A few days ago, I read this article about how the brothers behind the online political parodies, JibJab, are turning their passion into profit. Recently they switched their strategy to focus on e-cards, asking their audience to pay $12 per year for an annual subscription. Though they won't disclose how much they've made, more than 80 million JibJab cards were shared in the fourth quarter alone!
Head on over to USA Today
to read about their remarkable story. It's interesting to note that even after their two 2004 political videos, This Land and Good to be in D.C. attracted more than 100 million online views, they still didn't have a solid business plan.
As they state, "Everyone asked us how we were going to make a living," says Gregg Spiridellis, who serves as JibJab Media's CEO. "We wondered that, too."
I think the coolest part of this story is that after they hooked up with Jon Flint from the venture capital firm, Polaris Ventures, they decided on entering the e-card business, positioning themselves against American Greetings. Their angle? Their "edgy comedy and production values" that "can attract an audience that's not interested in the standard fare."
Three years later, JibJab sports more than 1,200 different possible card combinations, all produced by the staff of 35 at JibJab's headquarters.
How do people use these e-cards? In very creative ways.
"JibJab subscriber Brian Valente uses the service at least once a week, as a way of keeping his business contacts intact.
He snaps their picture with his iPhone. "They think it's just for their address book picture, but then I create a JibJab card saying 'thanks for lunch today' or whatever we did, and when they receive it they are always tickled," Valente says.
"To get yourself into JibJab animations, you upload photos, arrange the heads to fit the pre-arranged cutouts, adjust the jaw movement and then drag the face into the card.
"The brothers have effectively targeted Facebook, where the JibJab application has 1.2 million active monthly users. Instead of uploading photos from your hard drive to create a JibJab, you also have the option of just grabbing photos already in your Facebook library. The finished product can be posted."
This story just goes to show that you can ultimately turn your passion into profit. In fact, the Spiridellis brothers prove that, in the beginning, you don't have to know exactly where you're going. Opportunities will present themselves at the right moment...you just have to be ready.
Watch the video at USA Today
to feel even more inspired.