In December of 2008, we hit the venerable Google Analytics 1,000,000 totally unique users a month
threshold. In January 2009, we crossed over the 1.1 million marker. February found us hitting the 1.2 million level. Then, in March, the 1.3 million level was passed. And so on and so forth until, today, in September of 2009, we have reached the 1.7 million totally unique users a month marker. (Being that we serve a professional audience, we always drop during the Summer months but bounce back fast in mid-August or so, as vacation season ends and people get back to work.) At our current growth levels, we will hit TWO MILLION totally unique users a month by February 2010 or thereabouts.
We have been doubling every year for the last few years and this current cycle appears that it will be no exception. We will have doubled again, from one million to two million totally unique users a month, in a little over a year.
It's rough to keep up a growth curve like that, year after year. Especially when the technology behind all of this is quite expensive when you hit the level that we have hit -- not to mention that we compete against companies who, for the most part, are international publishing conglomerates that are mostly billion dollar enterprises.
Back when I used to teach business classes to active business owners and managers for a couple of the banks here in Central California -- as well as speaking at California Polytechnic University San Luis Obispo's business classes -- one of the things that I pointed out regularly was that uncontrolled growth kills more businesses than under-capitalization. Surprised? Don't be, you can adjust and rescale a business to meet the level of monies available, far easier than most can figure out how to succeed with a business that is demanding more and more resources quickly due to the growth that is driving out of control.
Juggling these kinds of growth levels -- and the demands on both people and the technological backbone that supports it all -- is a real feat in a market wherein the number of available sponsors from which to draw support dwindles with each new acquisition. What used to be 10 companies a decade ago (in some cases), is now a single company.
Building something like Creative COW is a constant juggling act and it's one in which every ounce of both human and technological resources are constantly being drawn on and leveraged to maintain the kind of astronomical growth that we have to support here at The COW.
Sometimes, we have phone conferences and our team discusses the next phase of what we need to do to assure that The COW does not collapse under the weight of its own popularity. It isn't always easy but when you have a team such as we have built over the last decade, the job is doable and we look forward to early 2010 when the COW will in all likelihood be rolling past the 2 million unique users a month marker.
I just listened to COW leader Aharon Rabinowitz's commentary that ran on NPR. In it, he explores how human beings create one of the most insidious forms of computer virus, the "let's forward a warning about a new virus to all our friends and associates" strand.
I had to chuckle at some of the points that Aharon expresses in his four minute commentary in which he uses analogies drawn from sex education classes in school.
But in the end, it's something that I was thinking of forwarding along as a link to all my friends and associates that think they need to email me every time a new virus comes out. If you are one of these friends, here's the link...
Consider yourself warned.
When I first saw the iPhone previewed by Steve Jobs during his keynote at last January's Macworld Expo, I had a sneaking suspicion that I had seen that interface before. In fact, I told Tim Wilson, "Man, that interface looks just like the one that is over at the TED conferences..." that I had sent Tim a link to the summer before.
Well, it *is* the TED interface and while Apple gets top nods for knowing a good thing when they see it, and for licensing it quickly enough to likely have it forever associated with them in the public's mind, I have to chuckle a bit. Why? Because I am sure that since the TED Conference is hosted by Adobe, they saw enough in the interface to invite him to be their guest.
That said, that makes it a rather safe assumption to extrapolate that they likely have "TED interface" initiatives already in place at Adobe. If you would like to see the iPhone interface in the loving hands of its developer, Jeff Han, look here.
What you will see is an interface that is likely the leading contender in the fluidity department, easily outdistancing its rivals for the crown in the "Get the Interface Out of the Way of the User" department. It is one honey of an interface.
When I let my mind percolate on the future and things like the TED interface married to applications like Photoshop, After Effects, Flash, Premiere and others, I have to grin ear to ear like an idiot. This is the kind of video phones and flying cars future we were all promised long ago.
Congratulations Jeff Han, you done good, man.
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