Carving out your own niche, bit by bit.

13 Aug
2013

So we’ve had a fun 3 weeks. Our S-G Reference keeps selling, our traffic keeps growing, and things look good. My biggest fear is that we forget that while we know stuff, there is a lot more we don’t know.

A nice problem to have.

But not why I’m posting. I’m posting here to expand on the Why I do what I do post.

The story is simple. I’m an immigrant. I worked my ass off in high school and university (went to university on full scholarship; lost it within the first semester), continued to work my ass off a few years after, and then opted to retire. By no means was I rich, but I was well-off, the sites ran themselves, and I wanted to have adventures now instead of 20 years down the road.

And that stuck. For a while. I guess the drive that made me work so hard came back. And so while I had my mid-life crisis around my mid-20s, my “I’m going to die and what is my legacy going to be?” crisis seems to have hit me in my late 20s.

I’ll admit, Examine.com started off as something cool to do, but it has morphed into something more. I keep harping to the team that we now have a legitimate responsibility – when 10000+ people are visiting your site every day, you need to make sure you aren’t like so many other hucksters and charlatans, all focused on separating money from their respective visitors. We’re building something cool, and we can’t fuck it up.

We get contacted by supplement companies all the time. The standard response is: “We are independent, neutral, and un-biased. The moment we work with you on that, we lose our direction.” But the other day, I did talk to a guy who ran one (he works with a good friend of mine). And you could hear the incredulity in his voice when I talked about how our interest is not in making a buck, how we are making enough every day (30+ sales per day of our S-G Reference, the math is easy!), and how we’re more focused on being useful than anything else (and thus why our first hire will be another researcher). He was left stammering.

I don’t want eFame (though I will admit being on Ahhnold’s site tickled me plenty). I’m not after money (my share from the S-G Reference? Low low low 4 digits). I just want to build something cool.

Kamal Patel told me the the following a few days ago: “Also…got back from a doctors appointment where we were talking about sleep supplements. I mentioned examinecom, and he goes “oh yeah, i’ve been there before”

Most people in fitness build their own brands (and I fully appreciate why they do that). I want to build up Examine.com. I want it to be much bigger than Kurtis or me or anyone else.

3 Responses to Carving out your own niche, bit by bit.

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Jonathan Goodman

August 14th, 2013 at 1:55 pm

It’s a great service you’ve built man. Now we just have to get that Teiko guy to stop talking shit about you behind your back.

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Tim Arndt

August 22nd, 2013 at 12:50 pm

Sol, the only complaint I have is that you never told me you had your own blog! Luckily Paul Ingraham shared this great little tid bit. You are truly a service first businessman and I certainly appreciate that.

Great perspective here and thanks for sharing it.

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Debbie

August 22nd, 2013 at 1:17 pm

I too am miffed that your blog was a big fat secret.
but I forgive you
xo
deb

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