When I very first joined Dominique Mason in the adventure that was: AirDailyX The Insolent European FS News Breaker, it was nothing more than an effort to assist in what I felt was the very best flight simulation news website on the internet. It dared to be different and defied the "status quo" hence the term insolent. Dom had quit the blog once and with the assistance of a few developers namely Orbx, FlyTampa, and LatinVFR, Dom resumed work but still, I could see him falling behind and I didn't want to see ADX go away. Additionally, I wanted to be a part of something that not only served the community and propped up flight simulation for the amazing tool it was, but to also personally give something back to the community that had served me so well. Almost 7 years later and ADX has grown to be the singular most popular news and reviews based website online and has maintained it's defiance to the status quo.
I have learned a lot over the years with ADX and the experience in running a website like this has been fun, academic, and certainly challenging. One of the things I mostly learned, was to be myself. Sure some folks out there may not like that but it's the only way I know how to be. That, and have fun. And it's because of this concept, I have been able to not only enjoy, but look forward to donating my life to ADX and all of you. ADX has in the past been made up of multiple members, every one of which has had to for one reason or other, move on to other callings in their lives.
What has kept me dedicated to this venture where others have moved on was accomplished through my rather odd and obsessively passionate driven spirit for this hobby which has lingered since the age of 15. So much so, that I have passed up on opportunities in life, (and some pretty major) just to ensure ADX could continue to survive. But even I knew decisions like that were only stemming from borrowed time and eventually, at some point, something would have to change. But I never saw the coming change on the horizon and as reality goes, change can happen and you will never see it coming.
This time around, a major opportunity in the form of a career advancement recently came my way and even though I had to compete with well over 100 others to achieve it, I never really thought about how ADX might be affected should I achieve such career advancement in life. And that in and of itself says a lot about where I am in my life and how it pertains to ADX. The change that came was not from some outside force but from within and for the first time in my life, I made a decision that did not include AirDailyX. Now that I have elevated my career, which has some amazing perks like a huge salary (more than twice than I have ever earned) 6 weeks of vacation a year, travel perks, bonuses, the list goes on and on. But so does the responsibility and time devotion.
Responsibility so great that, in essence, it's now officially impossible to continue to dedicate my life in the same way I have done for nearly every day for the last nearly 7 years. Over 20,000 articles, reviews, and live streams serving well over 25 million unique visits all done without asking for anything in return and what my benefit has always been, is the relationships I have made because of ADX. Close friends and people I consider family (you all know who you are.) But it's the readers whom I love as well. Even those who hate me. Because for those who absolutely loathe ADX or attempt to compete against it, are still fans and visit every day. You know who you are too. Par for the course.
Many over the years have asked me, why don't you simply solicit volunteer assistance. And the answer is simple, because soliciting assistance only works short term. In the long run, I've learned that this concept does not work and I have been around for long enough to learn that in order to keep ADX running in the way that makes it successful, long term die-hard commitments are necessary. I have seen several dozen FS websites come and go over the years due to this. The work is not easy and an entity like ADX requires a lot of your life to survive and the only way to give it your life, is you have to love it as much as the people you love. And it is my baby. But it's also time for ADX to either die, or grow up. And with the assistance of some of those relationships, thankfully, it's going to be the latter.
It's time for ADX to grow up.
Now some I know really like my independent style which has become a staple, and many hate it and see it as hurting ADX's growth despite ADX having grown every year in leaps & bounds since it's inception. Either way, the day of major change has arrived. So here's how ADX elevates to the next level and continues to be the #1 independent online resource in flight simulation:
ADX has a whole new team coming on board and they will be introducing themselves shortly. As I said before, volunteer assistance does not work long term. So whats the solution? Ultimately, it's to turn ADX into an actual corporation and hire full time paid journalists to contribute 24/7 so no news is ever lost and you can always count on fresh content every day multiple times a day which is a staple of ADX others emulate. But, it can't just stop there, these have to be people who know the hobby and can speak passionately and yet, professionally about it. The goal here is to elevate ADX above and beyond the typical "FS News Site" and join the ranks of such professional resources such as PCPilot, PCGamer, IGN, etc. just to name a few reputable entities.
In order to accomplish this, ADX simply cannot rely on volunteers to contribute in order to survive any more than the New York Times can. Thus, as an officially incorporated entity with a staff of several full time employees across the globe, ADX can truly be the resource flight simulation truly deserves. Among these members, the new team is comprised of myself along with a real world pilot of a legacy US carrier, a real world air traffic controller with over a decade of FS contributions, a hedge fund manager in NYC that made his dream come true and built a level D 738 sim in a Manhattan penthouse, and several other enthusiasts with a combined 50 years of experience in the flight simulation industry. You will meet all of them soon enough.
Perhaps the most exciting new feature and the (big announcement) is the development of a huge resource fund to assist third-party add on developers. The new team is committing a very substantial amount of capital to a "protocol" or program in which developers can join, and borrow all the funding they need to finance each new project they take on. This loan system will be paid back into the fund with generated revenue as addons are released. Let me put this into perspective:
Having close ties with the majority of members of the FS development community, I can tell you the common issue all of them experience big and small are due to delays directly related to financing projects. Because many developers need to finance entire projects at start, sometimes they have to wait for past projects to generate enough revenue. Photoreal applications themselves can run well into the thousands alone. What's more, developers still need to make profits in order for product development to remain viable asside from paying the bills, thus a lot of projects get overlooked due to fear that they may not "sell" well.
Starting today, the new ADX team is taking this risk away from the developers in order to unleash all of their skills and creativity to develop the projects they are passionate about. Our upcoming polling system will also allow ADX followers to determine which new projects that go into development fully financed by ADX.
I have been clear from the start, I am here to support our development community for without them, there can be no enjoyable flight simulation hobby. I have always had these ideas on how to better help developers accomplish their goals and better their talents and in the end, I believe the best way aside from cheering them to success, is to also invest in their efforts and future. Per our very successful developers conference at FlightSimCon 2017, ADX will be hosting another private conference online and all members of the development community are welcome to attend. This is where we hope to bridge the divide's between developers and begin to move forward in a unified direction. Developers, you will be receiving details on this soon.
Other advancements within ADX will also include: Mobile apps (I have seen the complaints, hang in there) freeware file libraries, and forums. The team is already working behind the scenes to achieve all this. So where does all this leave D'Andre? Well, you will not be seeing me daily anymore as our team of staff begin to take over. But rest assured, I will still be here behind the scenes. Having a team also allows me to get back to and spend time on things I truly love such as my super reviews, livestreams, and podcasts. Being able to put more of my time in these key areas means much more content more frequently. We are also planning a monthly show with some well known figures in the community that will recap the hottest news, developer interviews, gossip, and more.
Another new staple will be high production hardware video reviews. We already have most of the equipment in place to achieve this and you will also recognize some familiar names in the community playing a integral parts in this area.
In short, if ever you were impressed with what 1 person behind ADX all these years was able to achieve, imagine what a team of dedicated, passionate journalists and editors will accomplish moving forward. I promised big news and this is literally just the tip of the iceberg as AirDailyX enters it's next phase of evolution. I want to truly thank the developers and community in general for your dedicated and undying support. And thanks to all of you for continuing to submit your news! Your daily news will be getting caught up shortly as we shift into gear. It really warms my heart to see the pouring of support from all of you and this is a golden reason why I simply could not let ADX die.
It's time for the next stage of our evolution together and I hope you will all continue to join us here at AirDailyX as we usher in the future. We are in some amazing times in the hobby right now. Let's take it by storm! Are you ready?
Yours Truly Always,