2019: Looking Forward

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In my last article, we looked back at 2018. I think it's important to learn from our mistakes and celebrate our victories, but let's not linger there—2018 is in the past and now 2019 is before us.

This will be an important year for PucaTrade—maybe more important than the last—and I'm hopeful for what we can accomplish. In December, I had our annual meeting with the founders, and we talked about PucaTrade's greatest needs and goals for the new year. It was really exciting to hear some of their ideas and to come to a consensus on our best direction forward.

Today I'm going to share the goals that we set together, and how they will impact Puca. Let's dive in.

Shahrazad

Goals

We set two primary goals for 2019: To make PucaTrade easier to use, and to double our trade traffic. These goals cover a wide spectrum of what PucaTrade needs. Below I'll break down each goal and talk about why we chose to focus on them.

Make PucaTrade Easier to Use

This goes beyond just moving some user interface icons around; we need to rethink how people are using PucaTrade. As it stands, members in the Discord server are having success using PucaTrade, but members who are not on the Discord server are getting mixed results. Part of the reason for this is that there's special information that you learn on Discord that you don't learn on the website. For example, on Discord, it's well known that the best way to get cards is to promote your wants. The people hanging out on the Discord server often walk others through the process of promoting and share with them the best rates to use while promoting. This is really valuable information, and not everyone is privy to it. 

Last year, I had the opportunity to see what it's like for a new (or returning member) to use PucaTrade when I invited a good friend or mine to use the site. He was really confused and had trouble despite all the advice that I gave him. One of the things that became clear to me while watching my friend stumble through the process is that if he used the site in its default form, he would have trouble getting cards. This is where a lot of the ire is generated for both new and returning members.

In 2019 we want to take steps to eliminate the need for special information and third-party platforms. We want to make the default path of a PucaTrade a successful one. This starts by making more information visible, like trade histories for cards. It would also help to make other stuff less visible, like below-market offers. I'll talk more about these features in our Development Update articles and as always you will be included in how we approach this. It's important that we get this right because we can't really move forward with any marketing or growth strategies until we've tuned this experience for our members. 

Double Our Trade Traffic

This goal is ambitious and goes hand-in-hand with the goal above. By removing some of the hindrances in the core process, we should naturally see more trades happening—the trends of trade traffic build on each other. Increased trading activity stimulates more trades. Along with the natural boost from improving the core system, we have some other ideas that can help us reach this goal. Some of the ideas have to do with out-of-the-box ways to approach trading, and other ideas are more conventional like simple marketing.

One thing that we have been shy about in 2018 is marketing PucaTrade. Our philosophy has been "Let's clean up the kitchen before we invite anyone over for dinner." Once we can smooth out the trade experience, it will become more feasible to invite others to join us. Our monthly numbers articles can serve as a barometer and track our progress to this goal. We understand this one is ambitious, but keep in mind any growth in this area is a win.

The Countdown Is At One

Conclusion

As I alluded to above, it's important to note that these are goals, not definite realities. We'll be working towards them and they will guide our decisions. It's just like when you sit down for game one at a tournament: You have a goal, but there's a lot that can happen between game one and game two. Maybe our "opponent" gets stuck on two lands and we just steamroll in 2019. Or maybe we get Thoughtseized on turn one and we have to fight for every inch of progress. No matter what happens, the PucaTeam is sleeved up and ready for battle and we're so glad that you're here with us helping us to make the right plays. 

I'll see you again for another numbers article at the beginning of February. Cheers to a great 2019! 

Jonathan Medina (@Medina_MTG) is a casual Magic player and lover of people. He has a long history of writing for various Magic sites. He's currently the Director of PucaTrade, and a semi-regular writer at GatheringMagic.com. You can find him on Twitter at @Medina_MTG

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