Today I was looking through the article archives on A List Apart, and I came across the article When You Are Your Own Client, Who Are You Going To Make Fun Of At The Bar?
written by Jim Coudal. As many of you may know, I find Jim to be a revolutionary in thinking outside the client / designer relationship and fully embracing entrepreneurship. I have written about him numerous times. In this article Jim raises the question “Should my blog have a business?” which instantly stuck with me.
Jim explains the situation that resulted in coudal.com having a large readership and defined market that he could bring products to. This is an atypical situation, being that normally a product is developed and then the market is “brought” to it. I believe that tons of creativity can result from this situation. Just look at the results; we have the Deck, Jewelboxing, the Swap Meat, & Lowercase Tees. This large reader base is the ideal situation where I believe many web entrepreneurs hope to get to, at least I do. Why do I and so many other people on hope to reach this level of fame and success? Well basically it is fun.
After seeing Jim speak, I have a hard time thinking that his day-to-day life just must be complete fun. Thinking up responses to bad agency.com videos, and filming short comedies like Copy Goes Here. While money is a necessary part of the equation in any business, fun is the main motivator here… this obviously leads to the interesting and industry changing ideas that Jim has found success through.
So should your blog have a business? The short answer is; if that business is fun then yes. Is this blog fun for me? Absolutely, I love the direct feedback that I receive for my thoughts, and it has served as a great way to document my ideas without “seeming” like a chore. Too many people today are throwing up blogs for the advertising revenue, and they inevitably die because the main motivator is not fun or enjoyment and that is apparent from the moment you land on the page. Writing for this blog in my spare time has also helped me develop a number of new business ideas that I hope to develop in the near future, and serves as a vehicle for creative though. Is my blog / business successful? No. If I tried to work out my hourly rate it would be a far cry from profitable or successful in most peoples mind, but in the end the creative thoughts that I develop by documenting my thoughts is motivation enough to continue. And plus who knows if I will think up the next Layer Tennis as a result of Positive Space?