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Our Shift to Smaller, More Focused Products

TL;DR: Today I am announcing we are no longer accepting new customers on our trading platform. Current customers, don't worry nothing is changing for you.

Let's Start with Some Background

I wrote the first code for what became the Options Cafe trading platform back in 2004. As a trained software developer writing programs is always the first place I start when trying to solve a problem, this is how our trading platform started. Using custom software to make myself a better options trader.

In late 2017 I decided my custom trading software was too good not to share with the world. I had been using this software for over 10 years to manage my options trading strategies. In fact around 2017 the trades my software made were my family's biggest source of income. If this software had helped me so much surely others will want access to it too.

At the start of 2019, after over a year of work my team and I had successfully cleaned up my personal trading platform and launched Option Cafe to the public.

We got a lot of early interest, and some very excited early customers. Doing very little marketing customers were signing up faster than we could support them. The first year of our offering was very exciting, but after the first year a few things started to dawn on me. I was spending all my time supporting customers, training users, debugging issues with our broker partners, and building support of trading strategies I don't personally trade. My attention was being pulled away from my core, profitable, options trading activities. I was ignoring something I spent most of my adult life working on -- my trading strategies. I got caught up in the excitement of building a SaaS software model and the expense of my trading.

Another very important thing dawned on me as well. There is a reason most trading platforms are venture backed, and have hundreds of employees. There are so many moving parts to maintain, and it is a very competitive space. Myself and my very small team of contractors (and on and off employees) simply was not enough. Bootstrapping a trading platform might be nearly impossible.

The Announcement

Today I am announcing we are no longer accepting new customers on our trading platform.

In late 2022 when doing my yearly review of my professional activities I realized a need to change course a bit with Options Cafe. Running a trading platform is just too much and takes away from the trading activities.

If you currently are a customer of Options Cafe the platform is not going any where. Myself and members of my team use Options Cafe every day. It is our primary tool to trading the options market. You will continue to have access, and we will continue to maintain it. Nothing is changing for you.

options cafe is sunsetting its trading platform

Moving Forward

Going forward, we're going to release smaller products and tools. Instead of building a jack-of-all-trades trading platform, we're going to focus on building small, self-contained tools. For example, we might release a back tester, a screener, or a reporting dashboard. These smaller tools will allow us to offer compelling tooling that we can easily support and maintain without losing focus on our trading golden goose.

We're also actively working on a "zero to hero" options trading course. This is something we heard from all our customers – they wanted more education. I realized that the best way to get better at something is to teach it. By creating this course, I've been able to open my mind and explore new ways to build an edge in the market.

I don't have an exact timeline for the course yet, but I'm hoping to have it completed in Q2 or Q3 of this year. In the meantime, I'll be playing with different ideas for software tools and sharing my progress via Twitter, our mailing list, and blog posts.

I want to thank everyone who has tried out our trading platform or supported us in any way. This was not an easy decision, but I believe that our new path forward is very exciting. If you have any questions about these changes, please email me at spicer@options.cafe.

Thanks for listening!

Related Topics: options course

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