As I’ve been working through porting the now ancient Draftwizard codebase, I’ve been thinking a lot lately about how to get it back to it’s glory days (and beyond). At the same time, I’ve been chatting a bit with my friend who runs playoffbeard.com.
All of which has got me excited to jump back into the fantasy market!
Now to be honest, since starting thedfl.com (which eventually became supermug.com which in turn eventually spawned draftwizard.com) back in the 90’s I’ve been involved in the fantasy sports market in one way or another…and I’ve never ‘officially’ jumped out of it…but with my decision to semi-officially shut statsfeed.com down this year, and my lack of serious attention to Draftwizard.com the past two years, I feel as though I’ve been disconnected from the fantasy world a bit.
Perhaps that couple of months disconnect was just what I needed to recharge my batteries, or perhaps I just refuse to give up and move on (I guess that’s the danger of really convincing yourself of a market)…whatever the reason, I’m gearing up for another go. This time around, I’m thinking about diving into the fantasy hockey world either in association with (or perhaps by buying into) my playoffbeard.com friend’s efforts.
He’s got the personality, and he knows the content. He also brings a lot of artistic talent. I bring the tech, the industry experience, and a little bit of cash-o-la (and I really mean a little). Seems like a good mesh…but don’t they always at the start!?
Anyway, as I start to think about how all of this could work and how all of this should work, I find myself thinking about just what we should be thinking about offering…from my past efforts, I’m pretty convinced that people will pay a reasonable fee for these things:
- Player Notes & News
- Player Rankings
- Start/Sit Suggestions
- Roster/Opinion Validation (ie. rate my team/draft)
- Active, Quality Message Boards
Beyond that, there are a few add-ons that can help to make or break the popularity of a fantasy help system - I don’t think many people will pay for these additional features, but some of these things can help get someone on the fence over (ie. they help make marketing/sales easier and can help viral growth if done right).
- Mock Drafts
- Articles & Blog posts
Related, but also out of scope for your general fantasy help site, is League Management Software. Traditionally this has been the holy grail of the fantasy sports company (for reasons that I may blog about in a future post)…however I view it somewhat as a commodity product (or on it’s way to becoming one) and so I’m really not that interested in going down that path any time soon.
Of course all of this is a very general and generic overview. I could (and just might) spend several blog posts expanding on each of sections above…and I could list out a million other 'ideas’ for features and sections that a fantasy sports company might want to add (or get value out of adding)…but I’ve been sort of on the bandwagon as of late for the 'less is more’ web 2.0 approach. So I think it would be much better to do as few of these things as we can get away with, but do them exceptionally well.
I don’t know if it will go anywhere, or how it will all work out…but I do know that I’ll at least be trying something. So stay tuned!
This post has received 39 loves.
Kevin has a day job as CTO of Veritonic and is spending nights & weekends hacking on Share Game Tape. You can also check out some of his open source code on GitHub or connect with him on Twitter @falicon or via email at kevin at falicon.com.
If you have comments, thoughts, or want to respond to something you see here I would encourage you to respond via a post on your own blog (and then let me know about the link via one of the routes mentioned above).