It's your every-so-often The Key Players Club progress report. Hey, it's December. Happy holidays, Hokies.
At the time of publish, TKP's benefactor group was 357 Hokies strong. 👏 Although, November and December's signups lagged behind August–October's, and the club is still 643 members short of its launch goal.
TKPC was conceived with the best intentions. Those with the financial resources who value TKP's content and community could support the website in order to enhance its offering for the benefit of all. Based on TKP's gaudy audience size, absurdly high engagement (y'all TKP hard), and an educated guess on spending power, I thought the community would break 1,000 within a month, tops.
That has not happened.
Let me backup. I enjoy building things. I blame Legos for an early age addiction. TKP has afforded me the opportunity build a readership, media platform, slick software stack, a community (with a lot of help), and a business. Yet, I am not complacent and the latter, entrepreneurship, is what interests me the most. Time is a limited resource, and my family and full-time job account for most of my daily 86,400 seconds. On an average day, the rest of my "free" time (and much of the aforementioned allotted) is dedicated to TKP (and sometimes sleep). However, it's becoming more apparent to me if I want to build a successful business, my time investment in TKP is an unwise one given its current business model. That realization made me sad because TKP is my baby.
These are all possible scenarios moving forward (not inclusive).
Maintain the status quo and see what happens. Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. (No matter who said it, it's the truth.) This does not seem like a valid solution.
Invest time in a new side hustle. Not my prefered outcome by any means, but it's among the most realistic.
Completely redefine TKP's business strategy. TKP could become a premium content website. Or perhaps it becomes a subscription email list that publishes only during the football months.
Exclusive articles for The Key Players Club. Every so often TKP's most valuable and unique content is only available to TKPC members. My hypothesis is there are a lot of folks who read TKP who don't know about TKPC and would support it, but the only way to get them to notice is to put a barrier in the way. Additionally, there are people who value TKP and have the means to support it, but only when nudged. This will no doubt alienate those who believe they have a right to content online, but it's otherwise minimally invasive.
None of the above is what I envisioned the outcome of The Key Players Club would be 10 months ago, but business/life/... isn't always sunshine, rainbows, and wins over UVA* (*unless you are 13-years-old and younger). It's about dealing with change, the unexpected, and adversity.
Virginia Tech athletics is poised for exciting and memorable times ahead. I believe Hokies deserve coverage that exceeds their love of the maroon and orange. My ultimate hope is TKP can self-fund its first full-time reporter, which would only serve to help finance subsequent coverage. This would spiral into something magical. However, TKP needs your help to realize the next step. Those of you who can afford it, consider joining The Key Players Club and supporting The Key Play.