End of the road for Insightory.com

Got this email from Insightory.com founder Avneet Jolly – too bad that Insightory has decided to shut shop 

I blogged about Insightory.com in the early days – hoping that it would become a knowledge sharing site for management related content. 

As Avneet shares, it clearly was not enough to drive the traffic to monetizable levels.

What should it have done?

It's always easy to get wisdom and comment in hindsight, but here goes. 

I personally think that if Insightory had incentivised the creation of a social network around the larger social object of knowledge and encouraged communities to form – and focused on the creators rather than the documents – repeat visits would have been higher. Otherwise it merely was playing catchup to larger document sharing sites like scribd and the 800 pound gorilla Slideshare which moved away from only slides to documents too. 

Of course, as I said, that is wisdom in hindsight. 

Here's Avneet's mail :

Hi all,

I wanted to let you all know that we have decided to shut down Insightory.com.

Insightory was an experiment in aggregating management-focused content that soon became more-than-a-hobby-but-less-than-a-business. The site itself has grown a lot since we started 2 years ago. We regularly featured content from the best-known business authors, professors, firms and even senior corporate executives. It gave me a huge thrill to host the insights of people whose books I used to read in b-school – Tom Peters, David Maister, Andrew Sobel, Graef Crystal etc. It was also gratifying to help leading global firms like Booz & Co, Watson Wyatt, Nielsen etc – as well as hundreds of smaller firms – promote their thought leadership through Insightory. The range of topics also kept growing – we covered everything from business strategy to generational issues, and from social media to business statistics! This probably sounds immodest, but there aren’t that many sites that give access to such a wide range of quality management content for free.

We logged well over 1,000 page views per day last month. Since the traffic kept growing and the content kept coming in without too much effort from us – we let the site coast for almost a year. Unfortunately, we could never settle on a business model that would let us invest in the technology or content partnerships that could take us to the next level. Every model we looked at seemed to require exponentially more traffic and users than we had – or could reasonably expect in the next few years. The sharp decline in online ad rates didn’t help either.

For a while, we even believed that we could let the site run without any revenue generation at all. But the cost and time required to run such a site with any level of quality & professionalism is not insignificant. At the same time, my other work (I also run a consulting firm) kept growing and taking up an every-increasing % of my time. It has now reached a point where I need to (gasp!) make a significant investment in office space and staff! The writing was on the wall for several months, but I guess it took the end-of-year clarity of vision (should that be hindsight??) to really see it. 
We will terminate our hosting contract shortly. The site will no longer be hosted after Jan 31, 2010. That should give you enough time to review your account and migrate your documents to another document/ presentation sharing site. If you need support with your documents after that date, please let me know and I will try to help you as best as I can. Rest assured – your documents, profile and contact information will NEVER be shared with anyone else.

THANK YOU for helping us build the site to this point. You contributed by sharing your documents (even if in response to repeated entreaties from Laurie Smith, Selene Cong, Donna Sacks or me!), commenting on others’ documents and sharing ideas for features and functions that the site should have. I sincerely hope you got something positive out of that experience, and will continue to share your insights on other platforms as well.

It was wonderful getting to know many of you – even if only by email or phone. I hope you will stay in touch.

Please let me know if you have any questions.

Wishing you a great holiday, and a happy & healthy 2010.
Best regards,
Avneet Jolly



Posted via email from Miscellanous


About Gautam

Gautam is a HR professional interested in how emerging technologies are impacting work, careers and organizations.

Posted on December 28, 2009, in blogging. Bookmark the permalink. Comments Off on End of the road for Insightory.com.

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