatting with a friend about a website project that I was having developed when all of sudden he sends me a link to Shoemoney’s site and says, “man you better check this out. I am so sorry!” Not understanding what he was talking about I immediately clicked on the link and began to read the post.

A little background
About 6 or 7 months ago I began experimenting with running some ads on a few of my sites. I didn’t, and still don’t, have enough traffic to really make any money from the ads, but I just wanted to get my feet wet and get some experience implementing ads from a few different ad networks.

I immediately began to notice how much a pain it was when I wanted to check my reports for each different ad network. Honestly, who wants to login, navigate, and download reports from multiple sites? Not me, and I figured it was probably a hassle to other people as well. So, I began to think about how to solve that. It would be really nice if I could go to one site and check all the advertisers that I was signed up with, enter my information and get all my reports retrieved for me. Plus, most advertisers just give you the raw data. There are no tables, charts, graphs, etc.. so that you can see things in perspective.

I checked around and nobody was doing that – not for anything other than adsense anyway. So, I realized that this could be a great service. I immediately began to seek out developers. I really didn’t want someone stealing my ideas so I sought out some local developers. The first guy I met with was from a well known firm in the Nashville area. He was nice and knowledgeable and he had a fair price, but I just didn’t feel like he got what I was wanting to do. Anyway, I set on the idea for a few months and decided I really needed to get this site developed. I met with some family members and explained the concept to them and the potential that it had. They were all for it and agreed to fund the development for a small stake in the project.

Long story short, I met with a developer who was excited about the project and had a good concept of what I wanted to do. I got him the down payment and in 2-3 months we were going to go live with the site.

Back to that night
I clicked on that link that night and began to read about this company that had created the very same service that I was having developed (granted, their project had a few more bells and whistles than mine would have). Needless to say my heart sank. I was disappointed, heartbroken, and speechless. I had just talked two of my family members into dropping $5k into this project. What was I going to say to them?

I immediately sent my developer an email with a link to the post and the website. He contacted me the next day and agreed there would be no way we could compete with this project, so fortunately he agreed not to charge me for what he had done so far. Thanks Will. We agreed to just reallocate the money into another project, which he is working on now.

I truly believe this project would have been huge. No, I know it would have been huge. It could have really changed my life and gotten me started doing what I love full time. But, as the saying goes, “There’s no use crying over spilled milk.”

So, why I am writing about this over a month later? Well, I thought it might inspire some people to pick up the pieces and go on. There’s always going to be someone with more resources and connections than you (in this case $6 million more resources), but don’t let that stop you. You may not have the resources to fund the next million dollar idea, but that’s ok. Start where you are at. Start with some small sites and work your way up.

By the way, the project mentioned in that post was The Rubicon Project. I just got approved today for their beta testing. Maybe that’s why I am finally writing this post.

Here’s a link to the post I read that night on Shoemoney’s blog.

Posted on November 15, 2007
Filed Under Money Ideas, Sites of Interest | Leave a comment


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4 Responses to “I can’t compete against Six Million Dollars”

  1. John Rogers on November 15th, 2007 9:58 am

    You should also check out pubmatic (www.pubmatic.com). They have been working on this problem for a while, and launched prior to Rubicon. Over 1500 publishers using their service.

  2. Trai Davenport on November 15th, 2007 7:41 pm


    Wow. How did I miss pubmatic? Thanks for the heads up.

  3. Israel on November 19th, 2007 8:26 pm

    i just experienced that this morning. seems to always be too late or too few dollars.

  4. Trai Davenport on November 19th, 2007 9:29 pm

    Sorry to hear that. It’s gut wrenching. Let’s hope we’re not “always” too late, and maybe one day the “too few dollars” won’t define us either. Keep at it!

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