Subject: Re: The Pledge model -- K5 generates 6 mos income in three days
From: kragen@pobox.com (Kragen Sitaker)
Date: Wed, 26 Jun 2002 18:03:09 -0400 (EDT)

John Morhous writes:
> The general lack in support of the community, when push-comes-to-shove, for 
> ponying up hard cash to help pay for the _real_ operational costs of 
> sustaining the business, is disturbing to say the least.
> 
> K5 shouldn't have had to plea for users, people should have been registering 
> just because they enjoyed the site. But I suppose that was proven not to be 
> the case.

Historically, I've found that most people won't give you money unless
you ask them for it, even if they actually owe you the money.  Very
organized people are exceptions, although businesses larger than 10
people often hire such a person to handle things like paying
suppliers.  I don't find it disturbing in the least that K5's users
share this attribute.

> $6k/month in recurring charges is _not_ a lot of money. I know this
> because I used to do sales engineering at a larger hosting company,
> and saw it firsthand.
> 
> I've developed proposals for everything from lycos.com to
> bobsgarage.com, and let me tell you, once you hit a certain
> threshold where you require 100% redundancy and have a sustained
> number of unique visitors in the single-million range, the MRR on
> equipment, bandwidth, and floorspace get REAL expensive.

I'd like to defer to your experience on this matter, but could you
elaborate?  I think a million ten-kilobyte pageviews consume on the
order of[0] $10 worth of bandwidth, wholesale; cheap-junk computers
you can buy for $250 on craigslist can serve 400 static page hits per
second, or 34 million hits per day, so web-serving hardware cost
should be a non-issue if you can afford for it to be unreliable.

I can understand that floorspace in a hosting center can be expensive,
but the aforementioned million ten-kilobyte pageviews a day is only on
the order of a megabit per second.  How much does floorspace where you
can get a megabit cost?  Does it dwarf the cost of the actual megabit?

[0] "on the order of X" means "between X/3 and 3X".

-- 
<kragen@pobox.com>       Kragen Sitaker     <http://www.pobox.com/~kragen/>
Operating personal computers now requires us to devote as much time to
set-up menus, installation programs, configuration "wizards", and help
databases as we do running productive applications.  --- Carl Sassenrath