When "Thank You" Is Not Enough
We started Cloudeight ten years ago as a hobby. We did it for fun and we loved doing it. We both had other jobs and we both rushed home from them so we could work on Cloudeight. Cloudeight became more than a hobby, it became a small business - one without any income - started by two people who met on the Internet who shared a common interest in software, computers, graphics and people.
A few years later this "hobby" called Cloudeight developed into a small business with a little income - and we both decided to leave our other jobs and work on Cloudeight full-time. What started out as hobby making email stationery grew into a little business. We started doing other things besides stationery, for instance Information Avenue newsletter and later, Information Avenue Premium.
Then we added Smileycons and other software programs and our business held its own in burgeoning Internet that was becoming more and more the purview of big corporations. We watched as small businesses like Cloudeight disappeared or were bought out by big corporations. We watched as some of the best freeware on the Internet turned into trickware and spyware. We saw a lot of our favorites sites get lost in the shuffle. And we struggled on because after all this, we still loved what we did.
In the past couple of months the world economy in general and the U.S. economy in particular, started reaching down to little companies like ours. We watched as millionaires and billionaires went begging for handouts from the federal government. We watched our sales suffer a little too and we understand as well as anyone if it comes down to a choice between gas for the car or food for the table and Smileycons, Smileycons is going to lose.
Despite all of the economic problems of our times, and all the struggles that we as a very small business face, we never once lost faith that somehow we would pull through all this and survive even while other small businesses fail. We still love what we do and we still look upon our subscribers, customers, and site visitors as friends. So, we're still the same two naive people we were all those years ago when we used to send each other stationery we'd made and have fun sharing it with others.
Two weeks ago we released our new InfoAve Premium E-book Volume V. It's our fifth annual e-book and in these tough economic times, we knew that it might not sell as well as past e-books have sold. Never, ever, did we expect the outpouring of support that we received from all our subscribers. Sales this year, in spite of the tough economic times, have surpassed even the excellent sales of 2007. Sometimes we feel so lucky to have the support we do from the great people who subscribe to our newsletters. We are so lucky to have you; sometimes just saying "thank you" isn't enough.
So, what words can we say to all of you who support us in so many ways? Those who've purchased our products, made donations, bought our e-books, and visit our site deserve more than just a "thank you". There isn't a single person out there who subscribes to our newsletters that we wouldn't like to meet and say "you don't know how much we appreciate you - your support, your emails, your suggestions, your good wishes." We wish we could meet each one of you, shake your hand and look you in the eyes and say "thank you for making this possible".
Recently, our newest Web site, NotOverTheHill.com passed the 10,000 member plateau. So many so-called experts said no one could make a go of a social networking site for older folks. They said others had spent millions trying to make it go and no one had succeeded. We're naive and don't know any better - so we plugged along and started NotOverTheHill because we believed in our friends - the subscribers, the visitors, the members, the customers - all of you are our friends. When we passed the 10,000 member mark, many of our members were just as happy as we were because they know very well what a challenge we faced back in April when NotOverTheHill.com had only thirty-some members and a whole lot of hope.
So, even though the words "thank you" may be overused, and even though we wish there were some other words we could use to express our deep and heartfelt appreciation we feel for all of you who support us, we can only say "thank you very very much". We're still the same two people we were ten years-ago; we're still naive enough to believe in the goodness and kindness of people. We still believe that anyone who loves what they do and works hard can succeed. But no matter how much money we make or don't make, we have the support of our friends, and that makes us very rich indeed.
Thank you all so very, very, much.
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