Yesterday I terminated my first profit-oriented start-up, Benimfontum. Benimfontum is a web site where anyone can convert your own hand-writing to digital font. It generates a font file from the scanned hand-written template and so enables people to type their digital content such as blogs, e-mails and documents (any kind of document that you can select font).
The story started exactly 5 years ago. When I was surfing Internet I came up with a web site called as “Your Fonts”  that generates font file from hand-writing. I was interested with this idea and I thought that lots of people will like this feature as well. Also web site had a re-seller kit that you can build your own web site and sell their feature adding a commission. So I decided to do this business and applied for being a re-seller.
All the ordering progress was programmatic. Customer downloads, prints the template which has a space for each character to fill. After filling, customer scans the template, go for a test-type and complete the order paying with Paypal. Then the font file is sent the customer via e-mail. I would make a profit of $8 each font is sold.
Turkish Language is using Latin Alphabet but has a few weird extra characters like İ, Ş, Ğ. The font service has to be adapted to support them or I could not sell even one font to Turkish people. They added these characters to template and I built the web site so the business started.
The next step was to promote. I requested some of my friends to spread the word in crowded online communities like Ekşi Sözlük , Friend Feed and their personal blogs. Thousands of hits came to my web site and hundreds of them tried the demo. But no order was given. According to blog comments the main reason was they do not like their own hand-writing. I was disappointed.
However 2 orders are given within whole life time. All were one years later, in 2010, the time that I was completely forgotten the existing of the web site.
No more orders in 4 years so to reduce my server costs I decided to shut it down. I noticed that it is not even working still because Paypal keys were dead. I tweeted this news to inform the followers .
Bundan tam 5 yıl önce kurulan @benimfontum kapandı. Kar edemedi ancak insanlara faydalı olmaya çalıştı. Hepiniz hoşça kalın.
BenimFontum (@benimfontum) October 2, 2014
Lost money, gained experience. It worth trying