* 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.

We're closed, folks!

Links:

» Business of Software FAQ
» The Business of Software Conference (held every fall, usually in Boston)
» Forum guidelines (Please read before posting!)

Moderators:

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

Pay for data instead of app?

Toying with the idea of instead of paying for an app, my customers would pay for the data instead.  Kind of like how anti-virus apps give the app away for free, but you pay for the sig files that detect the virii.

Is this a good approach?  Seems to me it's a good way to prevent piracy.  The files paid for would be encrypted and tied to the purchaser's email address, so if they share the file, they can be identified and removed from my customer base.
PSB136 Send private email
Thursday, December 26, 2013
 
 
Sounds like a plan, as long as you don't mind being tied into providing data.

Be careful with your TOS and never use the words "for ever"...




AC
Reluctantlyregistered Send private email
Thursday, December 26, 2013
 
 
You're one step closer to what you actually want: a web app. With a web app (in place of a downloadable app) you'll have 0% piracy. The trade-off is that you now have other problems: scalability problems, preventing hacking, selling a web app is much harder than selling a downloadable app. That's all on t op of all the forms of credit card fraud that come with selling anything.


>> "so if they share the file, they can be identified and removed from my customer base."

This is an ill-considered idea:

1. This won't stop cracking, or sharing of the data within elicit circles (e.g. people who buy with stolen credit cards and have no intention of legitimately buying your software). For examples of this see anti-virus software and mapping data for those mobile GPS units. The "encrypted" data is decrypted by fraudulent users (stolen CCs) or decrypted & altered to remove traces of the originating user by malicious users who want to protect their source (e.g. a malicious user stealing the data from their company -- the ones who bought the data).

2. This won't stop "casual piracy" (sharing of the data within an organization -- e.g. a company).


So if your home-baked method won't increase revenue beyond what serial-only licensing can, then what's the point? If the point of doing it is to make you *feel* like you're doing something without actually doing something, then go for it. Feels will be in abundance with your method.


You might as well just make serial only licensing: http://wyday.com/limelm/features/why/#serial-only

It has the exact same end result as your plan.
Wyatt O'Day Send private email
Thursday, December 26, 2013
 
 
Oops -- "illicit" no "elicit". Stupid me.
Wyatt O'Day Send private email
Thursday, December 26, 2013
 
 
Avoiding scalability issues is a good reason for letting the user's download the app and use their own computing power.




AC
Reluctantlyregistered Send private email
Thursday, December 26, 2013
 
 
Ok? That was my point. No matter what you choose there are trade-offs.
Wyatt O'Day Send private email
Thursday, December 26, 2013
 
 
Anyway to make the data update occasionally?  That would be the best -- then you can charge a subscription and have recurring revenue.
Doug Send private email
Thursday, December 26, 2013
 
 
Tie the data to the customer, something more sophisticated than putting "Brian's personalized data" in a header.  Everyone has different information needs, if you can find a way to deliver a unique package of information for each customer, you eliminate the "sharing" problem.  Sell your data in packages or bundles that can be easily perceived as containing a minimum value to justify the cost, while allowing your customer to re-use the data multiple times and thereby obtaining more value than what he/she paid for it.  From a sales perspective, the more quickly the data gets stale, the more often you can sell data to the same customer.
Howard Ness Send private email
Friday, December 27, 2013
 
 
"Everyone has different information needs, if you can find a way to deliver a unique package of information for each customer, you eliminate the "sharing" problem."

Yes, this is what I want to do.  I call it the "reading glasses" technique -- nobody steals another person's reading glasses, because there's no point.  :)
PSB136 Send private email
Saturday, December 28, 2013
 
 
As an example, some suppliers to banks use this model. Think Bloomberg and Reuters, although there are others.
They typically can use the data for internal manipulation/calculation for immediate display (i.e. no broadcasting/transmission).
That is, they have fairly stringent terms of use, however they also have the financial resources & stamina to enforce those terms.

Here, the ability to access the data for manipulation (e.g. asset pricing) is crucial. Would that apply in your circumstances? If so, it would be hard to envisage this being a good way to prevent piracy (of the data at least).

Another aspect to consider is the perceived 'value' the client is purchasing is in the data and not the software. If that's the case, you may also want to consider what other substitutes or alternatives your clients have to the data you provide.

All the best
Marcus from London Send private email
Monday, January 13, 2014
 
 

This topic is archived. No further replies will be accepted.

Other recent topics Other recent topics
 
Powered by FogBugz