The "Number" of dollars I would consider it to take for me to declare ATS is "Making Money" is equal to the combined monthly expenses
SkepticOverlord, Simon Gray, William One Sac, ZeddicusZulZorander and I incur right now period.
The DAY this beloved experiment can cover that, allowing all of us
to dedicate 100% of our varied and significant professional expertise
to this wondrous site, I will GLADLY, OPENLY and LOUDLY proclaim that ATS is "Officially making money"!
Today, it just isn't close, it's not even in the same galaxy of the above.
We do have "detractors" out there (99.999% disgruntled former Members and staff who didn't "get it" and one utter, sociopath LOON) who decry
EVERYTHING WE DO to improve the site as "Selling Out/In It ONLY for the money" ALL of these "detractors" have one thing in common, a COMPLETE
misunderstanding of what ATS is, exactly. There's the rub
for them, they know they love the idea but they can't fathom the ETHICS,
RESPECT and TRUST REQUIRED to MAKE IT HAPPEN.
To those who fear some sort of ideological "takeover" by "interested investors" and or as yet unnamed "Corporate ghouls" I would suggest
thinking about this logically. Imagine yourself an investor, you have a pile of cash that isn't making you any money so you want to invest it to get
it making you money.
Let's say you decide to invest it in purple shoe laces because the whole bloody world is SCREAMING for purple shoe laces! Are you going to try to
change the shoe laces to pink because you
like pink better than purple after you spent all your money investing in purple shoe laces?
Hell no you're not! If you wanted to do something THAT stupid you'd have simply started making pink laces, advertised the hell out of them, bought a
couple "starlets" commercial time to make them fashionable and been DONE with it right?
I'll say it again...
ATS WILL NEVER BE TWISTED INTO SOME MEANINGLESS, COMMERCIAL PARODY OF ITSELF, EVER! ATS WILL NEVER BE A "PAY SITE" THAT REQUIRES A MEMBERSHIP
ATS will NEVER be covered in advertisements, matter of fact, if our plans work out the site will have LESS ads in the future than it has now!
S.O.'s comment about "mass marketing" means we will be mass marketing ATS
, in other words, you'll be likely to see commercials
on your favorite TV program or on the internet, on the "BIG DADDY" sites.
The reality is we have taken ATS just about as far as it can go with what we are able to give it. It's been the benefactor of tens of thousands of
dollars, many thousands of hours of work and the unwaivering LOVE of the THREE AMIGOS, ADMINS, SUPER MODERATORS, MODERATORS, FSMEs, COUNCILORS and of
course the REGISTERED MEMBERS
and it has gone FAR, farther than we thought it would.
Recently we made a decision that ATS is WORTH THE EFFORT
to see how far it can go
There will be those who will pull from this effort one thing and one thing only, "the Three Amigos are only in it for the money" or "The Three
Amigos sold out", if the former were the case we would have dropped this effort LONG AGO, if the latter were the case we would be the dumbest men on
the planet. I would NOT come back to ATS if I EVER saw a distinct "agenda" being pushed in the ways the typical site pushes an "agenda". The
Membership of ATS is WAY TOO ASTUTE
for those kind of lame attempts and would see through it in hours.
So here we are, VERY EXCITING TIMES lay ahead on the ATS path, I thinks it's a superlative testament to what WE
have done here to have
the "serious internet money" crowd interested in supporting the mission/vision
that is ATS. Most who read this will come along with us
and reap the benefits, some will move on, some will be standing at the ready to decry the great experiment as something it is not in the hope of
distracting the honest and pulling them in another direction.
No matter what happens, it has been my personal PLEASURE and HONOR to have been "in the thick of it" to this point.
[edit on 11-16-2006 by Springer]