The realities of ‘beta’

We promised that this blog would allow you to follow along with the development of Brring — to watch us ‘make the sausage’ as it were. Well, sometimes it isn’t pretty; this is one of those times.

I’m found of saying, much to the chagrin of my friends, that start-ups are strange beasts. They exist in a bit of a reality distortion field (RDF) generated by the founders. This is the source of the energy start-up folks use to build companies (and markets) from nothing. It takes a special kind of person to thrive at a start-up; someone who can draw energy and inspiration from that RDF and commit enormous amounts of personal resources (time and emotion) as well as incur the financial risks asscociated with a fledgling company.

The Brring Team is comprised of seasoned start-up veterans. We have the experience (and scars) from several prior start-up ventures so none of this is news to us. We also understand that our members may not have that experience, nor should they need it, to enjoy our Service. However, there are a few things that we do need to share with you that, we hope, will give you an insight into the operation of our ‘baby’.

During the ‘beta’ phase of Brring we, the Brring Team, are financing this service from our own personal bank accounts. We are receiving no payments from advertisers.

Although we have experienced solid growth the realities of our beta service are that we are still a small audience to most advertisers. We are running evaluations with several advertisers for which we are not receiving any payment. There is value to us in that we gain experience with adding functionality that entices advertisers as well as operational experience running the service. The advertisers get some exposure and feedback on the effectiveness of advertising on the Brring service.

The cost of running the Brring service is quite significant; tens of thousands in telephone charges alone. These charges as well as all the reward payouts — over $12,000 so far — have come directly from the pockets of the founders. This is in addition to all the servers, bandwidth, hosting, etc. that comes with an internet company.

In addition to from the emotional and time resources committed by the Brring Team most of us are working without pay. It’s a double whammy on the ol’ bank account — nothing coming in and LOTS going out.

We spend a good deal of energy and time, searching for financial partners that can help us build the service we envisioned at the start. Having been down the start-up road before we know to be very careful about the partners we take in this venture. We are making good progress on this front, right about on plan, but prudence is more important than speed in such things.

We don’t share this with you looking for sympathy; we share it so that you may have an insight into what it takes to make the wheels go around on the Brring service. We are grateful for your past patience and understand and for your anticipated patience and support as we continue to grow this thing we call Brring!.

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One Response to “The realities of ‘beta’”

  1. Hey Guys, I’m a big fan – here’s a thought – Do away with the rewards altogether. The real value to users here is the fact that I can have a “virtual” number that I can give out without revealing my true number. Better still, it can be in any area code of my choosing – so, let’s say my family lives in Florida and I live in California – I can set up a Florida Brring number for my family to call me at “local” rates. Or, let’s say I run a small business and I want a “presence” in a new market – I could set up a Brring number in my new target market. Potential customers will think that I am a local.

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