Yesterday one of the funded startups that used to be in the local review space, Judy’s Book, decided that it was time to close shop. Judy’s Book started as a local review site where consumers could rate and review things like restaurants, dry cleaners, plumbers, etc., but back in January, they decided to change their focus from local reviews to shopping and local deals since the monetization strategy is a bit clearer when you’re in the path of consumer purchasing. One of the tough things about local reviews is that while a company is contributing to the consumer’s decision making process, there’s rarely a way to get a lead-generation or referral fee from the business that benefits. Whereas with deals and online purchasing there’s easy ways to electronically collect your cut. At the surface, this seemed like a good shift for Judy’s Book but I guess they weren’t able to execute their plan quickly enough.
In both cases, it appears that the investors and board saw a less than positive outlook for the company and wanted to recoup their investments. John and I are certainly glad that we don’t currently have any outside investors that would tell us to pull the plug on Menuism. If we’re able to maintain our independence and lean operations there’s no reason Menuism can’t stay up forever!