Hopefully, the next thing we know won’t be they are closing shop.
I’ve been saying this countless times to all people who asked me about SmugMug, their GUI sucks. They really need to completely redesign their site and make it super easy to navigate.
I suspect that other than storage fees aren’t going down as fast as they originally thought and the need to hire more engineers are just small parts of the whole story. I’m not sure why two of their execs left. I hope it’s not because of creative differences.
After a quick googling, I found that storage pricings are actually going up, not down. I don’t know if SmugMug receives a special discount from Amazon. If they don’t, then they are screwed. Internet business can only go so far until you need to attract investors to invest in and later on, go public or be acquired by big corps.
As I wrote before, Instapaper which is a one-man operation can succeed because the app is simple and the dev seems to have a pretty good idea about what he’s doing.
SmugMug is different. You can’t run medium-to-large-scale business like that without the eventual backing of investors. Engineers are not cheap and so is storage. Look at their website design and templates. The only flashy design is their home page. Once you go to your account, you are faced with clutters and messy user interface. It’s annoying enough to navigate around.
Sure, they have superb customer service. But what’s the point of having a superb one when you actually have little to offer?? I’m not saying it’s impossible to operate the business as a family business. I’m sure there are ways to do it without big financial backers while still maintaining competitive pricing structure and periodically improving the features.
Wait! I can’t think of any medium-to-large-scale internet business that is run without big financial backers or is run by a family like SmugMug’s. I hope they can pull this off…