Marketing

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How not to sell a shareware app

Published July 7th, 2005 edit replace rm!

I need to create little screencast quicktime movies to help users of StakeItOut. This is something that it looks like Backpack have done successfully and it really is a good idea.

So I downloaded Snapz Pro X a while ago to try it out. It seems like a good product, but I didn’t need it straight away, so I didn’t buy it yet. Then I have been hit by the most obnoxious nag screen I have ever seen. The app installs itself into some sort of ancient system hook mechanism, that I don’t really think is necessary now a days. All other screenshot apps I’ve seen for Mac just work as standard apps. I’m no OSX expert, maybe there is a good reason.

The problem with this is that you get the above nag screen popping up all the time. I get it almost every time I switch desktops using Desktop Manager. What a pain in the *ss.

While I didn’t maybe research the market well enough, there doesn’t seem to be a good alternative to Snapz Pro X for screen casts. If there was I would buy that. Unfortunately I had to buy this. So I pay it and enter my cc details etc. and they give me the registration code. What happens?

What the hell does that mean. How come my date is wrong? I thought maybe it was some silly US centric bug, where you could only use it in EDT. Nope. Well I’ve emailed them, I hope they will get back to me quickly.

The four curves of want and get

Published June 27th, 2005 edit replace rm!

Seth Godin has as good and short a description I’ve seen of the curves of product sales. The four curves of want and get

Basically curve A is what everyone wants but rarely gets, Curve B shows a spurt of early adopters then hardly anyone else. Curve C shows the most realistic success curve which we should generally speaking plan our finances around and finally curve D which is essentially the failure curve.

These things are very important for us bootstrappers as we we need to be able to plan our funding/finance accordingly. I think it is best to plan for C. Obviously if you plan for D, why start at all. This is why it is so bad to fund with your credit card, because unless you hit curve A, the credit card will kill you before success hits in curve C.

Curve B is interesting. Seth talks about this as what happens if you a fan group who all buy your stuff immediately. Then no one else does.

If I was to create a new payment system...

Published June 22nd, 2005 edit replace rm!

There is a lot of buzz going on right now about payment systems. First with the huge credit card theft which was seriously just waiting to happen (and will happen again), secondly with Google’s new Payment System which could have the potential to be interesting.

This subject is dear to me as I have spent more than my fair share of time in the payment system business.

So if I was to do it again (and I probably cant stay out of it completely) I have some ideas about it.

First of all these are the things I and google should do:

Google have an opportunity to do many of these things. In particular the first point about the banking system.

The banks will do anything they can to kill your business as a payment system. Afterall they have had a near monopoly for years in handling payments electronically.

Even though they do NOT handle the majority of payments in the world. Most payments are still cash and are handled easily and simply without the interference of banks.

Google cashflows

Google has the advantage of a large source of revenue through Adwords as well as a major group of small business Adsense partners.

This means they have two huge internal sources of cashflow that aren’t currently integrated.

Step 1. Linking the cashflows together to create GoogleBux

Linking those together would be the first step in the puzzle. That would simplify their operation and costs greatly. All they would have to do is to add a simple book entry system to their Google Account system.

Step 2. Allowing transfers between members.

How to turn this into a payment system then? Simply allow people to transfer parts of their GoogleBux balance to other users.

Now we have a payment system with probably a huge circulation of funds within the system.

Step 3. Cutting the cord to the banks

They currently use the banks to receive payments via credit cards to pay for Adwords. They Adsense members using antiquated paper checks or electronic fund transfer if you are lucky enough to have a US bank account.

Personally I would rather be able to spend my adsense money on adwords or other services than wait a year for $100 check that my Danish bank will then charge me $30 do clear.

Also what if I could go transfer my 67 GoogleBux to a friend in exchange for 400 dkk cash.

Someone might even make a business out of it and charge a 2% markup on exchanges to the banking system. Thus outsourcing the integration with each countries banking system to the free market. Google would save tons of moneys, headaches and legal problems.

At Reboot I talked with Malthe Sigurdsson from Skype about this as a solution for them allowing people to buy Skype credits in strange places where people don’t have credit cards. He said that they would like to do something like this, but fraud is a huge issue.

I think though that the clever people at Skype and Google could probably come up with some clever technological solutions for this. Such as not mixing hard and soft money

Flickr still communicating great

Published June 20th, 2005 edit replace rm!

You wouldn’t know that they have just been bought up by Yahoo from this email I just received:

The Flickr team has up and moved this week to Californ-i-a and has
been singing Beach Boys songs non-stop since arrival. And you’re
moving too!

We’re moving each and every pixel, bit, and byte, all your data, lock,
stock, and barrel, from our humble server shack in Canada to our new
server palace in the U.S. of A!

This process will begin during the week of June 28 and will result in
speediness, stableness, and happiness. For more information, please
visit the FAQ about the data center move.
http://www.flickr.com/help.gne#94

Thank you, Flickreebies, for making Flickr such a wonderful place to
share, connect, and befriend. We love you! (In an entirely non-creepy
way.)

- The Flickroobies

Good on them for keeping it this way. I can’t stand dealing with all these impersonal companies. Besides having a super service I really believe their personal approach has helped them reach the success they have today.

Mark Fletcher on Stealth Startups

Published June 19th, 2005 edit replace rm!

Mark Fletcher the CEO of BlogLines writes Stealth Start-Ups Suck :

Stealth mode is when a company is operating in secret for some length of time before launching their product or service. In many industries, creating a new product or service takes significant time and effort. During this time, being in stealth mode may make a lot of sense. But creating a new web service is not rocket science and does not take a lot of time or money. My rule of thumb is that it should take no more than 3 months to go from conception to launch of a new web service. And that’s being generous. I’m speaking from experience here. I developed the first version of ONElist over a period of 3 months, and that was while working a full-time job. I developed the first version of Bloglines in 3 months. By myself. It can be done. And I suck at it! Just ask all the engineers who have had to deal with my code.

I agree with all his points. Read it all.

I started going down the stealth route, but quickly dumped the idea for much the same reasons he says. With Ruby on Rails it is even quicker to do stuff, so there is no excuse to not get your app out in front of people.

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My name is Pelle Braendgaard. Pronounce it like Pelé the footballer (no relation). I live in wonderful Managua, Nicaragua. I work with Clojure, Bitcoin and Ethereum.

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