Saturday, April 5, 2008

Quietly, a spectacular week

Sometimes, you have to stop and take stock of what's going on. For the past five months we've been charging forward like some kind of proverbial charging thing, and we rarely have the chance to really take a moment to celebrate what we've achieved. While we're loathe to sit back and just think "my god we're awesome," we do occasionally have brief moments where we look back and think, "wow, this week was actually a pretty big deal."

A1.jpgFor a start, we finally closed out the second round of our series A funding; our series A1. The money is in the bank, the lawyers are done with their expensive lawyering, the papers are all signed. Ira and I can breathe a bit of a sigh of relief, and think about our day-to-day business dealings exclusively for a while. It by no means takes the pressure off...but it takes one of the pressures off. For a while, anyway.

Secondly, we closed out version 1.2 of What They Play. This was a project that's been ongoing for some time, and its felt like we've had a never-ending bug list to attend to. Every time bugs were fixed, new ones (or, frustratingly, old ones) would rear their ugly heads and we'd start to notice more and more things that we wanted to fix. With v1.2 done, we're moving on to a new phase of development, and while we refer to the next batch of enhancements as "1.3" we're not going to be approaching landmarks like that any more. We have a big list of things that need to be done, and we'll be rolling them out as and when they're completed. As part of this, John has brought a freelance engineer on board (who started on Monday) and this week we prioritized all of the stuff that we want to roll out between now and the summer.

Sales has been kicking ass. Rachelle and Tracy were in New York for the bulk of the week, and had closed out two new deals by the time they were back on Friday. On the home front, Ira worked his magic on two big accounts, and I'm pretty sure there are more that I'm forgetting about. The Rockstar campaign for Bully that's been on the site for the past few weeks has been performing really well, and we just started running the ads for Okami on Wii from Capcom mid-week. We're getting more and more meetings booked with the right people, and we've finally nailed down arrangements with a number of big names that we'd been pestering since the tail end of last year.

On the edit side, we hit a big landmark this week; we posted our 1000th product write-up/review/piece/thing on Thursday. This has been something we've had our eye on doing for a while, and psychologically, at least, it marks a major milestone for us. The database is starting to feel appropriately "full." There's still lots to do...but a thousand of anything is a lot of stuff. We also have nearly 50 feature articles on the site, too. A less spectacular number I know, but it wasn't so very long ago that you could count that number on your fingers.

traffic trend.jpgTraffic was good this week too. We had our biggest traffic day ever at the beginning of the week, and the overall trend has been heading in the right direction for the past month or two. As with everything else, there's a long way to go...but it's nice to have a string of "best day for xyz ever" in quick succession. We also had our best week for referrals too. The Grand Theft Auto IV story we posted got the most Diggs we've ever had, and it threw off some OK traffic, too. It's kinda funny getting excited about the small numbers we get jazzed about lately. In the old days on 1UP we'd get excited about numbers in the thousands...these days, anything that gets into double-digits starts to be a big deal.

And all that was in just one week. I'm pretty sure there was more that happened, too. We had a quick end-of-week celebration with champagne that was left over in the fridge from when we launched, and we lost track of everything while we were toasting...that's always a good sign, right?
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