The idea for Pipeno evolved from a deep desire within our team to empower niche publishers. We focused on eliminating the two key issues they faced in publishing and monetizing their content:
- Online/mobile publishing was still a relatively technical process that required a cross-functional team of designers and developers to set up a best-in-class Web site that was also optimized for consumption on smart phones and e-readers.
- Easy publishing technologies such as blogs or simple Web sites were mostly dependent on advertising for monetization, and the revenue amounts were small. They also lacked features for active community engagement.
The Pipeno team believes that there are thousands of niche publishers who have treasure troves of content and passion that they would like to share with like-minded audiences around the world. Our goal is to provide them with an easy-to-use platform that makes publishing fun and monetization less challenging.
We believe that first and foremost, publishers care most about providing their audiences with a magnificent user experience. This motivated us to focus on providing intuitive usability, compelling media integration, optimal mobile rendering, and comfortable social interaction.
We challenged ourselves to build a technology-enabled business model for niche publishers that made publishing fun but also aggregated every possible monetization method that the Internet allowed, including premium content sales (subscriptions, e-books), virtual-goods sales, affiliate sales, classifieds, e-commerce, events, and surveys. We also built features into Pipeno that made it easier for niche publishers to build communities around their content and engage them actively.
We had the desire to empower niche publishers to build global communities and make their content accessible to the most financially challenged people in the world. To enable global affordability within niche communities, we created a virtual currency called the Pip. The Pip normalizes the cost of content and virtual goods/services to a level that users can afford in their country. For example, $9 may be an affordable cost for an e-book in the United States, but it is a prohibitive cost to a passionate reader in sub-Saharan Africa. So, using the Pip, we normalized the cost of the same book to an affordable level (e.g., 200 Shillings in Kenya, which is 2.50 US Dollars) so that the reader is able to access this premium content and the publisher benefits from global reach, in addition to reasonable financial compensation. The Pip creates a win-win situation where niche publishers and audiences can find each other in far-off lands and celebrate quality content.