We hit the 5,000 Patrons milestone.. It is unbelievable how quickly this has happened. We now also have the 34th most Patrons out of all creators on Patreon. All of this is crazy and happening too fast for anything to actually settle in.
When we moved to Patreon in June, I told everyone that by December, we needed at least 800 Patrons to make Safari Sight sustainable. Many people laughed and said we had no chance to succeed. They thought we would be yet another startup they supported to just go under after a couple months. We ended up trouncing that goal in early August, way before December.
Later in August, we hit the true test of our resilience. The same day that we reached 1,000 Patrons, unrelated technical limitations were introduced that permanently changed the way that we would be able to operate. The afternoon began with excitement and ended with a knot in my stomach. I knew we would find a way to prevail, but it was a setback nonetheless. We were running with less than half of our features working, yet people continued to pledge. Very large monetary investments went mostly to waste at this point and it became much more expensive to run the service with high quality. It took us a couple of weeks to get our service back up to 80% and another month or so to bring it back to where it once was.
This incident in August might have turned out for the best. It ended up making the barrier to entry much greater for competitors in the industry. With our incredible infrastructure, technical trade secrets, and the amazing people working day and night to help keep Safari Sight running in hundreds of cities in three continents all over the world, we have found a formula to overcome the odds.
It hasn’t been a free ride since August, but this post is starting to turn into a novel for another day.
This wouldn’t be possible without the people who volunteer to help me with busywork, answer questions from users, design graphics, give me feedback, stop me from implementing absurdly horribly ideas, and much more. I will be forever in debt to all of you!
Safari Sight is just getting started.