2007 was a big year for TPN in lots of ways. We grew; we stumbled; we struggled; we survived. Bootstrapping a start-up isn’t glamorous. Trying to keep a fast-growing business alive when revenues are still small and you are funding it organically can be frustrating. Every day brings new challenges. Things you survive by telling yourself “one day it won’t be like this”.
We started off the year with a re-design of the homepage and lots of fast growth. Around the middle of year our server admin quit and I had to put a stop to adding new shows. Then a couple of months later our webdev quit. For the last couple of months we’ve been getting by with favours from friends whenever we need IT support. So it’s been frustrating on lots of levels. In March I thought we would finish the year with a million listeners a month. We missed that goal. Since March we’ve been hovering between 450,000 – 500,000 listeners a month. Now – when I compare that to some of the radio stations in Melbourne or Sydney, I feel pretty good. TPN, currently, one full-time employee. Me. No funding. No sales team. No IT team. Just me and a team of excellent, dedicated and PATIENT podcast producers who have tolerated our bumps over the last couple of years. I want to thank them all for their sense of humour when things go awry (like they did again over the last couple of days when out FTP server flaked on us) and their continued support for the TPN vision.
However, despite the struggles, it was a pretty good year. As you can see from the numbers below, we served nearly 5.5 million listeners during the year (okay, that number is slightly bullshit – it’s our monthly unique visitor numbers added together – but it sounds good so I’m sticking with it), who listened to nearly 7 million TPN podcasts (that number is legit). That’s a HUGE number, especially when you consider that since we launched in early 2005 we’ve only delivered a little over 11 million podcasts. Thinking about that 7 million number for a second – if we assume that each podcast is an average of 30 minutes long, that means you listened to us for 3.5 million hours (145, 833 days or 400 years non-stop) in 2007. No wonder your brain is hurting.
Of course I also want to thank our listeners and supporters. Those of you who listen to our shows, interact with us on the blogs, in Facebook, at MODM, Twitter, Second Life, etc. Without you we really would be what the cynics in the mainstream media think we are – people sitting in our undies, talking to ourselves.