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Mixergy is now a paid subscription service for interviews older than a week (mixergy.com)
73 points by samh on Feb 21, 2010 | hide | past | web | favorite | 136 comments



I like mixergy and think that the interviews are great. But I still believe that this monetisation strategy is a strategic mistake. The reasons are these:

1. I've seen a few of these interviews being done online by others. This game is a winner take all game. The most popular such site is going to have everyone wanting to be interviewed there, and everyone will watch it because popular names are interviewed then. So it's important in this niche to become the dominant force and stay there, giving competitors no chance. Putting a paywall is going to lead to fewer incoming links and less traffic on old videos, slowing down growth, and giving others a chance to catch up

2. The payment model is unusual for video. People want to purchase a video and have it on their drives. They don't want to have to watch hundreds of videos in a single month.

3. The price is high. $25 for a month of access to video is a bit high, in my uninformed estimation

I think that a better strategy would be a focus on growth and improving the quality of the people, and focusing on breaking more into the mainstream. This particular move is going to slow down growth, and I think it may be difficult to get certain names on when they know that they are doing the interview for someone elses profit.

And my final argument is this: This model shuts down the possibilities of further experimentation. When the videos are closed, it's not possible to test other ways of monetising the traffic arriving at the videos.


I agree - the business model seems a bit forced. I think your first point will translate into quite a reduced maximum popularity. I would have tried the opposite approach and gave sites some easy way to embed clips of the interviews on their sites/blogs.

People are used to paying for live video (PPV). People are used to paying to download content. They aren't used to paying for old content.

This seems to be like giving away your new hits for free and charging for the long tail - not sure that is ideal.


I agree that an opposite model would probably have worked out better -- charge for early access instead of archive access. Those who appreciate and anticipate new installments can pay to receive them sooner, [past] interviewees are perhaps less disturbed because the content will ultimately become free, and users searching the web for things like "Paul Graham interview" or similar would be able to find the content and get hooked, thereby creating new paying customers.

It'd really be interesting to hear Mixergy's thought process on this, though.


When I found out about this I emailed Andrew. This is what i wrote:

I noticed recently that you've started charging for your older interviews. Good on you, I hope you do good business.

I have one idea you might want to consider: Sell short edited versions of the interviews. This is the opposite of what most online ebook and tutorial video sellers do. They show some short teasers for free, but ask you to pay for the "full program". In your case, the full program is the teaser - it's a treasure hunt to find the golden nuggets of business wisdom interspersed in 60 minutes of internet video chat. I bet you lose out on a lot of viewers simply because they don't have the time to sit through hour-long interviews. I think you could sell edited, 15-minute versions to those people. Cheapskates like me will continue to watch for free, but people with less time will pay for condensed honey drops of entrepreneurship gyaan. Actually, I might pay too as I get busier with my business.

Andrew replied saying he loves the idea and has has a vision along those lines; he just needs the time and resources for doing it. As he has stated in his own interviews before, he is trying to create an internet treasure which will have long lasting value. I'm sure he won't let us down.


I definitely like the model, but I think $25/mo is too high, especially when compared to other sources of information. The $50 and $100 options made me chuckle a bit (sorry).

The Economist print edition comes at $15/mo. 30 days of New York Times, delivered in print is $29/mo. That's a lot more content than Mixergy. And you have similar similar sites like BigThink and the Stanford ECorner podcasts, which are free.

But I'd pay $5/mo, or better yet, $1 per video.


That's a lot more content than Mixergy.

If you convince the Times to ditch the lifestyle coverage of things of importance to Upper East Side liberals and focus on interviewing Wufoo about conversion rates, I'll buy a subscription to them, too. Until you do that it strikes me like you're comparing a Ruby library and a chia pet.


I like the $1 per video idea. It sounds like an absolute steal. Another possible experiment is to have a monthly subscription fee for companies to have their name/logo show up on the pages of relevant videos. The minimum fee could be $5/month for companies (so barrier to entry is low), but precedence would be given to companies paying the most for particular pages.


This thread just confirms that HN are just wantrepreneurs. If you were a real entrepreneur, you would be running to pay for the education that Mixergy provides. This is an absolute bargain because learning from Mixergy will greatly enhance you chances at that dream exit. $25/month won't seem like much when you're the next Zuckerberg or Bezos or Gates. But it takes money to make money, and you're not going to become a great entrepreneur by avoiding resources like Mixergy.


...and Forrester research reports are $800 for a 500-word piece. You're comparing apples to oranges. Economist can charge that low because it has the mass market. If you only subscribed to niche journals, you'd be paying much higher. Andrew's is a niche.


I'm slowly building a membership section, but I didn't mean to put this and every single other post on my homepage behind a pay-wall. The outsourcing company I use made a mistake. I fixed it this afternoon.

But yes, I am moving towards a paid premium model that will include older interviews. And this won't be the last time I'll make a mistake.


It makes a lot more sense to me to put the recent interviews be behind the paywall, and make the back catalog free.

It's typically the recent stuff that's 'hot' and therefore has the most value, while the older stuff tends to be more of a curiosity with less value.

Plus, a wide-open back-catalog is more likely to attract references from places like wikipedia, from people trying to cite it.


IMHO that makes no sense.

The back catalog is more important to a real entrepreneur. Someone looking for entertainment in the disguise of education content would find the "hot" stuff interesting.

Someone building a business cares about specific topics because they are having issues with specific things like search engine marketing, sales people, partnerships, law, etc. That may or may not be covered by the latest "hot" stuff but a quick search in the back catalog is likely to turn up a good interview.


Honestly, instead of being a bunch of a-holes and complaining about it. Why not just offer him a suggestion here: http://mixergy.wufoo.com/forms/what-price-do-you-think-is-fa... Tell him what you are willing to pay, if at all. From the feedback he receives, I am sure he is smart enough to pivot based on this feedback.

This is his start up, it is his right to experiment as he desires.


This is probably one of the most shameful and depressing discussions I've ever read on this site. It's amazing the backlash this appears to be causing. For a community full of people running startups and sites, either full-time or on the side, the concept of being upset over having to pay someone for their time is appalling.

Most of the users here should appreciate that a person's time and effort are not free. If you don't feel Mr. Warner's time and effort is worth what he's charging then go somewhere else and find a similar resource. To come here and pout like upset children that your free toy might be taking away from you is sad. To threaten to go out of your way to circumvent his system as some of you have is even worse.

For those of you who have products or services you actively charge for, I hope you have had the common sense not to chime in against this decision as if it was an attack on your very being. And if you haven't, imagine how you would feel if someone so callously ripped your decision to try to earn a living on your work.


I predicted this move several days ago based on this comment.

http://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=1130231

I have long suspected that Andrew has been using fake accounts or paying people to put a positive spin on his threads. The above comment was made by a brand new a account and follows a trend of other fishy comments.


I'm in Buenos Aires. My IP would stand out in a minute.

What you'll probably find if you keep searching the comments here is that many people will say that I emailed or called them personally after they commented on my work here.

I'm engaged in this community and that's easier and more effective than setting up dummy accounts.


"I have long suspected that Andrew has been using fake accounts or paying people to put a positive spin on his threads. The above comment was made by a brand new a account and follows a trend of other fishy comments."

I have had the same suspicion for quite a while and am surprised no one has looked into this. Glad to hear someone else thinks it's not just the little voices in my head.


PG addressed it here: http://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=1131005

AndrewWarner does link directly to HN and ask for votes, so it's quite likely that people register specifically to upvote/comment for his submissions.

I would like to see him comment on the ruby35 account, it is quite suspicious: http://news.ycombinator.com/threads?id=ruby35


Thanks for that. I hadn't seen his comment.


bob345 made me look twice, very defensive and an account less than 2 hours old


The above comment was made by a brand new a account and follows a trend of other fishy comments.

I think that if you have no evidence to substantiate these accusations, then you should keep them to yourself.

I mean, he can easily just be one of the many happy frequent visitors of Mixergy? Andrew does post links to here quite often from the Mixergy site, and they can easily just follow that link.

Though, I must admit as a guy who loves the Mixergy interviews, who is currently saving up for his own startup; I am currently forgoing a cell phone, car, insurance and any other unnecessary expenses, and I cannot validate a $25-100/mo charge for this content. Its valuable, but not that valuable to me. I think he forgot about his bootstrapped followers who can't watch his interviews live and often catch them after the fact.

Though in hindsight, this just may increase the viewership of his live shows - which is an increase in viewer participation in the interview process. Perhaps that is his goal?


Thanks.

It's not about the live shows so much as it is about getting people to watch my interviews the day or week that post them.

What I'm finding is that if I don't create urgency around watching the interviews the day I watch them, people will consider them old and ignore them.


That makes a lot of sense. But if that's your objective, I'd argue for making it $10 or even $5 a month rather than $25. At $25 you'll cut out a LOT of people who would be ideal viewers for these interviews.


Your account here was made 4 days ago.


Does that somehow discredit his opinion?


When one uses the date of creation of an account to discredit it, yes; also note that underover has one comment (this one), while the account being accused (stevenp) has three, only one of which relates to this topic. Not especially relevant under normal conditions - opinions and information are more important, and all that - but, once again, underover is using this to accuse someone else of being a sock puppet, while his[1] argument also suggests that he is a sock puppet - admittedly, if his name had a c in it, that would go without saying, but it would be nice to get a disclaimer stating that he's a shell account used by another user to maintain anonymity, if that is in fact the case.

[1] I have no evidence that underover is male; I'm merely using the masculine pronouns by default.


Not really. underover was suggesting these new accounts should be discredited because their newness and pro-Andrew bias suggests they were perhaps created by Andrew. That criticism cannot apply to him, because why would Andrew create an account to criticize himself?


...and here's an account not from Argentina. Have PG check it.

Your assertion that Andrew created these new accounts is sophomoric and pathetic.


I never claimed I agreed or disagreed with OP's assertions, I was merely trying to clarify the argument.


I see what you mean but I guess I see an important difference between creating a sockpuppet in these two circumstances.

On the one hand creating an account to protect your anonymity when you make a potentially inflammatory accusation about the behavior of a prominent member of the community.

And on the other, creating an account to make it appear that you have more support on the forum than you actually have.

I find the latter to be a serious problem whereas the former seems reasonable and ethical.


A lot of accolades in this thread. As for me and the rest of the silent majority, we poor ambitious upstarts will find a new home. I might consider it if I knew my contribution would lead to significantly greater production value, like airplane tickets for in-person interviews or investigative reporting.

Eulogy: Andrew was flirting with becoming a figure in start-up world... something which can't be bought. Managed to sell it.


Please. $25/month is two-hours of work for a cashier at McDonald's. If think the value of his work is below that, you probably don't have the right priorities to build a startup.


Hey Andrew, what about letting those videos be free, and selling DVDs per months, peoples can watch the content online for free (advertising support) in this way you keep growing and peoples willing to pay can order videos on a dvd, let's say each interview on a dvd cost 5 $. Next option, you can aggregate videos of each month as dvd and sell them for ~9,99 $ , and the next alternative will be to create an ebook from the transcripts of each month videos and sell it for a couple or dollars, you can organise this in topic (ebook transcript for freemium Business model, ebook for videos plattform entrepreneurs.....you can combine it as you want: we call in in mechanical eng variants)... That's my 2 cents. Some peoples may pay the 25 $ , but most of your users won't, if you want to go with the subscription , what about 1,99 $ /months * many users and steady grow?


The advertising model will not generate much revenue. As Rupert Murdoch is wont to say, the online publishing marketplace has an infinite supply of inventory, which drives down prices for display advertising.

The DVD idea might work for some small entrepreneurs who are not in the Internet startup space, but since most of the Interviews are focused on tech and the audience likely wants to see the videos online, there is a conflict there. Maybe Andrew should start expanding into other areas of entrepreneurship that appeal more to the non-Internet crowd?

One other note about transcripts: They are a pain to produce, as most of them have to be done manually. Prices are coming down thanks to online services and Mechanical Turk. But once voice-to-text tech improves to the degree where it's possible to instantly convert any podcast or video interview to text (and thence to e-book or whatever) that will really open the gates to e-book and custom publishing models, IMHO. It will also boost the output of journalists, who now have lots of overhead related to listening to audio post-interview and transcribing some of the results.


Today must be April 1st. 25 dollars a month seems a wee bit overpriced. I wonder if YouTube could get away with charging that much for the millions of videos that they offer. In any case, at $25 per month, I would love to learn what percentage of free users convert to paying customers. With 1% being a typical conversion rate for Freemium, I'd be surprised if they even got one tenth of one percent to convert.


I wonder, were the interviewees aware of this and are they OK with it?

Bummer, I did not even watch the full PG yet, an it was 11 days ago.


Hint: try a search engine.


We need Andrew to interview Andrew about this decision:)

Also, Andrew's lack of posting in this thread tells me that he is sitting back and watching the natural reaction rather than tainting it with his own participation.


Also, Andrew Warner is not exactly lacking funds.

http://www.quicksprout.com/2009/04/08/the-andrew-warner-stor...

So he's charging because he can, not because he must.


I don't necessarily think that this monetization strategy is the best idea but I'm not going to begrudge the guy for trying to make money from his business regardless of whether he already has a lot of money.


This is akin to asking why Sergey Brin charges for AdWords when he's already a billionaire or why the richest person in the world still makes money off of Windows. Your logic is moronic.

Welcome to capitalism.


As much as Jason Calacanis can be annoying, This Week in Startups is always a great show and he seems to have found a great monetization strategy for it - corporate sponsors of service providers to startup people.

I probably won't be paying for Mixergy on a monthly basis, but if he were to get a couple companies to sponsor the show for a couple hundred dollars an episode i would gladly sit through the intermittent plugs he would give throughout the broadcast.


The good thing is that the transcripts are still free. So I'll be reading more and hearing/watching less. Kinda like switching tv for a good novel, I'd think.


The best response to this will be to not pay. Watch this week's video, and maybe save the stream. Take the responsibility for archiving into your own hands.


If you have the time to do that 5 videos a week x 4 weeks instead of paying $25/month, you're valuing your time too cheaply.


"If you have the time to do that 5 videos a week x 4 weeks instead of paying $25/month, you're valuing your time too cheaply."

If he is a half way decent programmer he could build a script in half an a hour to automate the whole thing. So the "valuing your time too cheaply" argument doesn't hold at all.


>Take the responsibility for archiving into your own hands.

That's called copyright infringement.


Correct. I think I'll do that...


That's time-shifting for personal use... Pretty sure that's legal.


Not if you had to break even the most trivial content protection schemes to do it.


That was my thinking. And it is fairly trivial to do, on most sites. There are already plenty of ways of grabbing a stream for later viewing. If I am doing that just for me, for my own use, I see no issue with it.


Hm, on second thought, I guess it probably is, except maybe if his TOS explicitly disallows it. It's basically the same as DVRing something. Still seems wrong.


Subscribed, on the theory that if I can't get one sale a month out of Mixergy, I must be doing something wrong.


How do you get sales out of subscribing to Mixergy?


The example which most immediately pops to my head is for subscription businesses: watch the Wufoo interview. They drop three important bits of information in fifteen seconds: the most popular plan is the middle one, the highest grossing plan is the most expensive one, and Andrew adds that another business (CrazyEgg) similarly found that concentrating on the needs of the higher end of the market was much better ROI on time than concentrating on the $9 / mo customers.

People have burned through hundreds of thousands of dollars and learned less about pricing than was included in those 15 seconds.

Andrew draws out gems with sufficient regularity (signal to noise ratio: quite high) that I'm fairly confident I'll grab at least one idea and improve my business as a result of it.

On the subject of price points: I wonder what the above says about basing one's pricing decisions on the opinions of people who think $25 is a lot of money.


Have you seen the Chance Bernett interview? http://mixergy.com/direct-marketing-techniques-launch/

It's bleeding with killer actionable information.


Ya, me too patrick. If you put even a fraction of the information into practice, you're bound to have some interesting experiment of which, many will likely pay big dividends. At least that is how I see it.


eh I don't think it's the end of the world, you gotta try different price points to see what works or what doesn't. + I don't think it'll affect the true fans who tend to watch these interviews live/same day.

Only change I would do, is make the time limit a little bit longer. Maybe 2-3 weeks/month, before a video goes behind paywall.

The monthly fees are kinda a downer though, until you think about it. Those people who want to watch all interviews, are better off paying a monthly fee, instead of being nickle and dimed to death with per video fees.

The whole idea here isn't to charge people, but to get more participation out of your audience. This way more people will watch people live/right away. And will be much more likely to discuss it in real time...creating more buzz about the interviews. Which should lead to even better guests.

+ think about it...the reason you are complaining that he is starting to charge...is because you realize just how valuable the content is. And if the content is valuable...what's $25?


Just videos = not worth $25 a month in my humble opinion - especially when the transcripts are not behind the pay wall.

But if he adds a forum - he can create a good membership site out of mixergy. And $25 per month for it is doable.

(I personally think its just an experiment to control high bandwidth costs...)


This is something all publishers grapple with so I'm not going to fault Andrew for exploring ways he can make money for his time investment which is substantial. I think the pricing is a bit high ... I'd be more likely to pay $100/year for a subscription but I'm not sure if there's enough value in these interviews to warrant more. There might be but I'll have to think about it.

I also think it's going to prevent new users from discovering the value of the site and returning/becoming fans. Yes, you can watch one or two recent videos for free (currently doesn't work?), but I think people become fans when they can dig into the archive and watch some other interviews. I became a fan after discovering a link to a video somewhere and then spending a few hours digging through the archive. I'm not sure people who are just discovering Mixergy will get out the wallet on the strength of one or two videos, so they'll be less likely to dig deep and find the value of site. I wouldn't have done that, and probably wouldn't have returned except for the occasional link that shows up in a stream somewhere.

It's a tight rope to walk. There are a ton of monetization options he can explore and I don't blame him from trying. Just hope he doesn't put off his audience/guests or lose his momentum while trying to find the right path forward because this is probably the hardest one to sell.


I tried watching the EventVue interview http://mixergy.com/eventvue-josh-fraser/ which is less that a week but behind a pay wall.

How can the bandwidth be high if it is being hosted on justin.tv? I would suggest an advertising model where there are short 20 second ads (maybe 5 per interview). Though I really like the interviews, 300 ponds a year 20 interviews is way too high (I watch about 2 a month).

Best of luck Andrew, I hope it goes well!


same here. Was trying to watch http://mixergy.com/daniel-delaney-vendrtv/ which was posted on feb 18th (3 days old) but it is behind the pay wall. how come? basically, any video i am trying to watch is behind a pay wall.



Here's what Andrew is doing; he's being enterprising:

"An enterprising person is willing to try out new, unusual ways of doing or achieving something."

I'm not agreeing that this is the best route for him to take, in fact, I don't think it will work (I could be wrong) - but there's nothing wrong with trying new things.

Andrew is obviously testing this, just sitting back and absorbing these comments and the financial results of this test.

I don't think this exact model will work, but at any rate, good luck


Three subscription options: $25, $50 or $100 per month for exactly the same product. Normally tiered pricing is used with different product variations to target different market segments more effectively. In this case, since the product is fixed and surely nobody would voluntarily pay the higher price, he must be using this as a psychological trick to make the $25 seem more reasonable - an interesting idea.


I'm sure it's just a test.


What is he testing? He is not, for example, testing if people would pay $50 because I'd assume 99.99% of people who would pay $50 will instead pay $25 whilst that is an option.


I didn't say it was a good test. Actually I sent him an email about it as soon as I saw it. Never-the-less, I still don't think that it makes any sense that people are acting like whiney babies because Andrew is trying new things.


I think people may have assumed Mixergy was a philanthropic service to the entrepreneurial community by Andrew, which is why some here seem quite upset about this decision..

I don't necessarily think instituting a pay wall for older videos is a bad idea.. I'd love to see Andrew post some stats for his community about how successful this decision is/was when the dust settles a bit.


I think the pricing model per month is not the best. A much better model would be a pay per view model, perhaps $5/video?


It looks like the videos are still free on iTunes. Not sure if this will last or if it will change to a pay per episode like you mentioned.


I just signed up simply to support his work even though I watch all the interviews in the first week anyway. For me, the content is worth more than $25/month. I would also like to see a forum as added value.

I'm not sure that this is the best possible model, but if it's not then Andrew will figure it out once he has some data.


Please create an iphone app instead where old interviews can be accessed simply and charge for the app.

EDIT: simple->simply


Aren't the interviews done in Flash?


My first reaction was well, that sucks. I was wrong.

I think this is an excellent business model for Mixergy. As a fan of Mixergy, I am happy that I have a weeks time to listen to the interviews before they go behind the subscription wall. Andrew, keep up the good work.


I think the model is sound as well but the prices are a bit expensive and its all-or-nothing. I'd love some sort of micropayment option per interview. At his cheapest option, $25/month, that's either $300/year for interviews, which is over double the price of my highest paid subscription to anything right now (the Economist).

They're arguably worth it, but I can see folks with tight budgets not willing to pay that much for any content.

Also with so many good startup eyeballs I am curious if the sponsorship angle was considered, specifically from service providers. There seem to be a ton of lawyers & other products that would kill for eyeballs and ears in Andrew's market.

I'm a big fan as well but I still find this a bit startling. But I do appreciate as well the fact that you can watch interviews free for the first week. That is plenty -- he could have cranked that down to one day and personally I'd still find my way over there to watch/listen.


I would be really interested in seeing data on how much people decide to pay for the interviews.


Are the transcripts going behind the paywall too?


if not give me one reason to pay for the video. content=content. ( BTW, I only read the transcripts, because it's less time consuming)


Well I thought the transcripts were edited with community help. If that were true, and if I spent some time editing something I thought was going to be free and then the site owner took it behind a paywall I'd consider it a slimy move, but that's just me.

(So, I just archived all the available transcripts that I was interested in. Who knows when those go behind a paywall?)


"... I only read the transcripts, because it's less time consuming ..."

I try. The formatting is hard to read, the transcriptions aren't always accurate (in a funny way).


Bummer, didn't really see that coming. For some reason I felt like Andrew didn't need the money (from what little he posts about his background and experiences with his former company). There was this feel that the main goal of the site was really to collect and chronicle the modern day entrepreneur... and really, he was doing a bang up job at it. (Dare I say the best job yet?)

Guess I can't blame him for wanting to profit, but this particular move for profit just feels cheap. I would've much rather see some other ways of profiting. i.e. Quarterly Boxed DVD Sets, etc.


Almost all interviewers profit. So I don't see why an interviewee should be offended that Andrew is profiting.

Most interviewers profit by charging advertisers. The advertisers then become the customers and the viewers are just "users." By choosing to charge his listeners directly Andrew is making his viewers his customers.

A business naturally tries to please its customers. To the extent that advertisers' and viewers' tastes differ, we can expect Andrew's business to change for the better: it will be more pleasing to viewers.


I agree. By aligning his success with his audience, his podcast will get better.


"However, I think this is a really bad business move, second only to using a fake name. It creates distrust and devalues the community aspect of the product."

Were you passing judgment on Andrew Warner, as that is not his birth name, but a professional name that he has adopted?


I'm glad that Mixergy is starting to charge. You have to pay the bills some how. Would also like to see additional content like private forums.

I think the price is a bit high. He should of had a $10/month option and I would have signed up tonight.


I think this is going to hurt viewership, thus making the site less attractive to interview subjects, and thus further hurting viewership in a feedback loop.


If he isn't really in it to make money I would push the pay wall back to like a month... or 6. Let the long tail bring some moneys in as his library grows.


Hey guys, i think he has removed the paywall.

This thread is very useful!


I subscribe to the video podcast and I have a bunch of old ones I haven't watched yet. I wonder if he'll shut that down..


my money is safe... not worth it.


What about interviewees ? They spent an hour assuming their video would be available by anyone but later on they found out he started to charge of it? Does it fair? (I assume that he didn't inform them beforehand)

Finally I'm sure out of thousands people 10 will subscribe but potentially that's pretty much it, that model wouldn't work unless you got something crucial. And to be honest this is just chit-chat. Yes I love to listen Paul Graham talk on stuff but none of the interviews are actually ground-breaking or great, it's just good time.

That's why I doubt if anyone would actually bother to subscribe.

Give it 3 months then I'm sure he'll change the model.


I was just going to post the same thing. If I was an interviewee, I'd be kind of pissed I'd given my time for free, just so someone else could throw it behind a paywall.


If you were one of his interviewees, you'd understand that hard work must be rewarded. Business models change with time. Every successful entrepreneur (including his interviewees) knows that. I highly doubt they'll perceive this as bait & switch.


Why would they not perceive it as bait and switch? It is bait and switch.

I don't think there's anything fundamentally wrong with bait and switch - it's a common marketing tactic - but let's call a cat a cat.


You're relying your argument on an assumption. Fail.


Syntax error.


I am tempted to start contacting some of his old interviewees and ask them what they think about it. I'll ask them to contact him if they are pissed by the fact that they were tricked into giving their free time. Many of them precisely said in those interviews that they were only doing it to give back to the community.


Andrew has interviewed me twice for Mixergy. I don't begrudge him for making money off of his full-time job - I get promo for my projects through his platform.


I'm sorry, but that's a douchebag move if you don't warn Andrew ahead of time.


Warn Andrew ahead of time? You've got be joking. Why doesn't Andrew pay a fee to those he's interviewed already now, in this bait and switch interwebz journalism


You're relying your argument on an assumption. Fail.


LOL^^^^^ This is another account created one hour ago.


...here's an account created minutes ago, and pg can check this IP to see if it's from Argentina.

The HN lynch mob is pathetic.


Its not hard to spoof an i.p. address, heck posting from one of the easy to use myspace proxy websites will give you the effect of a USA i.p. address.


Information should always be free to the community and Mixergy should concentrate on monetization with different ways rather than subscription model....


Information should always be free to the community

Bullshit. Information is power.

Mixergy should concentrate on monetization with different ways rather than subscription model

Agreed.


"Information should always be free"

Wrong.

The provider of that information should be able to charge what he wants. It's capitalism.


Actually the market will force him to do something. that's capitalism. You don't just charge whatever you want without regards to market forces.


Good point. The interviewees had an understanding that this content will be freely available and now that's changed. Then again, maybe he told them the content will be free but there is a possibility that one day it will not be free anymore. Either way, the better approach would have been to leave existing interviews freely available and start applying the pricing structure from the present onward.

On another note, I'm glad to see Andrew turning Mixergy into a real business that can be self-sustaining. As entrepreneurs, we should all be able to agree with that.


I hope this won't sound wrong, this is mixergy's about page:

   ...I used credit cards and ingenuity to create a $30+ mil / year (in sales) internet business... 
Sorry but after creating a $30+ mil annual sale company trying to sell videos for 25$ to max. 1000 people in a lifetime is not a great step forward for an entrepreneur.

Maybe he has a grand master plan to make more 30+$ mils with mixergy ....


Not sure what his plans are but hey, at least it'll be profitable... which is more than a lot of enterpreneurs can claim.


I don't agree that these interviews are just chit-chat and feel that I have learned a lot from these interviews. I have subscribed on these nice (free) interviews for 9 months now and listen to them many times a week. Paying the subscription fee is a great way to pay Andrew back for all the hard work he has put into these interviews.


Thanks. I think part of the problem is that people will see this as just a show as long as I don't take risks to elevate the work.


What's wrong with "just a show"? A show can both achieve a lot and can be worth a lot.


The distinction is entertainment versus actionable education. I get the sense that Andrew's goal for Mixergy is to be the latter.


Shows can certainly be educational and actionable, while still being entertaining...


It is probably fine if he is giving a portion to the people he interviewed. People go to mixergy to hear from them. It does also push people to check out interviews before they go behind the pay wall.

However, I think this is a really bad business move, second only to using a fake name. It creates distrust and devalues the community aspect of the product.


A really bad business move is doing something that isn't sustainable. Given that giving his interviews away for free isn't sustainable, putting his content behind a paywall is probably an experiment to see if he can build a sustainable business.


"And to be honest this is just chit-chat. Yes I love to listen Paul Graham talk on stuff but none of the interviews are actually ground-breaking or great, it's just good time."

Calling the interviews chit-chat is nothing short of demeaning the effort of both Andrew and the interviewee. I would argue that the interviews are great and do teach us a lot. Often as part of the interview other parts such as history are covered, but that again adds to the whole experience.

Finally, the reason I believe this will not be a blockbuster, is because of two reasons.

1. On the net people rarely pay for content. 2. Scrappy entrepreneurs by my guess, are not the ones who would fall in the category of "paying people".

I do hope that Andrew is successful though.


I recently made 6 figures in one hour when people paid for my content.

People pay for trusted, consistent online content that will help them achieve specific solutions. And Andrew's interviews are a prime example.

There are lots of people doing this. They just don't show up on many Web 2.0 sites.


There is nothing wrong with chit-chat :) Actually I do love chit-chat.

I didn't mean bad, what I meant they are conversational interviews, they are not focused on teaching you something. The very nature of these interviews is the reason that I wouldn't pay money for them.

I'd pay for MIT Startup Bootcamp videos because they are solely focus on something which directly potentially almost instantly will effect my business (if the topic is relevant). In these interview I'm lucky if I can pick up 2-3 things by pure luck.

So again I don't mean bad, I think they are really nice, but it's like renting a video from a video store. Not great for business but great to watch and have a good time.

However if I'm going to pay I expect the get some more actionable outcome from it.


These interviews are pretty dense with information if you are ready to pay attention and take action. These are people who have "done it" and are teaching you what worked for them.

Yes, spoon feeding days are over. And yes, that is a good thing.


To extend on what you said. I think the price points are wrong. I'm not sure the interviews are strong enough to justify at minimum a $25/month recurring subscription. I would potentially pay a few dollars (prob not though). If nothing else I would rather pay as I go ($1 a video or something) as opposed to the subscription. What it comes down to is that a lot of these people are being interviewed elsewhere that can be consumed for free. Without offering something different I'm not sur ehte price point is justified...


I've tested many prices for my content products at iwillteachyoutoberich.com/scroogestrategy.com/earn1k.com.

Andrew, based on my experience and data from the content/marketing industry, I'd encourage you to charge more -- at a MINIMUM $47/month, probably $97/month or even $297/month.

If you want to chat about why I suggest this, and some of my internal metrics, please email me.


Sounds like a good interview brewing. I agree though I don't have the numbers to back up my position yet. Would love to hear the lessons learned from your experience.


The issue I see here though is that people will pay a lot of money if they think that they can get really high value out of your videos, such as you claiming to have a short cut to millions.

Andrews videos are useful but they aren't your short cut to millions, start ups are still going to be a lot of work and a big gamble no matter how much wisdom you have gained from people on the subject.


If that works, he'll make more profit at the expense of the community.

I'm sure there are plenty of upstarts who find these videos extremenly valuable, but aren't willing or able to pay hundreds of dollars. I don't think it's in Andrew's goals to do that.


Well, I've read all 60 comments on this thread, and I'm not convinced. I think this decision is bullshit. The type of people who need to see these videos don't have the kind of money Andrew is asking for.

What is the ideal story for these videos? That some kid who doesn't know what to do with his life stumbles across them and is inspired to start a startup. Is that going to happen with a $25/month paywall? Of course not.

Andrew - what's the purpose of your site? Is it a social service? Or is it a for-profit business? I do not get the impression you are poor. I cannot imagine how the bandwidth costs of the site exceed $100/month or so (and if they do, talk to me). But if you see it as a for-profit business, I think it will fail. And if it's supposed to be a "giving back" social dividend for your own success - and that's honestly the impression I got - then this nickel-and-diming will shoot it in the head.


The type of people who need to see these videos don't have the kind of money Andrew is asking for.

I think that's the strange thing about this.

On one hand, Andrew makes out to only have an interest in helping others out. But then he starts charging. It's starting to look like the guy who wants to teach you how to make a million dollars next year -- if you'll only buy his $29.95 book

Of course, it's his site to do with it what he wants. And I don't begrudge a man for wanting to make a few bucks. But this doesn't fit into what he says he's trying to do.

It's almost like he can't help himself -- he wants to tell a story a few years from now about how this venture made X dollars. As if by doing it for free, somehow it undermines his image as a crafty businessperson.

But that's just idle speculation on my part.


I agree, the $25 / month approach definitely seems weird.

I see a lot of reasons for Andrew wanting to charge. People countlessly complain on here about the quality of transcripts. That could be remedied if he had more money coming in. Charging might also support the b/w costs. Not sure how much he has been taking in via the ads in the beginning of his videos.

I have to wonder if there is a better solution for what he is trying to accomplish. To me, part of the problem with making Mixergy throw off cash probably stems from the fact that right now the audience is kind of narrow. It targets scrappy people involved in startups. Advertising probably wont yield much on that end.

Maybe the goal should be to actually expand Mixergy's audience to a wider audience to create more advertising opportunities. I wonder if Andrew has ever considered trying to offer his programming on one of the bigger tech sites. Some kind of deal there could work and he has a good library of content built up.


Bandwidth costs do exceed $100, but that's not a factor.


"The type of people who need to see these videos don't have the kind of money Andrew is asking for."

What sort of moronic bullshit is that? Can you not mow your neighbor's lawn for a few hours on a weekend?


$25/month is not a big deal. Andrew works his butt off setting up these interviews, researching the interviewees and their companies, and then talking to these folks for 60 minutes each time (not to mention paying for transcription services, hosting fees, etc.)

The sense of entitlement here is appalling.


I can only speak for myself: I only think it's weird that the interviews were given when the site was free. If the interviewees are fine with it, and obviously for the coming interviews, I wish him luck. I personally won't subscribe, but then entrepreneurs also aren't entitled to me having to buy their product.

25$ not being much: if you are not Ramen profitable, it is (It's 5 days of food). To put it in perspective: 25$ is the price of my internet flatrate or a book like "Founders At Work". At the moment I don't buy every book I fancy.

Not saying the interviews are not worth 25$ (don't know), but it is not a "sense of entitlement" to simply have other priorities for spending 25$.


IMHO, the value that most people here derive from Mixergy >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> 1-tank of gas




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