I hereby suggest that we, as the web development community, from herein going forward ban all references to uniques, pageviews and hits.
The only metric that really matters to the creation of a viable web company is revenues - but more specifically profits. Not just revenues & profits, but revenues & profits per month.
It’s not about making $1M in one month and nothing for the next 20 years (although, if that’s your MO, kudos to you). It’s about building a sustainable business that generates steady monthly revenues and profits.
It is very difficult for me to think of any other industry, in history, where you can build a product company with net margins (i.e. after all costs and expenses are taken out from revenues) of 50+% on a monthly recurring basis, with literally one or two people. Said another way, once the product is built, $0.50 of every dollar earned is profit. This assumes that you will be reinvesting X % of your revenues in marketing to drive future growth and building out your team. Of course, as you expand and grow your net margins will reduce significantly because of higher expenses (staff/HR, infrastructure, etc.). But the figures are incredibly attractive…almost Ponzi-like.
However, hits/pageviews/uniques don’t buy slippers for your daughter’s dance recital - so from here on out, I suggest we put more of a focus on revenues generated on a monthly basis - and not on those other metrics.
If your app/site is dependent on advertising and eyeballs, then this can’t fully apply to you. But I would suggest that perhaps you might want to look at other options & business models.
Editors Note: While I acknowledge that ‘banning’ the use of those metrics is a bit of hyperbole (there are good uses for them in some situations), I think we need a major shift in mindset from eyeballs (i.e. uniques and pageviews) to more business/profit centric metrics. Many people are uncomfortable with this idea, so I think we should start the shift now so that more and more people can get comfortable with it and migrate to it - for the long term viability of our industry’s sake. Profits don’t kill people. People kill people.
Aside: The idea for this post came from me going through the process of trying to figure out a pricing plan for my, soon-to-be-released, web app targeted specifically at designers and agencies that need to share multiple versions of their graphic work with clients and other stakeholders.