Coming Soon – Website Progress Meter

Here’s a product I’d like to see. Perhaps you’ll be the one to build it.

The ubiquitous “Coming Soon” web page is boring. It has no stickiness. It doesn’t say in a compelling voice, “Come back next week to see something exciting!” What is says is, “We didn’t have time to do anything interesting with this website yet.”

How about this as an alternative…
When you put up your site, you link your new (unfinished) home page to a service site like:
(all are available at the moment)

Within that library, there are beautiful custom pages in a variety of categories that can show construction underway:
* House
* Office Building
* Ship, Boat
* Car, Truck, Motorcycle
* Engine, Plane
* Sweater, Russian stacking doll
(ideas are endless)

Here’s the angle. Instead of just a pretty picture, you link to this service with a certain series selected AND a percentage complete (0, 25, 50, 75, 99). When visitors come to your site, they see a gradually progressing version of your website as it gets “built” by the artist who drew the pictures. Not only is it a beautiful drawing, but the gradual revelation of the design says, “Come back soon and see what this will become!”.

The point is that something IS happening — your website is not just sitting there.

If I created this service, I would contact talent through eLance, Odesk and Craigslist to do the artwork. Then I would charge customers a small premium to rent the service for their website. Perhaps a free version that supports subtle ads would work too, but even a modest fee of $5 per month would mount up if you got a fraction of the tens of thousands of new websites launched each year.

Dumber ideas have made money. I think the secret sauce will be the beauty (real talent in the artwork) and a low price so that it can spread rapidly.