January 14, 2008
You might have noticed that things have been a little quiet recently on the feature front. The reality, behind the scenes, is we have been furiously at work making some major changes to our business.
As Design Contests has grown, a problem with a percentage of contest holders abandoning contests or not paying designers has arisen. This has been deeply concerning us for sometime now, as I know it has been concerning our designers. The logical answer to this problem is to start taking some or all of the prize money up front from contest holders – in other words reducing the risk for designers. This combined with some changes to the way we run design contests, seemed like it would make things a lot better.
With that decision made, we sat down to figure out the best way to do things properly from a business perspective as well (as you can imagine the business model that we’re describing has many different ramifications associated with it). At the same time we realized that the “future” design contests was a very different business to SitePoint, and in order for it to reach its full potential we really needed to set it free from sitepoint.com and brand it differently. It very quickly became clear to us that the best way to achieve everything we wanted to with Design Contests was to separate it from SitePoint and setup a new company focused only on Design Contests, so 99designs was born.
Paul, myself and Mark Harbottle (one of the founders of SitePoint) have signed on as the full-time team for the new company, 99designs, which represents a massive leap for us. We believe that we can build something incredible for you guys and we’re totally excited about it – so much so that we quit our day jobs at SitePoint to do it!
So, what does this mean for you? Well, the steps between here and there are:
- A release of Design Contests with minimal re-branding, completely separate from the forums and sitepoint.com
- A logo contest and design refresh for the site – 99designs.com
- A reputation system, credit collection up front and some changes to how we run contests
Things should speed up from this point, as we have spent the past 6 weeks just working on step 1, which was quite an undertaking.
I will leave you with some of the design concepts we have been working on, look out for a design contest for our new logo soon!