Day Day No. 16 of the 2015 Ten Ideas A Day Challenge.
The Grid's self-proclaimed boast as the "evolution" of web platforms is crazy. "The Grid harnesses the power of artificial intelligence to take everything you throw at it - videos, images, text, urls and more - and automatically shape them into a custom website unique to you." They've got a lot to live up to - I hope they can deliver.
- If they can deliver, investing $96 up front to be locked into a lifetime $8-per-month rate that gives the user far more than my money's worth is a no-brainer.
- As someone who builds everything for his projects independently, and probably spends a week's worth of working hours on every Levi The Poet redesign, the idea of a self-molding web-builder curated to what you tell the site you want it to be / accomplish is incredibly appealing.
- My friend Craig Gross met with The Grid's team, and swears by them. Says they're the one of the smartest, most innovative teams he's ever come across. So, even if it sucks, I can always blame it on him, and you can, too.
- E-commerce that eliminates the need for plugins and / or cluttered third-party apps. The store integration looks pretty seamless.
- The Grid uses the movie "Her" as part of their marketing pitch, and I love that movie.
- A LOT of my friends and people that I follow via social media - many of them tech nerds and web designers, themselves - have pitched toward the project just to see if it can really live up to its' boasts.
- The idea of being able to "follow a website" - something The Grid alludes to in contrast to a "newsletter" or something similar to a status update, is really interesting. I always wrestle with what media or news warrants a newsletter announcement, verses cluttering up a fan or follower's mailbox. Seems great to be able to let the user decide.
- I am a perfectionist. I go crazy if something is off. If this platform actually proves to perform well enough that I am not constantly distracted about why I can't get an image or content block to look the way that I wish it did... if I can actually focus on creating consistent, quality content, undistracted by my OCD's jabbering... well, that's worth it right there.
- Each of the developers is wearing an astronaut outfit in their profile pictures, and I loved the movie Interstellar this year, so...
- Frankly, The Grid is going to have to be really, really good to pull me away from Squarespace - the platform I use for levithepoet.net and this one, levimacallister.com. Sure, I'm not a developer, or a web designer. I don't know code, but I don't really need to. That's probably annoying to people who actually understand / love the how in the backend. I understand that most people who are familiar with anything web-related can spot an uncoded SS site immediately, and I assume The Grid will be the same. But is it professional? User-friendly? Does it serve its purpose far better than any other website that was promoted to young bands / artists like me when I started trying to make something even remotely user-friendly? Yes.
- Right now, you can be founding member #18,295. At 96 bucks a pop, that's $1,816,608 - nearly two million dollars - that have already been invested into making this site all that it's cracked up to be, and perhaps months before the first beta of it even goes live in the spring. If nothing else, at least I'm not alone in my curiosity.
- They've got a great referral program. If you sign up and are convincing enough to get three buddies to sign up, as well, they'll completely reimburse your founding member's fee. Translated: Get three people to sign up using your referral link and you're in for free. So, yeah... this list is both me convincing myself that I made a good decision, and me telling other people that if they're gonna sign up, use my link, and then do something like this to get others to use yours (just so we're all clear on motivation here - no background manipulation, just a straight-up twisting of arms).
If any of this stuff seems remotely appealing / helpful to you, I'd consider becoming a founding member before the rate increases. I assume that The Grid will still want to maintain its mass appeal with a relatively low rate - even after launch - but if they turn out a product as solid as what the buzz hopes for, I could foresee a justifiable price increase. If you do decide to sign up, whether you use my link or not, lets reconnect once it goes live for us all - it'll be interesting to see if the hype has been worth it.