The thing about predictions, bold or not, is that it can make you look incredibly smart and visionary, or incredibly dumb
I’m willing to take that risk of sounding dumb in a few years, because you cannot be a leader in your space, if you are not willing to have opinions, even though they may be strong opinions. You cannot be a leader by trying to have “safe” opinions. You cannot be a “thought leader” (dislike that word, per se) if you are not willing to speak up, and stand behind your thoughts and opinions. And then also have the humility to accept you were wrong, if and when you are.
I have bet my life and career on a lot of things, and not all of them have gone perfectly.
Back in 1999, when I was still living in India with my wife and my 1 year old daughter, I was struggling to accept payments online. I decided one day that I had to move to the epicenter of eCommerce, and that’s when I moved to the US, in 2000.
I started accepting payments with PayPal and ClickBank. And pretty soon, I realized that you could easily steal the info products that were being sold, because of how insecure the “download” page was. And that’s when I created the world’s first PayPal Download Protector and ClickBank Download Protector. You can see them at my now-extinct website at MyWebmasterInABox.com (which was originally called WebmasterInAbox.net until I got Google-slapped).
I poured in a lot of my nights and weekends into MyWebmasterInABox and BabyNamesIndia.com (my first-even website, also extinct now). I tried to grow my side-business with AdSense, other banner-ad systems (remember Chitika and Bidvertiser?), affiliate links, ebooks (http://babynamesindia.com/ultimate.html), and tried countless other business models over the years.
I’ve sold t-shirts (ProudQuitter.com), mouse-pads, coffee mugs, all kinds of digital products from ebooks to online courses to membership sites to coaching to consulting.
I was one of the earliest WordPress evangelists. I fell in love with it the very first time I used it. And I created my own WordPress blog at RavisRants.com and my very first post on my own blog was in January 2005, at http://ravisrants.com/2005/01/24/ekalavyas-thumb/ .
Around that time, I had also started writing my first ever “real” book (no Kindle back then). And I launched it in 2007 (No Business Like E-Business).
And then as I launched a website for it at NBLEB.com , I wanted to build a list by giving away my book for free. But I didn’t want to give it out all at once - I wanted to publish one chapter at a time. And then, I wanted to automate it. I wanted everyone who joins my list to start from the first chapter. So I wanted to publish all the content ahead of time, but everyone should start at day 1, and chapter 1, and have their own timeline.
That’s when I was thinking of what to call this concept. And I remembered a farming concept that Indian farmers used, that I had learned as a child. It was called “Drip Irrigation”, where, because of lack of resources in India, farmers set up watering systems, that would only drip a few drops of water each time, and keep the crop healthy without spending too much water.
And that’s when I invented the words “Content Dripping” and ContentResponder (like an Autoresponder for emails). And there were no systems available that could drip content like I wanted to, because of course, no one had thought of it before.
And that’s when I created DigitalAccessPass.com , a membership platform for WordPress. Of course, I can’t take much credit for what it has evolved into today, because it’s my wife and co-founder and co-developer of DAP, Veena Prashanth, who is responsible for where it is today, and has become the face of DAP over the last few years.
So I’ve always tried to think ahead and create products and services for marketers, because I’ve always been at the bleeding-edge of tech, mostly because I’m a information-junkie. I love reading up on tech, business, marketing - and keeping tabs on the industry in general. And I’ve released quite a few clunkers in my lifetime.
And it is the combination of my successes and failures, the combination of me being a techie and a marketer at the same time, of being a student and a teacher at the same time, of being an immigrant and a citizen, of having worked in a job for so long, and having been an entrepreneur for so long, and always willing to put my money where my mouth is, and willingness to fail and be ridiculed and be laughed at, is what makes me who I am.
So thank you all for this discussion. I LOVE IT!
I love being challenged, and I want this forum to feel safe for anyone to disagree with anyone else, even if that “anyone else” is me, “Your Moderating Dictator” (a phrase I just stole from someone who used to use it in an email group I was part of, probably about 15+ years ago, when email-based discussion groups were all the rage).
So let the discussions begin. And let’s keep it cordial and professional, and vehemently (but not viciously) disagree, and not make it personal or do any name-calling.
I would love for everyone to be open and honest about their opinions.
And like I said in my original mission statement for this group, I’m hoping for this forum to be one of the best, smartest, safest, most relevant, focused and intelligent online communities for Entrepreneurs & Digital Creators.
– Ravi Jayagopal