A friend of mine was asking me the other day if some companies in our field were making more money than we do with Appsfire. I answered "Of course, lots of them"
He asked me, then why arn't you making more money then?
I answered because we're focusing on creating value and not making easy money. 15 years ago when the web started lots of companies were making big amounts of cash in no time but instead of creating value, they were destroying it. They were, for example, creating stupid "paid surf" systems, or intrusive ad units like popups. Most of those businesses are gone
Some other companies were also getting are making easy money by simply deceiving the consumers (for example making advertising look like content), or monetizing what i call the underground web (all those pages you only arrive through google search results, but would never go directly and that really look terrible), or by pushing aggressively or intrusively ads or commercial offers.
Those company make easy money.
I answered my friend: i could do this. This is quite easy to do. But we will not do it. A company can't last if they don't create value for the whole value chain. And the starting point is what you offer to your users. The experience has to be honest, right and better (than others). The other starting point is professionalism. Selling what you say and doing what you sell consistently, sharply, reliably.
There are many shortcuts you can take. Make a crappy product, be aggressive about how you market it. But there is always a backlash. Market forces take care of it. Look back on the history of the web, you'll find many companies like those. Gone now. There will be more in 5 years time. You can already spot them, if you are a fine observer of your own field
Creating value is not enough: you need also to make cash. Some companies focus too much on creating value and just expect to get acquired or something.
The challenge is to find the right cursor position: generate revenues and at the same time create value that can last.
But finally i answered my friend: i am not doing it, not just because this is not right. It's because this is not "me". I would not feel happy selling a crappy service, or a service i do not feel proud of.
At the end of the day, it s all about you, your values and the team culture you want to build.