(This post originally ran here in May of last year. It’s re-running because it fits with some of the recent conversation. Consider it a “Best of.”)
Check out these excerpts from Seth’s Blog:
“So, here’s your choice:
You can have a billboard in Times Square (seen by 2 million people a day), or you can be the keynote speaker at the Allen & Co. annual millionaire media mogul retreat, listened to by about 150 people for an hour.
A no brainer? I hope so.
Of course, it’s not just the demographics. I think it’s the quality of the interaction.”
And he continues …
“MySpace is killing Amazon in traffic.
… It’s just human nature to measure a simple metric, and to want to improve it. It’s human nature to believe that the more people get exposed to your idea, the better you’re going to do. It’s human nature to want to ‘win’, however you define winning.”
It’s a constant battle in any field: numbers or quality. But why is it easier to see in business? It makes sense. If you have to choose between owning MySpace and Amazon, most would chooose Amazon. MySpace may get more hits, but Amazon has a clear, profitable purpose.
What about churches? Is the goal to just gather a crowd? To talk more about what God’s about? What if we were to gather a core and build in a healthy, organic way? What if they could see relationships? Experience Christ today through real service and community?
Amazon sells books. The Church is all about helping people see, get to know, and follow Jesus Christ in a way that transforms them into people who embody love and truth. I’d love to start a giant church, but I’ve realized that most of the time, God works in a way that’s a lot less about me.
Once you start on a healthy growth path, then absolutely, numbers are great! Amazon wouldn’t turn away customers. But it’s a lot easier to grow Amazon’s page hits than it is to figure out how to sell stuff through MySpace.
The thing is, once your culture is set, it’s hard to change the expectations.
“All a long, long way to say something simple:
Whatever your website, I think you want better traffic, not more traffic.”