Why am I killing Vitamin XL?
People who were right a lot of the time were people who often changed their minds.
-Jeff Bezos, Founder, Amazon.com #
About 10 days ago, I have introduced Vitamin XL and asked for your feedback. I got several enthusiastic responses (both for and against it).
I have decided to go ahead and kill this product idea. Please read to understand why.
What is Vitamin XL & Why I thought of it?
Vitamin XL is a membership program that offers Excel training, resources & community access for monthly fee.
During last 1 year, many of existing customers & supporters of Chandoo.org have told me that I should have a membership program where people can access all our training programs, Excel resources & get help for a monthly fee.
A good business person must prioritize the ideas and work on most promising ones first. Since I have few product ideas in mind, I wanted to make sure that Vitamin XL is worth investing my time. As a first step to this, I conceptualized Vitamin XL and shared the idea with all of you on 19th October for your feedback.
How was the feedback?
With in 1 day of announcing Vitamin XL, it was clear to me that not many of you are excited about it. Although there were many who wanted Vitamin XL and could not wait to join, the negative feedback was overwhelming. Some of the concerns raised are,
- There is no value in it. Already Chandoo.org offers everything for free.
- It is too pricey. $30 or $50 per month is just not feasible.
- It would divide our community in to 2 parts – members & non-members.
- The offering is not clear. Can I still access all the features (forums, downloads, articles) of Chandoo.org?
My next options were…
Based on this feedback, I narrowed down to 2 options for future of Vitamin XL.
- Rework on Vitamin XL’s features & Reduce the price to $99 per year (or $10 per month).
- Kill it and work on something else.
At first glance, #1 seemed to be a natural choice. This is because I got several emails (and comments) telling me that Vitamin XL would work at lower price point.
So why I am killing it?
What is true loss?
There is no truer loss than nobody telling you when you are making a mistake.
I don’t know where I read this quote, but it came to my mind when deciding the future of Vitamin XL.
As many long time readers of Chandoo.org know, I run a poll / survey whenever I start work on a new product. Excel School, VBA Classes, Financial Modeling Classes, various crash courses are all born like that. And I do know that for any product, there will be some people who will not like it. So I take the negative feedback with a pinch of salt.
But in case of Vitamin XL, I got lot of personal emails, passionate comments telling me it is not a good idea.
The decision became obvious. Its time I let go of Vitamin XL and worked on something else.
There is no change whatsoever to Chandoo.org or all our awesome stuff.
- I will continue to write every week and share something beautiful, fun & useful with you, so that you can become awesome at your work.
- I will continue to post excellent examples, downloads & videos every now and then so that you can do more & become a hero.
- I will offer new courses, products & books so that you can learn even more and become a ninja.
During next 2-3 months, I will be working on few more new product ideas:
- Advanced Excel School course (slated for launch in Jan 2013)
- An iPhone app to learn Excel
- Conceptualize & Design an MS Access course
- Upgrade our PM Templates to Excel 2010, 2013
- Ready to use Excel Dashboard Templates
- One / two more e-books
As always, I will take your suggestions & feedback about these ideas.
Meanwhile, you can continue to enjoy our courses & products:
- Excel School – for Excel, advanced Excel & Dashboard training
- VBA Classes – for beginner to advanced level VBA training
- Financial Modeling classes – for creating integrated financial models using Excel
- PM Templates – to manage a project like a pro using Excel
- Formula e-book – to learn 75 every day formulas
- Crash courses – to quickly master formulas, project management or dashboard concepts
Thank you & Sorry
I feel so fortunate & humbled to know how much you care about Chandoo.org & our future. Thank you.
My apologies for anyone who felt excited about Vitamin XL and wanted to be part of it. I am sorry I am unable to offer it at this time. I am thankful for your kindness & encouragement. It keeps Chandoo.org going.
My name is Chandoo. Thanks for dropping by. My mission is to make you awesome in Excel & your work. I live in Wellington, New Zealand. When I am not F9ing my formulas, I cycle, cook or play lego with my kids. Know more about me.
Thank you and see you around.
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