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245: Build Your Own Platform

By Sean McCabe and Ben Toalson

Do you really need a website? Do you really need your own domain and a place to call home? There are a lot of tools and platforms out there happy to represent you and act as your home. A lot of the hard work of development is taken care of for you. You can just show up, do your thing and be done. But it does mean pointing people to those platforms. If you're telling anyone to go to your profile on these other platforms, you are telling them that's where your home is. This means you are putting your trust and livelihood in platforms that are looking out for their own best interest. They can change the rules, they can change the game, and there's nothing you can do about it. The online world looked very different 10 years ago and you can be sure it will look very different 10 years from now. The only thing that is certain is change. When you build your home on someone else's platform, you are putting your full trust in them. But they have to look out for their own best interest. The only platform you control is your own. When you build and sell on other platforms, you often don't get the customer data either. You might get more exposure, but without the customer data you can't build a relationship. If you don't have the customer data to build a relationship, you won't get repeat buyers. The lifetime value of your customers is going to be very small. Yes, the cost of building your own platform is great. But you should also be considering the long-term cost of not building your own platform. What is the price you place on being irrelevant in 10 years?

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