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Tom, I think you're over-estimating the influence of the so-called "loyalist" fans.
You should take the damn money.
At 4/13/12 04:21 PM, MindChamber wrote: No VC.. concentrate on microtransations, to funnel back into turning NG into a platform. Keep NG lean and small, and work hard to make NG the ultimate publisher for developers and artists alike. Steam-squared.
This is one of the best ideas I've heard. You don't have to take VC, and you won't do nothing either. I hate to say it, but this could actually work. You really should make it option number 3
At 4/13/12 05:11 PM, Skaren wrote: VC is what I would go for, if I were you.
Yeah, cuz you actually buy into that fantasy of flawless VC. *facepalm*
Especially with no VC experience to state that.
Words do not kill people, people kill words.
You have no enemies, you are your enemy.
At 4/13/12 05:19 PM, Squidbit wrote: I only read the first page, cause I don't wanna read 4 pages to see what has or hasn't been said, but I say stay alone and NG.
The best thing about blah blah too much quote being politically correct or anything shitty like that that comes with being a big company.
Newgrounds should always be the site that came from club a seal and hentai ads.
At 4/13/12 04:56 PM, Gambit wrote: Whatever you do, as long as no-one else but YOU stays in control of Newgrounds, and nobody tries influencing your opinions, it is acceptable.
This pretty much sums up why I answered the first option. Venture capital means that you'd have to answer to someone, that's something that can't be ignored. But that doesn't mean the website would have to change per se. What if the investor is already a fan of the website "as is" and believes in its capital potential? It would be in his interest to keep you at the head of the company.
And more money would mean more sponsered games and movies, more budget for advertisement and events eventually leading to more visibility.
I agree that the website is running just fine the way it is, but I believe it has potential to become pretty big without losing its edge and personnality. It all depends on who the investors are (which is why they need to be chosen accordingly to what their vision for the site is).
At 4/13/12 05:13 PM, BoMToons wrote: That's a tall order for investors these days, so likely, for your own happiness and sanity, I'd say you're better off staying independent even though you have to tighten your belt to stay afloat.
And then? I'm not saying Tom should give in to VC immediately, but what alternatives do you have in mind?
A rather disgusting-looking git that should have been disposed of ages ago.
I dunno tom, the fact you've asked this question must mean you have doubts about VC money, maybe it would be for the best if you skipped out on it. On the other hand risks are fun and provide entertainment for all.
though I know nothing of the technicalities involved, so whatever
i'd say "follow your nose" , if you can maintain the same ethos as it is now then go ahead but if you have a doubt on that then i would not do it
At 4/13/12 05:23 PM, LaForge wrote: Tom, did you create this fabulous community to make money? don't fucking sell out man. once outside interests sink their fangs into this site, you might as well throw in the towel, and lose the respect of all users who aren't fucking idiots.
I'm with LaForge... taking money means they expect something in return, and it can very quickly ruin the integrity of the site.
My vote goes to not take the money. Don't sell your soul to the corporate devils.
I think that what ever route you take - you should go no-holds. Throw yourself into either decision and you'll never regret it. NG has been amazing to grow up with. I've been coming here for over 10 years how and have seen this place grow SO much. I know you've faced a similar decision before. I think as a man with a family and a wonderful company that you've built from the ground up, you should ask yourself - what would be best? If you're cautious to "get into bed" with these VC - then keep your wits about. Have a lawyer draw out exactly what sort of stakes you'll keep in the company. How much control you'll have, and see what sort of people are looking to invest in this place. It's a big cross roads no doubt, just be confident in your decision and know that you have all of us supporting you in what ever new adventure ensue! :D
Best of luck on your choice!!!
(now back to work on getting out to Philly for Pico Day >.< hahahaa)
Tom even though it would benefit you, NG, and possibly myself as a content provider..
Don't do it.
You've got something amazing already. If you haven't realized it yet I don't think you ever will.
It's the human condition to always want more, but it's also our hamartia.
You will never be satisfied completely, and you have to get rid of the notion that maybe you could be one day. Just appreciate the now, take a step back and really take in all you've done since being a kid in high school messing around with no intention of ever getting this huge.
I mean fuck...You are a personal hero of mine, you send me a piece of paper with your signature and it was the greatest birthday present ever.
Hell, the fact that so many people are posting in this thread, knowing that their voices are actually going to be heard and maybe make a difference is one of the best things about you running it on your own, and not having the big decisions being made by whoever is paying the most money.
I already appreciate Newgrounds for what it already is and don't think that the money is really neccessary.
Jus' keep on rockin', ya'll. Keep on rockin'.
It is indeed a difficult situation. Sure, success sounds like a good thing, especially if it helps the ones who created the site and the artists. But it's a very risky move, with many things that could go wrong. First of all, the investors would get influence (I don't know how much but surely not only a bit) over Newgrounds and that gives me a very bad feeling. The staff is very close to the community, something that can't be found on any other site. The ones who are in charge and the community share a bond of friendship, it sounds cheesy but it's true. Newgrounds in all its aspects was always a close community, that's what defines Newgrounds for me, and I am sure that many others feel the same way, and I fear that this would go away when huge investors gain more influence. I am not even sure if the "all artists and game developers will get sponsored" will become reality, most likely investors would concentrate on only a few very famous artists( possibly with stricted contracts in terms of the content they are supposed to make), or maybe even only on companies who release some polished games that don't have much originality. The "Everything, by everyone" aspect of the site wouldn't exist anymore. You already mentioned that some content would have to be deleted.
The thing that I fear the most is that the "5 years of being amazing" ends with a financial catastrophe, that leaves you with nothing and makes Newgrounds vanish.
That's why I vote for option 1, staying solo. The mentioned micro-transactions sound like a great idea to me and I support them.
Without truth, there is no justice.
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The only way I could see you being happy is if the investor was someone you know and trust, have worked with in the past, and brings in something more long-lasting than money, ie: has connections or skills that directly tie-into your goals. Plus, they'd have to agree to be extremely hands off and trust YOU to use their money with near-impunity.
That's a tall order for investors these days, so likely, for your own happiness and sanity, I'd say you're better off staying independent even though you have to tighten your belt to stay afloat.
BomToons said it well. My only worry is that some content might get censored. Even the hentai. I think that shit is a little weird, but just for the sake of having a place that allows EVERYTHING is amazing. 'merica.
On a totally contradictory note: Take the money, hire me as a coffee boy, and sponsor every one of my games for 1502341 doll-hairs.
At 4/13/12 05:23 PM, GodOfVideoGames wrote: I'd say do number 2, but I don't want NG to sell out like Youtube did to Google.
YouTube was funded by VC from the start, it sold out before it sold out, burned money from day one and keeps burning money now.
This is the game JohnnyUtah and I have been working on.
Well, it's your choice, Tom. All I can say is that if you want to maintain the spirit of the site, then make sure that they won't change it in anyway way you feel people, or you, would find bad.
At 4/13/12 05:30 PM, FrozenFire wrote:I mean fuck...You are a personal hero of mine, you send me a piece of paper with your signature and it was the greatest birthday present ever.
Man that makes me feel so shitty that we haven't been sending out certificates. The printer sucks at printing on them.
This is the game JohnnyUtah and I have been working on.
I can imagine that a VCapitalist would want a say in how things are done within the company they invest a couple of millions into. So I'd say that it all comes down to Who would be the investor, maybe try to go for the best offer based on who is willing to invest and not how much they are willing to invest. Getting someone who just wanna inject cash and sit back or someone you think would be an asset to NG would be supreme :)
Otherwise I'd love NG to stay as is, just imagine if an investor would force us to "clean up", we couldn't keep "everything by everyone" as a slogan then :P
Tom, I dunno, your arguments sound really unprofessional.
Okay, you might get a big funding, but at the same time you lose control over this website. Newgrounds has always been a very personal site, even you and the moderators acted like funny dudes, that was one thing that seperates you from other large websites.
With this happening, NG might also turn into something different.
Newgrounds and the Behemoth are very successful already, man. I say concentrate on goddam Battleblock Theater.
I have no business giving financial advice, but...
Investors sound like a bad idea. I can't imagine anything better than being your own boss and being able to have full control.
The tone of your post is enthusiastic, but for really wonky reasons. You talk about being "self rightious" and "everyone wants to hang out in your aura of money" and "rule the internet"... which sounds like the most primal of high school hormonal disarray (no disrespect; I just can't resist the words). In a boast of optimism, you state "the investors might back off"... which sounds like an iffy best case scenario. You seem really excited about this idea, so much that you might not be clearly considering the severe repercussions.
My gut says... money may make the world go round, but fuck it. Love, respect, and freedom are the best things in life and if you aren't pressured into the situation, don't sell out. Freedom of expression is one of 'thee' most amazing things about this site.
you and Newgrounds are heroes of the internet; you pioneered in ways others could only dream of, and built a successful place where people can speak freely and express their thoughts in various forms of artwork.
Do what you think is best, but don't compromise what you know you want Newgrounds to be.
I love ya, Tom, and I want the best for you because you're my hero and role model in life, but part of what makes newgrounds great is what it's NOT--it's not Deviantart or Youtube or anything like that. It's got way too much... soul, I guess, for me to see the VC thing going well for us. We're big enough that our name can mean something, but too small to be able to throw our weight around.
I say no go, but you're better equipped to answer this question than me.