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Thread: Interview with Matt Mickiewicz (from Flippa.com)

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    Interview with Matt Mickiewicz (from Flippa.com)

    Just stumbled on this interview: http://mixergy.com/matt-mickiewicz-flippa-interview/

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    Thanks for that link. I see that the ludicrous $40 million has become the accepted figure for Sitepoint sales
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    I heard an interview with him from Yaro Staraks blog a while back. He's obviously a very shrewd businessman and knows what he's doing but I just can't relate to the guy at all. And Flippa is getting progressively worse and they don't seem to really care.

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    Here's my favorite part of the interview:

    Andrew: Hey, before the interviews, when I asked you, in fact, to do the interview, you essentially said, ďOkay Andrew, Iíll do it. But donít bust my chops, essentially on revenues.Ē Iíve been getting some feedback from the audience about that; about asking for revenue numbers. Is this something that you like hearing in the audience but donít want to reveal? Or is it coming across as too pushy? What do you think?
    Matt: I think in some of your interviews in the past youíve come across as way too pushy. You keep asking the question in three different ways, trying to get an answer from the person youíre interviewing. And if theyíre not comfortable disclosing that number, itís a private company, then . . .
    I wonder why Matt doesn't want to take any real questions about the revenue at Flippa? They are willing to tout the top line number of theoretical sales to anyone who will listen, but I'd be willing to bet that less than half of that has actually exchanged hands in the last year.

    Also, what do people think about this:

    People can only associate one thing or one word with a brand name. So when people think Volvo, they think safety. When they think Ferrari, they think super luxury or whatever. When people think SitePoint in general, they think education. They donít think auction, website auctions.
    When I thought about Sitepoint, I thought of it as a place do just about anything you could with a website. You could learn about coding, designing, testing, and buying or selling, and you could actually do those things there as well. Why go anywhere else?

    When I think about Flippa, I think of spammy sites being sold by scammers. When I think of 99designs, I think of spec work. Not exactly an improvement, and it was their own doing. Oh well.

    I realize the guy has built a successful forum and parlayed that into other profitable businesses so there are things can be learned from his success, but his attitude that people couldn't sell websites without him and that Flippa is creating some sort of huge value for people selling websites is pretty irritating to me, considering that in my opinion the group that profited the most from all of the website flipping that went on over the last year was Flippa, and the support for the users who pay all those fees is subpar at best.

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    I wonder why Matt doesn't want to take any real questions about the revenue at Flippa?
    I can understand not wanting to disclose real revenue and real profit. That's one of the main advantages with a private company, and it's something you can use to benefit yourself. Most webmasters on here wouldn't expose all their profit figures just because they happen to be in an interview.

    his attitude that people couldn't sell websites without him and that Flippa is creating some sort of huge value for people selling websites
    I believe he's smart enough to know exactly what Flippa does or does not contribute, but exploitative/business-minded enough to milk all comers for as much as he can get away with for having acquired market dominance through first mover advantage.

    but I'd be willing to bet that less than half of that has actually exchanged hands in the last year.
    You can't go exposing to the market users the true state of non-paying bidders and done-deals that fall through, can you? What would users think? They may be less keen to list their site at Flippa and that would hurt the real Flippa revenue.

    But for all his savvy, fooling your users is not a wise long term plan. Using fake revenue figures in headline grabbing announcements can turn around and bite you in the ass. Let's say a few of us (or a Flippa competitor) wanted to play a little game and could afford to chuck $19 away. With a fake bidder or two you could drive Flippa's headline figure to $100 million. Or $100 billion. If they include the value of your non-completed sale in their future announcements that creates some interesting opportunities for you on the publicity front
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    People can only associate one thing or one word with a brand name. So when people think Volvo, they think safety. When they think Ferrari, they think super luxury or whatever. When people think SitePoint in general, they think education. They donít think auction, website auctions.
    Maybe he means it's easier to asssociate one brand with one product. Who knows. I'm sure that wasn't the prime motivation he decided to make Flippa a separate entity.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Clinton View Post
    I can understand not wanting to disclose real revenue and real profit. That's one of the main advantages with a private company, and it's something you can use to benefit yourself. Most webmasters on here wouldn't expose all their profit figures just because they happen to be in an interview.
    If he wants to be tight lipped about the entire operation, that's fine by me. I don't go around telling everyone how much I get paid or how much my business makes, but I don't find their willingness to tout their "sales" (which they don't mention also includes the years of Sitepoint Marketplace sales unless you ask for details, and they refuse to acknowledge how much of that was actual sales) in line with his desire to keep his revenues quiet.

    I'm probably a little over-sensitive about it, but to me, it's just another example of the Flippa Way at work:

    1. Provide some misleading information painting Flippa in a positive light.
    2. Sit back and wait for all of the positive, supportive responses to roll in.
    3. Respond in anger when the information is questioned.
    4. Shut down any further debate about the information.

    Quote Originally Posted by Clinton View Post
    I believe he's smart enough to know exactly what Flippa does or does not contribute, but exploitative/business-minded enough to milk all comers for as much as he can get away with for having acquired market dominance through first mover advantage.
    He seems to have found a sweet spot where he can exploit Sitepoint/Flippa's market share, which was smart and is something to learn from, but based on past conversations with him, I honestly think that he believes that his company is creating a significant part of the value when a site is sold and has earned the rather high success fees they charge, and that buyers and sellers should be happy to pay for the privilege of doing business on his site.

    Quote Originally Posted by Clinton View Post
    You can't go exposing to the market users the true state of non-paying bidders and done-deals that fall through, can you? What would users think? They may be less keen to list their site at Flippa and that would hurt the real Flippa revenue.
    You're probably right, but I wouldn't mislead people either by saying that Flippa had X in sales when half of X was done at another site, and some other amount was fake sales. If people wanted to make guesses, he wouldn't be able to stop them, but they are the ones out front announcing sales totals and weekly records that are based on hypothetical sales.

    Quote Originally Posted by Clinton View Post
    But for all his savvy, fooling your users is not a wise long term plan. Using fake revenue figures in headline grabbing announcements can turn around and bite you in the ass. Let's say a few of us (or a Flippa competitor) wanted to play a little game and could afford to chuck $19 away. With a fake bidder or two you could drive Flippa's headline figure to $100 million. Or $100 billion. If they include the value of your non-completed sale in their future announcements that creates some interesting opportunities for you on the publicity front
    I don't know what they would do about that. They would be watching a big auction with a lot of interest and would probably be talking about it on their blog, so I'm not sure how they would cover up the fact that it was a fake down the road. They probably would ignore the problem and hope that it went away, which could present problems in the future.

    I bet if you and I started our own site, started trading websites back and forth at the rate of $1 million per week, and then declared that we were outselling Flippa, Matt would be the first to call foul.
    Last edited by benitez17; 9 September 2010 at 6:15 am.

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    Quote Originally Posted by hooperman View Post
    Maybe he means it's easier to asssociate one brand with one product. Who knows. I'm sure that wasn't the prime motivation he decided to make Flippa a separate entity.
    Matt has made comments about this topic here, and it's his opinion that people can only associate a brand with one thing. I believe Clinton pointed out that Tesco, Heinz, and others do just fine selling multiple products under the same brand, and that Sitepoint still has a marketplace (just not for websites), though it's pretty much dead now that the good parts have been spun off. Those points seem to ruin Matt's argument somewhat, but I don't know what Matt thinks about them, because he didn't respond.

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    I bet if you and I started our own site, started trading websites back and forth at the rate of $1 million per week, and then declared that we were outselling Flippa, Matt would be the first to call foul.
    I like that one even better than my idea.

    We don't even need to start a new site, we could do it in BSTE here but yes, should a half-decent marketplace come along it's certainly worth them giving this a shot.

    I don't find their willingness to tout their "sales" (which they don't mention also includes the years of Sitepoint Marketplace sales unless you ask for details, and they refuse to acknowledge how much of that was actual sales)...
    Giving the illusion of success by vastly exaggerating figures isn't that far from why this website seller got jailed.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Clinton View Post
    I like that one even better than my idea.

    We don't even need to start a new site, we could do it in BSTE here but yes, should a half-decent marketplace come along it's certainly worth them giving this a shot.
    Thanks.


    Giving the illusion of success by vastly exaggerating figures isn't that far from why this website seller got jailed.
    I don't think Flippa is at that point itself, but it is an accomodating platform for those inclined to commit fraud.

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