Darren Rowse has counterpointed my counterpoint to his counterpoint that was started here. As he said in an email, "this is fun". So, I am assuming that I am not offending anyone with my comments. I haven't had a back and forth like this in a long while. It is fun and healthy to engage people like this. So....
My main point was:
The key to building a business is building "processes" that are valuable, not "products" that are valuable. And if you are blogging and selling ads and you don't have anyone helping you with anything, you have no processes. All you have is a product: your writing and your ability to sell. Jason Calacanis is building a business. Darren Rowse is making a living.
Darren had a lot to say about this. Here is how he agreed with me.
The only point I’ll really agree with for Pete is that a group approach increases the scale of the operations. If there were 10 of me blogging together we could build something significantly bigger and significantly faster than I currently have. It would make my business a bigger business and possibly increase the living I make off of it.
And also how he rationalized that a lone team is still better.
Of course with such an approach comes a variety of expenses, risks and logistical hurdles that to this point I’ve not been willing to move into (although as I’ve said before its something I’m hoping to explore this year). As Michael says in the comments of my previous post - to add more people into my operation would probably diminish the rate of return on what I do. It would probably increase overall earnings, but its something worth taking some time to weigh up before rushing into it.
This paragraph starts out strong and drifts into bias. This thinking is what differentiates Joe's Pizza in Hoboken, NJ from Pizza Hut. Yes. Pizza Hut pizza sucks. But, if Pizza Hut (or some other chain) wanted to sell the business to someone else, they'd make lots of cash. If Joe's wanted to sell his pizza shop to someone else, he'd be selling real estate. Joe made a living from his store. Maybe he served the best pizza in town and people thought he plated it with gold and paid him a lot for it. But, when Joe leaves, all that is left is the building. Which, since it is in Hoboken, probably isn't worth that much.
No offense to Darren. Darren has a good thing going for him. Although Kottke is cool and maybe deserves donations for his talent, I like Darren's business model better. Darren has figured out how to add financial value to other people. So, they pay him for it. It makes sense. But, without Darren, it is simply a weblog that catches search engine traffic, which is equivalent to dust in the blogosphere.
I wish Darren good luck. And I am sure there are lots of lone people out there that will generate successful livings from blogging. And already are. There are, of course, a lot of neighborhood pizza places that do well. Just don't expect the NYT to knock on your door, and offer you $820,000.
SideNote: The best pizza in the world is from the New Haven, CT area. If you are ever there, stop in at a local pizza place and ask for a white, clam and garlic pizza. So good.