So when I first put my computer up on Craigslist to sell I received a very interesting offer
: a year of unlimited free travel on US Airways. Being a big traveller this was an extremely appealing offer on the face of it, and I let my imagination run away a bit on the possibilities. I came up with various ways of doing it, from simply hopping from city to city having fun and taking whatever flight I could get out when I was done, to a more commercialized plan of attempting to get corporate sponsorships to pay for places to stay and places to eat (and maybe even the flights as I'd much rather do this sort of thing on JetBlue than US Airways) in exchange for the marketing they'd get from me putting their branding on my blog, writing about their services, having my picture taken using their products and services &c.
After thinking it over, I decided that the first option is just untenable. At least for right now. I have a business to run and build, and a number of opportunities on the horizon to expand that. I've got a home to take care of an a mortgage to pay. I've got bills. I've got all sorts of responsibilities that, as much as I might sometimes like to, I can't just walk away from (unless I can find a place to walk to where the IRS can't find me, that is).
The second option might very well be doable. With a good enough pitch, I could probably get sponsorship to do this sort of thing. There would be all sorts of sponsorship opportunities as well: national sponsorships from whatever airline and whatever hotel chain I can get, regional sponsorships from state tourism boards and regional chains, local sponsorships from local restaurants, attractions, and what have you. And of course I could sell advertising on the site as well. If you think of the whole venture as a year long online and physical marketing campaign for the various sponsors, it could pretty easily lead to a 6 figure income when all is said and done. So I considered that, and I considered who I could approach, and how much money I could reasonable expect to get, and what I would have to promise in return. And I decided that, while it may be doable, and I might even be able to convince the sponsors that they want me to do it rather than to just steal my idea, fund it the same way I would with sponsorships from other companies, and then just hire some actor to do it better than I ever would and only pay him a small fraction of the money because it's just a job for him, even if I could do all that I don't think it would be worth it. I'd love the opportunity to travel around the country. I'd especially love it if I was not only not paying for it, but was making a lot of money off it. But the things I'd have to do to make that money would, I think, take all the fun out of it. I like to travel on my own, and see things and do things and even write about it, but as soon as it becomes a big corporate thing there's just too much planning and negotiating and crap like that I don't want to deal with. I'd want to be spontaneous and have fun and deviate from whatever little plan I have whenever an interesting opportunity comes up, and I'd never be able to do that if I had and airline and a hotel chain and who knows who else footing the bill.
Unfortunately, I came to the conclusion that the traveling idea would either be really fun but impossible, or possible and lucrative but not fun at all. So instead I sold my computer and monitor for cash and ordered a new iMac to replace them.
Expect a write-up of Blogtoberfest 2007