An infamous teacher at Grove City College has been known to lecture upon serendipity and the benefits that stem from a chance meeting. No site better embodies the joys of this idea than StumbleUpon. The original idea for StumbleUpon was that the massive internet could not bring up relevant content for searchers. In recent times, StumbleUpon has had difficulties turning the social media site, used for diversion (from work professionals to middle schoolers), into a revenue stream.
StumbleUpon developed an algorithm to match searches to sites, using three data points. The first is determined by the user’s named interests, the second by the sites the user has liked or disliked, and the last by the types of individuals the user has befriended on the site. The story behind StumbleUpon is that the developers changed the site and its functionality many times before finally hitting upon the correct business model, and with it the right revenue stream. Advertisers are charged $.01 per page pushed to users – this sponsored content is pushed 10% of the time.
The lesson to be learned from this innovative site that promotes one venue to entrepreneurial success is to not be afraid to change up the business model. Success may take a long time to come across, or you may just StumbleUpon it.