This is a 1-minute video of ImageFramer to pique your interest.
The hard work of marketing it just begins.
This year I’m planning on going to Release Notes Conference again. After two fantastic years in Indianapolis, excited to see what awaits us in Chicago. I think it’s a must-to-attend conference for any indie software business owner, especially in the Apple ecosystem.
Today Bohemian Coding, an indie Mac development company, who develop the fantastic design application Sketch, announced a change to licensing and versioning scheme of the application.
They are trying something new for them, after moving away from the Mac App Store in the last year, to have full control over the licensing process, among other reasons.
As is expected, such changes bring a lot of response from existing customers. And many are unhappy with change. And they wrote about their disagreement in comments to the blog.
One thing I noticed is that Bohemian Coding’s announcement doesn’t include the price of the new license scheme. So customers can’t really know what they are going to pay. And so some assume that it’ll be $99 per year. Some argue that it should be $50 per year because previously major updates were about every two years. Some say that it should be based on upgrade pricing, which is indeterminate.
The truth it, is that I think Bohemian Coding should’ve announced the pricing structure in the same blog post. Yes, maybe they haven’t decided yet. But price is of such utmost importance to customers’ feelings towards such changes, that leaving it out is, in my opinion, a mistake. People have visceral, immediate response to pricing, on subconscious level.
Consider this: current new license of Sketch is USD$99. The license is for a major version that runs for about two years. Yes, maybe you bought the license 6 months before the new major version and then it’s less value (one thing that the new theme tries to avoid). In any case, taking this price into account:
Did you get an immediate gut feeling of “that’s a rip-off”, “that’s a bargain”, “that’s fair”, “kinda OK”?
Maybe Bohemian Coding thinks that the have time to decide about the price because they have at least 6 months before people need to buy the new licenses. I know many people at Bohemian Coding, and they’re smart and passionate. But I wouldn’t suggest putting the announcement off until that moment. Look at what’s happened with Smile’s announcement of TextExpander 6 going to a subscription-based model. Lots of backlash from the customers and the media. Mainly because the people thought they got the price wrong. Then Smile adjusted the prices to a level that seemed reasonable to more people, especially to the existing customer base.
If Sketch announces the pricing now, they’ll remove the speculations and will still have time to adjust the pricing strategy before new scheme goes into effect, before first people are billed.
Pricing is hard. Pricing is psychology. Don’t let people guess what you pricing will be. Tell them the price, then observe the reaction.
The blog post from Sketch was updated with the pricing decision, after they got questions from customers. Now they have to watch the reaction and have a thick skin.
Doing customer support can bring more benefits than just another happy customer.
An interaction with a customer of your application can lead to:
I made another musical video. This time I remade David Bowie’s excellent “Space Oddity” with lyrics on the subject of ups and downs of indie app development. It should be more accessible to the general population than my previous video about the programming language Swift.
Lyrics are embedded in the video but here they are in full:
App Oddity ~~~~~~~~~~ App Review to Coder Tom App Review to Coder Tom Take your caffeine pills And put your headphones on App Review to Coder Tom Commencing countdown, you’re logged on. Check submission and may Jobs’ love be with you This is App Review to Coder Tom You’re featured on first page And the web sites want to know how much you’ve made Now it’s time to go out and celebrate This is Coder Tom to App Review I’m stepping through the doors And my head spins in a most peculiar way And the App Store’s very different today For here Am I sitting in my basement Far from outside world Why do I feel blue Is there something I can do? Though I’m past one million free downloads I can’t see many sales And I think I might've chosen wrong way to go Tell my customers I care, 'cause they should know App Review to Coder Tom Your app is dead, there’s something wrong Can you fix it Coder Tom Can you fix it Coder Tom Can you hear us Coder Tom Can you… Here am I lying in my basement Far from outside world All I feel is blue And there’s nothing I can do
These days I’m reading what appears to be a fantastic book by Daniel Kahneman, called “Thinking, Fast and Slow”. It’s about how the intuitive and analytical minds think and interact. It’s about statistics and the fallacies of our minds with regards to statistical intuition and other thinking fallacies.
The quotes in the image are just a sample of quotes from one chapter. These specifically refer to the efficacy, or rather lack of thereof, of a specific kind of business books, those that try to teach the readers how to be successful in business by analyzing previous successful businesses, as if their management was somehow especially smart. The thing, as Kahneman explains, is that luck plays a much more important role than a specific CEO’s abilities are and eventually, over time, the companies come to some middle ground because luck averages out.
In short, read the quotes. Better yet, get the book.
Successfully completed a client project in record time and budget by convincing the client that there’s no need for it.
Of course I wasn’t paid for the couple of hours it took me to research the idea and communicate my thoughts on it with the potential client. But it was the correct thing to do and I’d do the same again. Going for it could’ve ended very frustrating to all the parties involved.