* The Business of Software

A former community discussing the business of software, from the smallest shareware operation to Microsoft. A part of Joel on Software.

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Andy Brice
Successful Software

Doug Nebeker ("Doug")

Jonathan Matthews
Creator of DeepTrawl, CloudTrawl, and LeapDoc

Nicholas Hebb
BreezeTree Software

Bob Walsh
host, Startup Success Podcast author of The Web Startup Success Guide and Micro-ISV: From Vision To Reality

Patrick McKenzie
Bingo Card Creator

Report back on partnership with customers

I posted here a year ago about a potential joint venture with some customers -  http://discuss.joelonsoftware.com/default.asp?biz.5.843700.8

You'll be pleased to know that I ignored most of the advice and became 1 of 3 directors of a company which is essentially a sales/marketing channel for my software. My rationale was "I'm not really making much money as it is, let's just go along with this and see what happens".

One year on... the new company has made a lot of money, compared to my company anyway. I only get a third of the profits but, whatever the downsides, it has the merit that it has actually increased my income.

The company web site is rubbish - no SEO, simple template, no "call to action" - it was literally put together in a few hours by a "mate" of one of the other directors. It doesn't seem to matter - companies buy the software anyway, it solves a problem for them. For niche B2B software at least, it just proves the point that if you have a decent product and get face-to-face with potential clients, there are very few obstacles to selling.

The good advice that I got here but ignored is probably going to come back to haunt me... as things scale up there's more and more work to do, most of it for me (even if we take on more people).

Lessons I've learned:
- don't waste too much time trying to sell via the web, just get in front of real people
- don't undervalue your software, find out how much it will save your customers and use that as your guide
- spend the money up front on getting a lawyer involved who will represent your personal interests
- being a small company won't prevent you from charging 10Ks for software
- there are lots of businesses out there that still don't use software to solve big headaches, but when presented with a solution they'll jump at it
Advice Seeker Send private email
Thursday, February 21, 2013
 
 
Very cool, thanks for updating on how it worked out.
Scott Send private email
Thursday, February 21, 2013
 
 
Congratulations, I wish you ever success! Thanks also for reporing back - it's awesome to hear how things worked out.
Jonathan Matthews Send private email
Thursday, February 21, 2013
 
 
Excellent news and great to see you reporting back.
Scorpio Send private email
Thursday, February 21, 2013
 
 
"as things scale up there's more and more work to do, most of it for me "
The beauty is that success has momentum, and you (or your successor) will have the latitude to make mistakes, waste time and stumble along with half-assed implementations.  I  don't know how to describe the tipping point, but once you get there, you really have to mess up to fail.
Howard Ness Send private email
Friday, February 22, 2013
 
 
very good news and great to see you reporting back.
rohitsawant Send private email
Friday, February 22, 2013
 
 

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