A New Direction for Elega Corp Amid Uncertainty
This week, we're releasing Debugging Rust 2021 Applications, our newest Pluralsight course, and our first-ever course devoted to another technology besides Salesforce. Rust is the primary programming language used for Elega Corp's internal processes. It's what I'm using to write all my tooling for the full-time job, and it's on an exciting upward trend as a newly adopted, popular language as of this year: 2023. Rust has famously been one of the most loved languages according to the Stack Overflow Developer Survey for many years running, and programming popularity indices like the PYPL show Rust being increasingly adopted at an accelerated rate.
I am excited about this new course launch, and I strongly believe that this will be a good asset for Elega to have with a technology that seems to have a very strong future direction. This puts me a step closer to my personal goals, too, of having a more diversified skillset professionally and commercially outside the Salesforce software ecosystem.
For those who follow me for Salesforce content or courses, you won't have to worry there, either, because we have three all-new Salesforce courses on the way, plus some updates on our existing catalogue. Lately, I haven't been very good about keeping up with the Elega Corp blog, and it's primarily because we're busy! With all the new courses going on, it's hard to focus on anything but the next week or two.
Focus has been up and on nonetheless, however, because recently Pluralsight has reduced its author compensation structure to a significant percentage lower than it used to be. If you ever thought about becoming a course author yourself, you may have read stories about how some Pluralsight authors collected lavish million-dollar-plus incomes from course payments and royalties. Those days are effectively over, aside from a very rare few outliers - increasingly, making money from the online course market for IT training is difficult.
For Elega Corp's business, this is an extremely negative development. From 2021 to 2022, our growth rate was virtually completely stagnant, and now, for the first time since creating the company in 2017, I'm looking at 2023 as a year in which we may face a serious revenue decline.
Pluralsight faces a number of economic challenges, including the non-trivial issue of a tidal wave of competition. They have also had a wild journey in their company ownership, fluxing back and forth from being private, to having an IPO, and then going back to being a private equity-owned company. Their investors are trying to keep the ship afloat as well as yield new returns out of it, and that has been a part of the decision to cut author compensation.
As a result of this, I see no choice but to part ways with Pluralsight for new course production due to the uncertainty and reduced return from my team's time. I will continue working with them to maintain our courses that remain active in their catalogue. We do not expect to sign new contracts with them after August 2023.
Overall, the decision to part ways with Pluralsight for new course production is a necessary step to ensure the future sustainability of Elega Corp. It's important for any business to adapt to changing market conditions and explore new revenue streams, and we're confident that we can continue to do so in the coming years.
As always, we appreciate the support of our customers and followers, and we look forward to continuing to provide valuable content and services to the tech community.
Failing to Diversify?Elega Corp has been attempting to diversify its income sources since its inception. During the early days, the company had a temporary merchandise campaign to sell limited edition logo t-shirts and coffee mugs, but it was unsuccessful due to the small social media presence.
Kalling Kingdom, the company's first computer game released in 2019, has also not sold well due to high competition in the game development market. While the company's ongoing investment with Energea solar asset portfolios has been moderately successful, it cannot consistently exceed the rising bank interest rates, which are now between 3% to 5% in annual return. Investing is a slow process and not as profitable as an active, successful business. Moreover, relying on investments returning dividends ties up cash that the company might need, which is a disadvantage.
The lack of diversification or the absence of majorly successful diversification is a significant issue for the company's financial stability. The audio/video editors might have to be let go by Q4 of the current year, which means the company has to consider whether any part of the training business is worth continuing.
A lot of our limited success with Kalling Kingdom can be summed up by a combination of inexperience in the games industry while our expectations for Pluralsight royalties were simply different. When we had first negotiated course contracts with Pluralsight, we were planning for a 5 year time horizon, and that horizon now seems much less profitable. There is hope that our existing diversification effort will eventually reach success but we have a lot of work to do. Kalling Kingdom needs to receive the continued updates we have already planned, our energy investing needs more capital over time, and we need to continue exploring more new opportunities for additional income streams.
A New Era of Uncertainty and RiskThis situation puts the company back to square one, and I must weigh carefully whether any part of the training business is worth continuing and what that means for the company's future. The question is whether the ongoing investments can float expenses or not. The answer is no, even after cutting out some expenses, such as subscription fees with Microsoft for video conferencing and Office or reducing cloud compute spending for our websites.
On the bright side, I have several options to turn the company's cash situation around. I'm now allowed to continue working on new products, take on consulting or contract work to do development part-time, or release a book. We must balance income strategy with customer and audience interests.
Overhauling Our Approach to GamesThe company has made good progress on the Aperture game engine, with the engine successfully rendering 2D sprites, early controller support, an early world editor, and a roadmap for future development. WebAssembly support and XR or VR support are on the feature roadmap to accommodate our market and technology research regarding virtual and augmented reality headsets.
We plan to breathe new life into our games business model by improving accessibility, adding lots of quality polish, and providing blazing fast performance. Accessibiltiy, in this case, refers to the ability of more players on more devices being able to hop in and enjoy the entertainment or experience.
A key part of our strategy with our games business is to focus on improvements to Kalling Kingdom, making the new game engine able to run in more places, and then building new content on our existing technology. Using the web, we would like to make both Kalling Kingdom and new games available for free using in-game advertising with the option to purchase titles ad-free under premium pricing. For example, today, customers are only able to play Kalling Kingdom for either the full retail price of $7.99, or perhaps less when the game goes on sale, and it runs on Windows and Linux. Later, Kalling Kingdom will be playable in a web browser, for free, and if players lose the game: they'll watch an ad before continuing.
Of critical importance to this new model in our new interactive content will be to ensure that no microtransactions or in-app purchases are used. Essentially, I want to make a better online arcade. The work has begun.
The decision by Elega Corp to part ways with Pluralsight for new course production is a necessary step towards ensuring the future sustainability of the business. The company has been facing economic challenges, including reduced author compensation from Pluralsight, and a lack of majorly successful diversification. While Elega Corp has made efforts to diversify its income sources, we have not been consistently successful. Nevertheless, the company is optimistic that it can continue to adapt to changing market conditions and explore new revenue streams in the coming years. As always, the company appreciates the support of its customers and followers and looks forward to continuing to provide valuable content and services to the tech community and gamers.