So what’s the plan for Thrive ID? What products are we working on? How will we make money? I thought I’d start off by giving a synopsis of what we’re trying to do and how. Keep in mind the plan is continually changing as we go but this is the latest.
As I mentioned in my previous post I’ve been interested in web applications as a product category for a while now. The characteristics of web applications are highly appealing:
- Always on
- Accessible from anywhere (there’s an assumption there I know)
- Always up-to-date
- All my data/info in a central location
- Available from any browser irrespective of OS
- Shareable with others
There are hundreds and thousands out there now – some of which are great, some of which are not-so-great. Many are free, others you have to pay for.
A few months ago I listened to a talk by David Heinemeier Hansson (video) (podcast) where he talked about the business model around subscription-based web apps and the relatively low number of customers you’d need to have a million dollar business (roughly 2000 customers paying $40/month). While attracting 2000 customers isn’t a no-brainer, it’s also not ridiculous. If all you need is 2000 customers, you can go after some pretty small niches.
Beyond the opportunities in the web app space, I also see a an ever-tightening coupling between web applications and a mobile companion – whether a platform-specific app (like an iPhone app) or a mobile version of the web app. The opportunities created by connecting web and mobile is just starting to be explored and realized.
So the approach we’re taking with Thrive ID is to develop a portfolio of both mobile and web applications available for purchase or subscription. We’re not limiting ourselves to just consumers or just businesses or even a specific industry. The driver is to build tools that help people in a genuine and meaningful way. That sounds pretty gushy but I want to work on projects I’m passionate about and, for me, helping people brings out the passion. I know in theory all products help people in some way (or they wouldn’t buy them) but a more efficient shopping app or an app to plan which football games you’re going to watch don’t rank too high on my meaningful scale.
That’s a quick view into some of the how and the why.
What are your thoughts on the future of web and mobile apps?
What drives you?