Future steps of a side project gone viral?


November 5th, 2016

Assuming a side project has gained a significant traction,
To be more precise:
  • Web based project.
  • Free.
  • No business related plans.
  • No monetizing options were implemented or even considered.
  • Entire team is tech related, no business experience.
  • Traffic is monitored and shows a significant growth.
  • Expenses: cloud traffic and storage.
  • Maintenance and scale within the team's available time and funds, but it's starting to take a toll and needs to be addressed.
What should the next steps in that stage?

*hypothetical question. Many techs are working towards this stage, not even planning for when it will actually happen.

Rob G

November 5th, 2016

I'd take a step back and go thru some product/market fit exercises to get a handle on all the potential markets, market size and monetization options. go talk to customers/users and determine how best/if to monetize. If  the market(s) isn't big enough or  if you can't monetize it then it's a passion project and you can make decisions accordingly. if the market is big enough and there is a clear path to revenue and profit then your pool of options is larger. I'd look at adding some skills to the team - not knowing the market it's hard to say which skills specifically, but at least 1 or 2 people with the experience to validate market and monetization and execution on the business side. 

Andrea Raimondi Computer Software Consultant and Contractor

November 5th, 2016

I really don't see why people with free projects don't flat out state at the beginning that if it takes off there will need to be a charge. 

I just don't get it.

Martin Omansky Independent Venture Capital & Private Equity Professional

November 5th, 2016

Recommendations: (1) find someone with industry and business expertise to help you; (2) ID any way to protect your intellectual property; (3) devise a realistic business plan, budget, capital requirements, and projections; (4) understand the concept of the "pivot", and act appropriately; (5) consult a securities lawyer to study spin-off alternatives, partnership financings, etc. DO NOT RELY ON YOUR INTELLIGENCE AND INSTINCTS ALONE - THERE ARE TOO MANY LAWS, REGULATIONS, AND BUMPS IN THE ROAD TO HANDLE WITHOUT EXPERT HELP. Sent from my iPhone