Archive for October, 2004
(Click for larger image)
I’m healthy again after a not-so-fun week. Over the weekend I took the above shot (with the Panasonic Lumix DMC-FX7) at Stanford.
Free toothbrush with purchase of huge bag of candy? Okay…
Speaking of candy, I did stock up on a few bags for halloween… I’m hoping I don’t get too many visitors so there are plenty of leftovers for me! It’s awfully hard staring at the bags without eating any… right now my stomach doesn’t want anything.
Man, I haven’t seen it rain this much in one day in years. Things quieted down for a few hours and now it’s pouring again. My street is starting to look a little like a river.
I won’t need to water my plants for a week!
The stomach flu diet! Lose 6 pounds in two days! Of course that’s mostly water. I feel like crap and have had one meal in 36 hours: toast. And that was yesterday.
I’ve been meaning to write about this for a while but haven’t done so until now.
A little over a month ago I had a meeting with a friend in the print media business to sort out some work-related issues (which still haven’t been resolved). This person has been in the print and online business for a long time and I have tremendous respect for his opinions. After a while the topic turned to my website/business and where I was planning to take it. I told him that I didn’t know. And to be honest I still don’t.
There are two main things that I’m really unsure about:
1) How long do I want to do it?
Unless something unexpected happens, theoretically I could spend the next 30 years writing reviews of digital cameras. I don’t see them going away and if something better comes along I could probably transition to it. Then question is: do I want to be doing this for the next 30 years? After nearly 7 years of working on the DCRP site I’m pretty sure the answer to that question is “no”.
So then what? Do I close up shop one day and just let it die? Sell the site? Get a successor to take over the business?
If I leave, then what do I do with myself? Another desk job? Something good for humanity? It would be hard to give it all up because, to be honest, it pays very well, I’m my own boss, and I feel like I’m helping people (though not in the right way, IMHO).
2) Getting help
Over the last 7 years my workload has increased and along with that, my stress level. In order to keep myself sane while continuing to grow the site, I’m going to need to hire help at some point. The question is, what type of person and when do I hire them?
Who I need:
- Grunt worker (takes pictures and product shots, gets cameras to review, etc)
The problem is, I can’t hire all three. I’ve thought about getting an intern for #2, but I’m 30 miles from a real university and I need them here where all my equipment is. A salesperson would certainly be nice, as well. But the real questions arise about a writer. My fear is that if I have someone else writing that my site will “lose its voice”. I believe that DCRP = Jeff Keller and changing that could be asking for trouble. Not everyone agrees with me on this, though. Another person suggested hiring someone (a partner with a real vested interest) to help out and over time they would acquire “my voice”.
A related issue is what happens if something bad happens to me. If I was “out of commission” for a while, that could be the end of my business. I don’t like to think about that scenario, so I’ll just say that it would be nice to have someone take care of things while I’m on vacation.
This may sound selfish, but I’m hesitant to hire someone because I’ll have to pay them, which takes money away from my “buy a house closer to civilization fund”. Once that’s taken care of (hopefully by the end of next year), or if my income goes up again, then I would be more willing to hire help.
Obviously I have a lot of uncertainty about the future of my business (and my own life as well), and I need to figure it out at some point. The friend whom I had this conversation with initially says that I should think about it now, rather than waiting for something to happen which will force me to make a decision.
I don’t think everything will be resolved by writing a blog entry on a site where I normally complain about less important things, but maybe some wise soul has words of advice.