Burn Baby Burn
Broadcasting live and interactive grinds was by no means a cheap affair. In fact, it was fucking expensive. We would pay teachers up to €110 per hour to come in and deliver their grind. Paying this kind of money would be fine if we had 15 or so students tuning in to watch every live broadcast, each paying €10 for the service. The problem was that students rarely purchased the ‘pay-per-grind’ €10 package. Instead, they bought the ‘pay-per-month’ deal where they would get access to all live and archived grinds for the month, all for €50. This was what EVERYONE went for. So, this meant that you could have a teacher delivering his grind, with only 2 students tuning in. This was a common occurrence in our physics grinds. Now, you don’t need to be Einstein or Newton to realise that we weren’t making money with this business model.
The cash burn rate was mega. I have never seen a business burn cash as quickly. It was like taking €80,000 in €5 notes, putting them into a wooden barrel, getting a group of dwarves to do an Irish jig in the barrel, dousing the compressed notes with airline fuel, closing the lid, getting the dwarves to roll the barrel to Ballymun on Halloween night and fuck it into the nearest bonfire. In fact, no, you would be pushed to burn cash as quickly this way as you would by broadcasting live and interactive grinds.
More Money More Money More Money
Remember that every grind we broadcast on a live and interactive basis would be put into an archive to be viewed at a later point at a cheaper price (€5 as opposed to €10). It was for this reason that we took the gamble of losing money hand over fist with the live and interactive element, as students could still watch and pay for the archived grinds in their own time. Did this ever happen? No sir.
The archive element never really took off. Although, the most money we ever made was over the Easter holidays, where we packaged all of our archive content up for the attractive sum of €30. This was a big hit. And guess what, no liveness, no interactivity. This was the first time I began to question the live and interactive model. The fact that nobody had ever attempted this before was now beginning to make so much sense to me. I’ll never forget a man called Philip O’Callaghan from the Super Generation (hi Philip if you are reading!) telling me that I would be pissing in the wind if I were to embark on a journey of live and interactive grinds. I should have listened to Philip. Hey Philip, (I KNOW you are reading), pints on me next time!
Realising that we were (figuratively speaking) walking a short distance down to the River Liffey and fucking about 6 €50 notes into the beautifully clean water on a daily basis, I had to give Sean a ring. Ringing Sean asking him for more money always reminded me of asking my parents for more pocket money. I would have to convince them that I wasn’t simply going to buy sweets, but something much more healthy. Fortunately Sean was a little more forthcoming with the cash than mum or dad. My sweet story seemed to work a lot better for him.
So, having convinced Sean that our need for about €10k more was for purposes much more important than Skittles and Moro bars, the money was transferred, along with a very comprehensive loan note (another differentiating factor from my sweet dealings with mum and dad). This brought Sean’s total investment in OnlineGrinds.ie to €50k; the original €40k investment funds, plus the €10k loan. It was only late January, a mere 2 weeks after we had officially launched.
You need to listen up now very attentively and carefully to what I am about to say:
One of the conditions of the loan note was that if, for any reason, the €10k could not be repaid, Sean’s company would have the right to take the assets from our company. A much more sinister condition than any loving mammy or daddy would attach to a sweet deal, says you.
Please don’t forget what you just read in the past 5 seconds. It is imperative that you remember this information.