How does it feel to develop a tool to help people break free of gambling addiction? It’s a question I’ve gotten many times. It feels incredible to challenge something so big that nearly anyone you talk to has an opinion, but what is the price?
How does it feel?
It’s been 3.5 years since we started this project. I’ve discussed the starting process in articles and podcasts, so that part is well known. But I haven’t talked much about how it feels working with the project daily.
How does it feel? Most days, it feels like lying on the floor and being kicked from both sides over and over. It’s been a painful experience.
- The constant need to justify what we’re doing
- Being met by suspicion rather than curiosity
- Little understanding and support from authorities
- Services we pay for that don’t deliver what they should
- Google is punishing us
Interestingly, we meet less resistance from the gambling industry than people working with problem gambling. So far, I haven’t received any criticism from the industry. Most people I talk with get interested and want to know more about what we’re doing. Responsible gambling and, more importantly, Compliance are hot topics in the industry. QuitGamble.com fits nicely into that.
I know we’re trying to develop something new, and we have a different approach to most traditional ways of helping people. But, we’re not trying to compete with anybody. We’re trying to find new ways to help people, to offer an alternative. Yet, we’re often met with suspicion by people in the problem gambling industry.
A few weeks ago, we received a fine for not submitting a document to the authorities here in Malta. The document should have been submitted in October last year, and we asked them about it in September. They said everything was okay, but then nine months later, we received a huge fine. Instead of telling us, “Hey, please send us this document, ” they waited nine months and charged 5€ per day for the delay. For a two people company, it’s a kick in the stomach when authorities behave like that instead of supporting small businesses trying to do something good for the world.
I’ve learned to deal with criticism, suspicion, and being questions. Even if it’s painful, I can understand it. These people want to help people, too, in the best way they can. It’s harder for me to deal with a major player like Google. 2 months ago, our website got punished for something. Maybe it was the new design we worked on for six months on. The new design improved our user interface and decreased the amount of code by 90% (to make it easier for Google to read), or maybe it was the 50 guides we had created for different US states to give people in these states some information about how to stop gambling. I don’t know.
Since then, we’ve removed these guides and added more content to the website. We’ll see if anything happens in the following google update (whenever that comes.)
One cause of depression (and why I got depressed four years ago) is feeling out of control. No matter what you do, you can’t control the outcome. You can do your best but can’t control what will happen. (You can read more about it in the guide about co-dependence.)
Feeling out of control is what happens to us right now with Google. I’ll continue to do my best, adding content to the website, improving the website, and creating collaborations with other organizations, but ultimately, Google decides if we will rank or not. I can’t tell you how frustrating and painful that is.
As a small organization with no financial support, we have a small budget to work with. Last year, we invested heavily in a new platform and mobile app. It was amazing, all the possibilities. But, going all in with these platforms also made us entirely dependent on whether they are working and if the promised feature is launched on time. It hasn’t been the case, unfortunately.
QuitGamble.com – August to December 2022
Despite all adversity, we look brightly at the future. We’ve had some success with collaborations in the past two months. We hope that we will continue and that we will be able to deepen these collaborations. We’re about to pass 700 members. Hopefully, we’ll see a steady increase in members during the autumn.
Features we’ll launch:
- Chat function
- New CRM system
- Streamlining the programs
- New onboarding
- New emails
- Guides for Mindset, Identity, and Change
- We’re building a studio to make our videos
The chat feature we’ve looked forward to adding to the members’ pages is in beta now. From what we’ve seen, it looks promising.
We have just switched the CRM system to make the sign-up experience faster and ensure that the emails come on time.
We’re also working on a new onboarding process to help people get started and use the platform. We hope it’ll add value for the members. In September, we’ll streamline the programs and add some features (if we manage to code them.)
We will add more videos to improve the onboarding and help all current users. We’ll do videos with me talking instead of just animated videos. We’ll do our best to make them as professional as possible.
The emails will be completely redone, and we’ll add more information. We hope to add a notification feature, so you as a user can choose if you want to get an email or a notification on your phone.