What if your app had a second revenue stream worth 22 million dollars and you didn't know about it?
Or how to find more profit for your existing apps ⬇️
The year is 2004, and video games like World of Warcraft are reigning supreme over the market - everyone loves to play them and make connections online.
The only problem is that it costs money 💵
Jumping Into Game Development
WoW is a subscription-based game with in-game purchases, which left many younger players out as they couldn't afford it or convince their parents to pay for it.
This was a beacon for two creative founders, Stewart Butterfield and Caterina Fake from Ludicorp 👫
They decided to build a web-based massively multiplayer online game called Neverending - and it would be more open than WoW could ever hope to be.
Except developing games is hard.
And going up against a game studio like Blizzard Entertainment would be no joke 🤔
The Moment Everything Changed For The Founders
Development was trucking along and the team was building multiple tools to make the community more interactive in the online game.
One of the developers created a tool to share photos and save them to a web page while in-game.
In fact, it was so cool that people soon preferred this photo-sharing feature more than playing the actual game 📷
Now we already know this thread is about achieving huge profitability with an unorthodox approach - and this one had a lot to do with grit, flexibility, and lucky opportunity.
Fake knew something unique was happening and decided to scrap the game.
She and her programmer husband, Stewart, transformed the project into a photo-sharing app called Flickr.
Pivoting To An Industry With Growing Demand
The app Fake and Butterfield built with their small team came at the height of popularity for another hobby: digital photography and social sharing 👀
And they stumbled onto it without ever planning to.
She even said it perfectly herself at the time 💬
"Had we sat down and said, 'Let's start a photo application,' we would have failed. We would have done all this research and done all the wrong things."
In less than two years, Flickr turned into one of the web's fastest-growing domains 📈
Everyone noticed it, including Yahoo! which later became the first company to acquire Flickr.
Flickr replaced the old Yahoo! Photos, and their traffic grew 448% to 3.4 million from December 2004 to December 2005.
All because they were smart enough to:
1. Be brave enough to build something they saw a need for 🏗️
2. Be open to new potential revenue streams 📬
3. Pivot when they found the most profitable one 👟👟
What Modern Founders Can Learn From Flickr
And while Flickr has had a long journey since 2004, this is a valuable thing you need to think about as a modern-day app founder.
Have you completely explored all of the potentials behind your app idea?
Can it be an addition or an upgrade to something that is out there already?
How fast can you launch it and see?
This is also one of the reasons why sharing your ideas with other founders and mentors is essential 🤝
They could open your eyes to something you might have been too close to the project to spot.
It worked for Flickr, and today they have a solidified spot in internet history as one of the first social image-sharing apps - preceding all of the existing ones we love and use today 📲
TL;DR Does your app have a second revenue stream worth $22 billion that you're missing? You'll need to be quicker if you want to profit like Flickr 💰