Nearly 4 years ago, when we first introduced Cleeng to the community who were monetizing online content, we wanted to become the "iTunes for everyone," combining the e-commerce functionalities of iTunes, while making it extremely easy for any publisher to sell music, downloads, newspapers or videos.
Our passion for e-commerce led us to build a robust platform, able to tackle the massive complexities associated with selling efficiently the digital content on a global basis: from taking orders to managing access, security, reporting, customer service and more.
In 4 years, we've gathered a lot of data and momentum. Here’s a brief summary, just to give you some perspective:
- Nearly 1/2 million customers
- Paying clients in 167 countries
- 500,000 digital items available for sale
- Content from 7,000 publishers
- Currently 11M API requests arrive at our platform daily!
- Our website went virtually from being nowhere to one of the top 40,000 worldwide!
Over those 4 years, we've learned a lot about content commerce, especially about what people look for when they’re searching for great content.
We’ve even been able to determine the main attributes of paid content that they look for. Our findings are quite enlightening. The most yearned-for attributes are: Uniqueness, Re-usability, Quality and Emotional engagement. A more thorough analysis can be found here.
As we continued on our journey, we decided last year to readjust our strategy and to focus our resources entirely on becoming the leading e-commerce solution for selling videos, both live and on-demand.
As a result, we scrutinized everything from the ground up - technology, website functionalities, clients, partners, and so on – with the aim of creating a better approach for Cleeng and our customers.
In fact, this week we completed a major rebuild on our website to reflect this change. It's now all about videos:
What has this process taught us about entrepreneurship?
- Pivot: Don’t be afraid of changing your course. Be ready to refocus all of your energy into a new channel.
- Inspire: If you believe in what you do, this shouldn’t be so difficult. Also, try to look at your product and your company’s mission with a fresh approach. Inspire your team and your clients.
- Tenacity: Four years feels like an eternity, especially in terms of internet entrepreneurship. We too often forget how many hurdles have to be jumped. (I recommend that you read this great article if you want to fully understand what I just wrote. - https://medium.com/everything-about-startups-and-entrepreneurship/how-quitting-my-corporate-job-for-my-startup-dream-f-cked-my-life-up-3b6b3e29b318).
- Accept risks: Risks are inevitable. If you don’t take risks, you’ll fall behind. On the other hand, make sure that you don’t rely only on your gut feelings. Prepare well before you leap. Examine the market prognosis, check out what your competitors do and see where your product could fill a gap. And then simply trust that you’ll fly higher. We took that risk when shifting from press paywall to selling Live and on-demand videos. It was a scary decision, yet at the same time, a very rational one with a good gut feeling.
- Focus: Focus is the crucial ingredient for every startup. As you start, you believe you are focused, and the truth is - you are not. With online competitive landscape, you need to be laser focused. You need to master and own the realm where you belong. This is the only way you can grow your company and your products in a profitable manner.
- Keep it simple: Don’t overthink your formula. Your product needs to solve only one major problem your customers have. Master this and you are bound for success. Cut anything unnecessary, on your site, in your daily tasks, with your clients' relationships.
- Have fun. After our team has been burning the midnight oil together on reaching the next goal, we also need to play and have fun together. It not only allows us to relax and recharge, but it also brings us closer as a team. Our product(s) wouldn’t even be possible without the team’s full engagement.
We are very excited by this evolution and the enormous opportunities ahead, for Cleeng and you. Please discover our site and let us know what you think, including how we can make it even better, as well as even more relevant and engaging.
Keep in touch because more improvements and exciting new solutions are coming soon!
PS: Thats for the fun part ! November in Poznan :)