Startup News

The Road Ahead, Again

Picture of Marcus Holmes
Marcus Holmes

Miles and I are taking December off. And we may not be back.

tears_in_rainThe startups we’ve seen… business plans on fire on the second day of Startup Weekend. We watched RTO’s glitter like gold near the Tannhauser Gate. All those moments will be lost in time, like tears in rain. Time to die.

Back when I joined Startup News in 2014, there was no-one covering the Perth startup scene at all. We were ignored by the Eastern States (still are, even when Perth startups are winning awards at Startcon – good job Health Engine!). We were too small for Business News, too niche for the West, (despite Nick Sas’s best efforts) and too damn weird for everyone else.

Now the situation has changed, and frankly it’s a little depressing.

The government have launched their portal. The one thing that everyone agreed that they should not do, they did. Instead of funding Startup News, or even consulting with us, they used public funds to build a direct competitor. It’s ICWA all over again, and look what happened to that mess. We can’t be bothered teaching them the error of their ways like Brodie did, so we’ll just let this stand as a tribute to the amazing contribution the government has made to the community so far. </sarcasm>

We still don’t get press releases from some of the most prominent organisations in the scene. I’m fed up of finding out about StartupWA stuff because I read about it in the West. And they’re not the only one. I don’t want to whinge, despite my Pommy nature, but it’s hard not to take this shit personally sometimes.

Techboard are all over the space looking for a business model. We’ve helped them as much as we can, for no charge, because more is better and they’re a great contribution to the community. But now they’re blogging and the competition has become a little uncomfortable. We wish them the very best of luck with it all, obviously, but we’re fed up of getting elbowed in the face.

Talking of business models, we still haven’t found one that works. Our audience is still too small and too niche to attract advertisers (and startups famously don’t have any money). The problems I wrote about back in the last one of these posts are still there. Despite Miles’s massive contribution in terms of revamp, content and organisation, we’re still getting about the same number of readers per post as we were a year ago. The donations page has remained almost unused. There’s a ton of stuff we could do to improve this situation, obviously, as we keep being told. But the things we’ve tried haven’t worked.

Massive thanks to those who donated to the cause so far: Peter Clarke, Raf Kimberley-Bowen, Brett Looney, Patrick Green, Adam Clune, Saxon Druce. Those contributions have really helped with the dark days of “wtf am I doing this for?”.

What’s the Lean Startup answer for that question? “What do you do when something isn’t working, even after a change in team and a couple of pivots?” You look at doing something more valuable with your time.

So we’re taking a break, and we may not be back. We’ll be posting stories that we want to post, and stuff that’s interesting, but we won’t be trying to get a post done each day.

Feel free to tell us what we should be doing in the Facebook page 😉



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Picture of Marcus Holmes

Marcus Holmes

Gentleman Technologist and co-founder of Startup News. His vision has made //SN a sustainable media cheerleader for the startup community. Former CEO of Phnom Penh Post, he can be found somewhere in S.E. Asia coding away...
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