January 1, 2009

Thank you

posted by philip in Snooth

I am not a fan of anything associated with “year in review” or “predictions for the upcoming year”. And, don’t get me started on New Years resolutions (if anything, they should be April resolutions, as most people’s resolutions involve things like “get in shape” or “eat less candy” which is a little hard to do when there are festive leftovers and its frigid outside).

My objection with these sweeping proclamations is that they are either pointless reminiscences or pure flights of fancy. Most lists of the “10 things that are bound to happen in 2009″ have a 20% accuracy rate, if lucky. What I would like to read, is whats actually going to happen in the coming year.

I don’t know if Facebook will IPO, or if they will acquire Twitter, or if they will simply remain independent, and so I’ll stay silent on the matter. The same with the wine market as a whole – while some are claiming the sky is falling, others are simply pointing to a mere 2% decline in consumer spending in the 4th quarter (after gas spend has been backed out) – hardly huge cause for consternation.

2008 clearly brought huge turmoil to many people, and I hope for a more stable 2009 for everyone. However, here I’m going to stick to what I know, and even better, what I can control (at least partly). And so, here’s what will happen with Snooth in 2009.

  • We’ll work hard, release new features, improve those already there, make some mistakes, correct quickly and carry on.
  • We’ll listen carefully to you, our users – the community that makes this site what it is. I don’t guarantee that we’ll implement everything you ask for. In fact many feature requests, unfortunately, will never see the light of day as we have to prioritize how to spend our time and have to make sure we build features that benefit the most users.
  • We’ll make it a priority to provide a platform for professionals (stores, wineries, bloggers, critics etc.) to interact with our users.
  • The Snooth API will be extended and you’ll see Snooth powering the wine results of some very major sites.
  • We’ll grow our monthly user base to over 1,000,000 users per month.
  • We’ll have over 250,000 registered users.
  • We’ll generate sales for the wine industry of over $50 million.

These last three bullet points are neither wishes, nor wild hopes, but actually conservative forecasts based on our current data and our growth rates – in fact, there’s a good chance we’ll greatly exceed these numbers. In December 2008 we had 616,477 unique users use our site and over the course of 2008, our first full year of operations, had the pleasure of serving 2,508,254 unique individuals. These numbers represent a greater than 400% growth rate year over year.

And we now begin our journey into 2009, with over 70,000 registered users, 1 million wines in our database, 11,000 store inventories tracked across 50 countries and over 2 million reviews. Thanks to all your involvement, Snooth is the worlds largest interactive wine site, and poised to be the worlds largest wine site by the end of this year.

I speak on behalf of the lean, 7 person, Snooth team when I say its been an honor and a pleasure for each of us to have had the opportunity to meet, befriend and interact with so many of you. We all look forward to shepherding the site on your behalf for the many years to come.

Happy New Year to you all!

by Philip · January 2, 2009 at 2:26 pm

Some good background as to why I avoid the “prediction” emails:
http://www.businessweek.com/bwdaily/dnflash/content/dec2008/db20081224_028134.htm

by mark · January 6, 2009 at 10:35 am

Good post, Philip. It was a great year. It has been a blast working on Snooth and I’m raring to go for 2009. Thank you all!

by Francisco · January 2, 2009 at 8:33 am

Happy 2009, Philip. I love everything that Snooth provides because there’s nothing else comparable. I look forward to all the exciting prospects for this year, as well as any opportunity to assist you in any way.

by philip · January 2, 2009 at 10:46 am

Francisco – thanks for commenting, and thanks for the support.

by Andrew · January 2, 2009 at 2:55 pm

Snooth goes from strength to strength and I’m happy to give you my insignificant support. Would be nice to see Spittoon in your blogroll mind ;-)

Happy New Year.

by philip · January 2, 2009 at 3:13 pm

Andy – an omission on our part, you’ve been added

by Darren Herman · January 5, 2009 at 9:57 pm

Philip, congratulations on the success in ’08 and looking forward to a great ’09. – D

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