* 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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Successful Software

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BreezeTree Software

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Patrick McKenzie
Bingo Card Creator

Over it

Well, I found a keygen for my app online so I've pulled the plug on my website.  I'm so over this crap.  Nothing's changed since my last product got cracked.  Dishonest people rule the word: it's a fact.  Hope the loser is happy with their f*cking "conquest".  People like that are assholes.  I'm bowing out now before I totally lose it.  Bye.
PSB136 Send private email
Saturday, April 05, 2014
 
 
Sheesh. Bowing out after what, a couple months. And years of hearing the build up.

Winners never quit. Quitters never win.

Keygen is irrelevant. Hobbiests crock stuff for fun and to show off to their community. So?

What were your sales before it came out? Nothing?
Scott Send private email
Saturday, April 05, 2014
 
 
Yep, bowing out after a couple of months.  I don't have it in me to do this piracy dance again.  Was sick of it last time, and didn't expect it after just 2 months this time.  They can win; I don't care.  There are other things I can try to make a living which doesn't involve software, so I'll head in that direction instead.  Yes, I'm a software quitter.  I can live with that and feel no shame in it.  I know when I'm beaten.
PSB136 Send private email
Saturday, April 05, 2014
 
 
And yes, I had NO sales yet... which makes it worse.  If I'd had just one, then I'd probably be motivated to keep going.  But zero sales + keygen = why f*cking bother.  I don't have the emotional strength to stay in this industry anymore.  I've come to realise that now.
PSB136 Send private email
Saturday, April 05, 2014
 
 
Anti piracy measures are only there to keep honest people honest. The ones who really want to pirate your software will do so.

Giving up because of this is pretty ... well ... non-smart.
Jeremy Morassi Send private email
Sunday, April 06, 2014
 
 
There was a time 30 years ago when cracks were passed around between friends on floppy disks and it was relatively safe for them.

That is absolutely not the case these days. Huge amounts of cracks are infested with malware, and many sites that host cracks and keygens are infested as well.

People who use that stuff are like guys that have unprotected sex with $15 streetwalkers. Sure, it's probably true that some of the streetwalkers are VD free. But most of them are not, and if you make a regular habit of it, you're going to get bit. Same with people who use cracks and visit illegal sites. These are the people complaining their computer is slow and has all these problems. The computers are so badly infested even a nuke-and-pave won't fix them, and the computers need to be burned in a trash heap.

Why worry about those idiots? I know I don't. They get what they deserve.
Scott Send private email
Sunday, April 06, 2014
 
 
There were so few downloads that you could trace which one was the person involved.
Is the crack really working or just a fake, malware ridden executable?
fp615 Send private email
Sunday, April 06, 2014
 
 
> Giving up because of this is pretty ... well ... non-smart

It's only non-smart if you want to continue and succeed.  I don't care anymore.
PSB136 Send private email
Sunday, April 06, 2014
 
 
But it does depress me that you've all given me so much advice... I feel like I've let you all down.  Sorry.
PSB136 Send private email
Sunday, April 06, 2014
 
 
Somebody broke a window so you decided to burn the house?

Unless you are looking for an excuse to collect insurance, it doesn't make any sense at all.

Sometimes, you have to drop a product because you were wrong, nobody needs it. That's all right.

But dropping a product because someone else somewhere is trying to make a quick buck riding on your coat tails???
Sylvain Galibert Send private email
Sunday, April 06, 2014
 
 
Well, I did drop it because nobody needed it.  Not one out of all those downloads paid.  Not one person emailed a question about it.  Obviously: nobody was interested (except one cracker who put the keygen link in YouTube).

So, yeah... time to abort and look at something else.  Sometimes what you think is a good idea is probably just a steaming pile of crap.  Lesson learned.
PSB136 Send private email
Sunday, April 06, 2014
 
 
As fp615 said - is this a working crack?  All my apps have cracks listed on the pirate sites, but none of them work and they are just excuses to spread malware.  Every time I issue an update there is a surge in these crack announcements.

Don't give up just because you have not had any sales yet.  Treat the ongoing development of this app as a learning experience.  You may learn a lot by asking questions and browsing here, but you will learn a great deal more by actually doing it yourself.  Don't look at it as a money earner - look at it as an experience generator.  Just plug away when you hav e time, keep learning and forget about the money.

Ten years ago I wrote a very specialist app for my own use on a job I was doing, and then I decided to try selling it.  In the first 2 years it sold 2 copies.  I kept on developing it because I needed it myself.  Eventually a few users started giving me feedback and I was able to add features that the people needed, but which I would never have thought of myself. Now I sell 3 or 4 per month and because it is such a specialist program I can charge significantly more than the average "shareware" app and it pays for quite a bit more than my beer account.  But the best part is how much I have learnt over the 10 years.
fisher Send private email
Sunday, April 06, 2014
 
 
Your product hasn't been out long enough for you to give up because of lack of interest!

I have plenty of products that didn't sell at all for a long time, but once they caught on they sold well. And this is common in the industry! Good software takes 10 years. One factor is word of mouth as a result of excellent service. Another is to keep adding features until the product becomes irresistible.

One can sidestep the long time needed for growth to occur by doing things like:

* Spending a fortune on advertising, why not try a Superbowl ad?
* Doing a huge long build up during development, blogging and such to potential customers, generating buzz and interest.
* Bundling the product with a "pay what you can" sale that sells 1 million bundles and you get 10 cents per license. (Not a great idea if your product requires support.)

If not doing any of these things to promote it, it's pretty normal and unremarkable to have less than 10 sales the first year, maybe even the second year. Get the feedback you can and improve the program.

If it's been 2 years with essentially no sales, THEN think about retiring the program. Or just leave it for sale but don't update it, or whatever. But after 2 months? No.

This has happened here before. You guys out there building products right now, spending years in development. If 1 year with no sales would make you give up, you should stop now and not waste any more of your own time.
Scott Send private email
Sunday, April 06, 2014
 
 
It sounds like maybe you *should* give up, but not because it got cracked (or pseudo-cracked/malwared), or because it had no sales in the first 2 (naive) months of it being for sale (especially with your "creative" approaches to encouraging purchasing)...

...but because you are seem obsessed with the psychological components of selling software.  Most of your posts are about "psy ops" on the customer, issues with integrity/principles, too clever by half ways to outwit piracy, etc., etc.  Obviously, everyone wants to sell, everyone wants to avoid malefactors... but I get the sense that other people--those that are actually doing well, making money--don't sweat these issues all that much, and just focus on making the product awesome, better, and more apt for the market demand. 

I'm empathetic to your position because I'm quite reactive to jerks, too.  I am not sure if you should really bow out, because maybe it would be a good test case to be able to persist and work on overcoming your reaction.  Maybe this is a good time in your life; maybe it's not.  No one here can even really help you diagnose why the software isn't selling (other than the good point that two months is nothing in sales time for a new product) because you are unwilling to share the product site, etc.  So, anyway, good luck, and sorry to hear this has been a pain for you.
Racky Send private email
Sunday, April 06, 2014
 
 
Unlikely to be a real keygen. They probably just ripped your software name automatically along with a thousand others and posted links on youtube to the 'keygen' which is in reality a malware vector.

I've had 'keygens' listed for my freeware stuff...
DV Send private email
Sunday, April 06, 2014
 
 
I've never said this but I'd like to issue a heartfelt THANK YOU to the criminal syndicates out there pushing their dangerous malware as keygens. These heros have really made messing around with cracks extremely dangerous, and if anything, this has resulted in more legit sales than in the past when using cracks was generally safe. THANKS CRACKERS! You guys rock.
Scott Send private email
Sunday, April 06, 2014
 
 
Best of luck to you, PSB.

You might consider selling the app to another vendor who specializes in selling collections of applications.

Or... you might open-source it and write/blog about it.
Jim Lawless Send private email
Sunday, April 06, 2014
 
 
"I've had 'keygens' listed for my freeware stuff..."

Classic!

I think that sums it all up, but I'm not sure PB is listening.


AC
Reluctantlyregistered Send private email
Sunday, April 06, 2014
 
 
+1 Jim Lawless

That's what I was thining -- have you considered trying to sell the entire app to someone else who sells software?  Or even license it to someone else to sell? 

It sounds like this concern is really making you miserable.  Let someone with the temperament for this take on that concern. 

You would probably give up some income potential but at least you'd make something for your efforts. 

It seems a shame to pour so much time and energy into developing something just to pull the plug on it shortly thereafter.
Emily Jones Send private email
Sunday, April 06, 2014
 
 
Two months and you're done? Crack or no crack that doesn't seem like enough time to consider it quits and give up. One thing to remember is a person who went and looked for a crack for your software was never going to buy it to begin with. If they couldn't find a crack they'd just move on.

Don't know you target sales audience but considered the type of sales record for that audience. Is it businesses where they have more to loose if they are outed as for using cracks? If so then don't worry about them because if it's worth paying for companies will pay.

If it's general consumers then like I said before. If they looked for a crack they were never going to pay to begin with. You want to target and market to those that will pay.

But you need to focus on selling. And ignoring the cracks. You haven't been in business long enough to know if that crack would have even impacted sales you could have had. Chances are this soon not.
TrippinOnIT Send private email
Sunday, April 06, 2014
 
 
Also I think you should have shared what your software was. Maybe someone here could have given good advice as to how to market the type of software you made. Or even bought a copy for themselves. I'm sure others have but I know I've bought software people have made on this forum because I needed the product and had confidence in actually interacting with the developers of the product.

I even recommended software I've seen developed here. Word of mouth can help with sales.
TrippinOnIT Send private email
Sunday, April 06, 2014
 
 
This is *good* news, PSB!

It proves your software is valuable. if it were worthless, nobody would make a keygen for it.

Maybe you just have a bad website or your only store is off-putting.

Tell us what the software/website is. You'll get lots of help.
Nick Moore Send private email
Monday, April 07, 2014
 
 
PSB, one more message to discourage you about quitting.

If you think your software can be useful to users, keep improving it. Two months is a very short period of time.

Ignore keygens. As Scott has pointed out, malware and keygens are almost synonyms these days.

My software has been cracked thousands of times and I cannot do anything about it, Ten years back it really hurt me, but now I simply ignore them. I just keep trying to do my software better for the user.

My advice is, if you think that your software is useful, keep working on it. The first sale will give you strength to improve it and to promote it worldwide.

Good luck :)
MSD Soft Send private email
Monday, April 07, 2014
 
 
It was just a crappy little product that did a simple quick job.  In fact, I'm ashamed of the idea now and that I even thought of charging for it.  Plus I hated my website name and only went with it because it was convenient and available at the time because I couldn't find anything else.  No sales after about 200 downloads and then add a keygen to the mix, and you can see why I've lost all faith in the whole idea.
PSB136 Send private email
Monday, April 07, 2014
 
 
Here's the Softpedia review of it:

http://tinyurl.com/l9whbcm

See, it's just a pathetic little app.  Crappy idea to sell, even though I use it daily to close everything and clear stuff.
PSB136 Send private email
Monday, April 07, 2014
 
 
I actually feel physically sick when looking at that Softpedia page now.
PSB136 Send private email
Monday, April 07, 2014
 
 
If anyone of you want to try it, the exe is here:

http://tinyurl.com/mvj5h4q

Be honest about it.  It may inspire me to continue.
PSB136 Send private email
Monday, April 07, 2014
 
 
Well both the .exe and .zip files give a 404, so I can't test it.

Ah, I see you've 404'd your entire site, so we can't give you any help there. It's not even on the wayback machine.

This app would potentially be useful for me, as I have a totally POS machine that freezes or semi-freezes around 5 or 6 times a day. How I haven't thrown it out the window yet I dunno?

If I wait long enough it usually figures out it's own ass eventually but it's actually quicker to reboot. I'd certainly be willing to try this app to see if it would help. Meh.

The name is fine, but never, ever, use version 1.01, and that goes TRIPLE for any form of "system" tool. It's a trust issue. Would you trust your system to someone else's first attempt at some software?

Anyway, I'm talking to myself I guess...



AC
Reluctantlyregistered Send private email
Monday, April 07, 2014
 
 
Hi PSB, I downloaded and tried your software.

It seems to work nicely, but users willing to pay for it would be those that solve a real problem using it.

In my opinion your little tool can be useful for users that lose performance in their PC's as they run more and more programs.

I have two kids and their Windows are bloated with AdWare. If your took would be able to kill adware processes without harming other programs, it would be a nice addition.

As you have made a tool for "improving" PC performance (in a certain way), you could also add other little useful tools to your program around the same concept of "better performance".

If you have time and ideas to improve your program, you should give it a try during a longer period of time.

By the way, I would have liked to have a positive review of my first program like the one you have had. My first review was really terrific.

Good luck :)
MSD Soft Send private email
Monday, April 07, 2014
 
 
Maybe you don't have the right type of personality for this business. That's ok. You never would have known for sure, until you tried. Don't beat yourself up about it. Pick something that makes you happy.
Andy Brice Send private email
Monday, April 07, 2014
 
 
PSB136, what I am going to say is not meant as an insult, it's advice.

I think you should see a therapist. A lot of this is your attitude, which I suspect comes from you being depressed and a bit paranoid.

If you smoke pot or do other substances that cause paranoia, stop. This can also be caused by poor nutrition and stress.

Your reaction to the fairly good review you got was not a rational response. But there are also other signs there are issues here.

Your product idea is not bad and the price is reasonable. It's also the sort of product you could keep expanding to make more comprehensive, and could add on other related utilities to the company site as well.
Scott Send private email
Monday, April 07, 2014
 
 
AC, you can download the exe from the second TinyURL link I gave.

I wrote the app primarily because my own laptop would seize up from Adobe FlashPlayer inside Firefox at times... which made manually killing Firefox impossible, too (even with the Task Manager).  So I made the tool a one-click solution to simulate a reboot and it works great (for me).  A fresh desktop, clean clipboard, no recent docs remembered, and no running apps and Flash lockup.

I could also very easily add an option for the user to specify custom processes to kill (as MSD Soft asked).

I do have a poor attitude right now, I know.  And I do probably suffer from (undiagnosed) depression for various reasons I won't go into now; let's just say I've had a rough life.  Finances is some of it, which is why I want to make money from software.

I do have a (terrible) tendency to throw in the towel so quickly so I don't have to think about the problem anymore.  I haven't been stupid enough to delete my site's data so I will probably put it back up again soon, but this time as freeware so I don't have to deal or worry about the keygen issue.

But then I need to work out how to make money from a free app.  :(
PSB136 Send private email
Monday, April 07, 2014
 
 
I have a set of scripts I had to write that does a similar thing. It kills stuff that bogs down the computer. There are cache cleaners out there that do something similar, but they don't have the granularity to NOT delete certain things. I keep having to add to these scripts as I find new places persistent cookies and stuff are hiding. I'm not interested in commercializing it since it's not really in my product space, but the fact I've had to write scripts because the dozens of commercial solutions aren't good enough means that there is probably room for better solutions to make a place in this segment. Solutions have to be better though!
Scott Send private email
Monday, April 07, 2014
 
 
Downloaded it via CNET's wrapper. Seems OK but nope, no good for me, Within 20 mins my POS machine was freezing up, could click on the shortcut but it wouldn't launch.

Pity, though to be expected. Not your app's fault; my machine truly is a POS. I was rather hoping you'd done some tricky magic that allowed the software to run on a machine that needed rebooting...




AC
Reluctantlyregistered Send private email
Monday, April 07, 2014
 
 
My app wouldn't launch?  Then yes, your PC must be freezing the CPU too much I guess.  I could probably make my app always just run in the background and respond to a hotkey instead, which may solve your problem.
PSB136 Send private email
Monday, April 07, 2014
 
 
AC, you can also try holding down Ctrl when running my app, which does the reset without opening the GUI. May help?
PSB136 Send private email
Monday, April 07, 2014
 
 
PSB136

Take 2 weeks off away from your software/website.
Do some yoga or something :)
Come back with a fresh mind. 
Take what you have learned and apply it to a new software idea.
At the same time try to improve your existing product and website to get 1 sale.  Then its downhill from there.... 

Is your website still online?
Can you share your website with a tinyurl link?
Maybe we can give you input on whats causing the zero sales.

Cracks don't mean a thing for honest people.
people that don't buy software, never pay for software to begin with.
You need to find the people that are used to paying for software.  There is lots of them out there.
No crack, usually means someone looking to not pay for software will go find a competing product that has been cracked.  Crack users never intend to pay for software, so they are not really your target market.
NewGuyOnTheBlock Send private email
Monday, April 07, 2014
 
 
Just to add, don't let cracker get you down. Basically the way they operate is to scan new releases on popular shareware download sites and pick the apps that grab their attention. The fact that your app has been cracked does at least say that they found it useful enough to do so.

Since the trial version has 20 uses, people currently trialing in might take more than 3 months to buy it. Not everyone uses PC's in the same way that software developers do. I'd advise you to get the site back online so that you can at least get some sales from people already using it.

The same thing happened to me 11 years ago when I released my first product, the crack came out three weeks before I made any sales. The app went on to generate enough revenue to pay the deposit on a house and take the family on holiday every year for 10 years. It still sells to this very day.
Andrew Gibson Send private email
Monday, April 07, 2014
 
 
Just as an example of possible constructive criticism: 

When I clicked on the download link for the .exe, the filename is "Dark City Reset".  Maybe it's a minor quibble, but somehow the idea of "free download" + "utility" + "dark" (or "dark city") = virus fear in my mind.  It reminds me of some of the semi-creative names of some famous worms and viruses.  Like it would not at all surprising to read on some tech site about the new "Dark City worm" that is taking out computers across the globe.  It's just that kind of feel.  (Aside from the fact that "Dark City" is a rather interesting oddball film).

So, users may see that and sort of feel iffy and think perhaps it's better not to take the chance.  Whereas if it was called "CPU Wake-up" or something sunnier, maybe that might help. 

These are the sorts of things that often require reviewing by other people, for anyone.  We all can benefit from sharing in this way.
Racky Send private email
Monday, April 07, 2014
 
 
Yeah, the use of the D. word is problematic and has negative connotations. Didn't want to say anything about that specifically since the guy is trying hard not to mention the name of the site/company, and that's not an unreasonable thing. It can be problematic to have google searches of your company name turn up discussions where you are frankly sales strategies, political opinions, or many other things.
Scott Send private email
Monday, April 07, 2014
 
 
If my mentioning it is a problem, I'm sorry.  Mods, feel free to remove my post. (but I do think you should still change the name, so maybe it doesn't matter).
Racky Send private email
Monday, April 07, 2014
 
 
Just to rain on your parade - not all people who look for cracks will refuse to purchase.
There is no crack for my product, but I have a honeypot crack page for the product that is NOT linked anywhere, just indexed by google. A few percent of people who "somehow" stumble upon this page end up purchasing. And who knows how many look for a crack but avoid the trap.
My biggest competitor has a working crack by the way.
Anyway, in the past I had a product that has been cracked and I didn't experience any significant drop in registrations. Getting cracked will affect your sales, but it won't crash them.
Zka Send private email
Monday, April 07, 2014
 
 
*This* is the software you delayed launching because no one would use it without a properly written manual ?

How big was the manual ?

If I was going to buy a reset utility I think seeing that you needed a manual would put me off. I mean, your computer gets overloaded, you run it, the end. How complex can it be ?

I think maybe you have some problems keeping things in perspective. Find someone to work with you on this and your next product and ask them for a reality check once in a while.
koan Send private email
Tuesday, April 08, 2014
 
 
+1 Zka. Our honeypot page ranks #1 for "$OUR_PRODUCT_NAME crack|serial|keygen". It's got 100 unique pageviews over the last 30 days, even though we don't have serials nor keys to begin with.
Dmitry Leskov Send private email
Tuesday, April 08, 2014
 
 
Don't make it freeware.  At least not yet.  My most popular app's biggest competitor is a freeware version I released many years ago.
fisher Send private email
Tuesday, April 08, 2014
 
 
Koan, yes, I know I need reality checks.  :(

As I said in another post, I never really liked my domain name so I will come up with someone else and relaunch again later, in tandem with another app.  I'll lose the "dark" connotations.

Thanks everyone for replying and putting up with me.  :)
PSB136 Send private email
Tuesday, April 08, 2014
 
 
"If I was going to buy a reset utility I think seeing that you needed a manual would put me off. I mean, your computer gets overloaded, you run it, the end. How complex can it be?"

A manual isn't just a how-to for product operation.  It's also to explain the app itself, how to install it, explain any risks that it involves, how to run it, have some FAQs for items that aren't obvious, how to contact support, how to make payment, show the history, and show the EULA.  A good manual, anyway.  Not just a cheap "ReadMe.txt" by a script kiddie.
PSB136 Send private email
Monday, April 21, 2014
 
 

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