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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

Customer hates my app name

FOREWORD:  Please don't mention my website or product name in any replies.

Now, I've got a paid customer who, probably because I was very friendly and nice when I sent him his license code, now thinks he can tell me how to run my business.  :)

Lately he's been telling me to rename my app.  A lot.  He's come up with a million different suggestions and keeps emailing them to me.  I've told him that it's not going to change, and that it's been submitted that way to Majorgeeks and Softpedia (etc), but he keeps insisting.

I note with interest that Softpedia uses the word that I chose for the name in their product description, so they obviously agree that the name makes sense.  So it's clearly not a case of "maybe I should listen to his advice".

How do you deal with this type of person?  Sometimes he just emails a single word to me which is a new product name.  It's getting old real fast, but I really think he's trying to wear me down.
PSB136 Send private email
Monday, February 16, 2015
Just politely ignore him.

I wouldn't take one of his suggestions.

As you may find that he then starts suggesting that you "owe" him for it.
TomTomAgain Send private email
Monday, February 16, 2015
Oh. And make sure you up date your EULA so it says something like

"Any unsolicited ideas submitted by anyone belong entirely to me, forever"

As that's another trick people try:

"Why don't you add feature X" and then "Oh you added feature X, that I told you to do ..... you owe me 2X"
TomTomAgain Send private email
Monday, February 16, 2015
Thanks for the good tips, TTA!  Never thought of that.
PSB136 Send private email
Monday, February 16, 2015
Just reply:

"Thanks for the suggestions. Best regards <name>"

Nothing more, nothing less.
Andy Brice Send private email
Monday, February 16, 2015
Yeah, I'd do the "thanks for the suggestions" once then ignore all others.

Unsolicited advice can be REALLY annoying.  But people usually mean well.  He probably really likes you and your product and thinks he's doing you some big favor.  Doesn't mean he's right!  He can develop and name his own software...

TomTomAgain - thanks for the tip on the "unsolicited ideas belong to me" blurb to put into the EULA.  Early in my programming career one of my first clients who had me make custom software for his company told me about a programmers website I'd not yet hear of.  (And which I didn't end up using.)  Beyond that, from my perspective, all he did to "help" me develop the software was waste hours of my time telling things about programming that turned out to be wrong/ignorant. 

Later he indicated "we" developed the product.  He was a really great guy and meant well, and just wanted appreciation not $$$, but he and I definitely have VERY different estimates on the value of his hinderance, er I mean contribution.
Emily Jones Send private email
Monday, February 16, 2015
I like Apple's unsolicited ideas policy:


In a nutshell, they state do NOT send ideas to Apple, but if you do, they become Apple's property with NO compensation to the sender, AND with no expectation of confidentiality to the sender.

I'm modifying my EULAs to have similar wording.  :)
PSB136 Send private email
Monday, February 16, 2015
In addition to EULA, I guess this should be part of my website's Privacy Policy, too?  In case someone sends an idea who hasn't used the app yet, and therefore hasn't even read an EULA.
PSB136 Send private email
Monday, February 16, 2015
Actually, having worked on this for my EULA now, it appears to me that if may stifle any feedback from being sent, such as if a customer has a better idea of how my app should something.  Would customers be potentially turned off from helping to improve our products?  Or maybe they might not submit a vital bug report!
PSB136 Send private email
Monday, February 16, 2015
I don't think most people who send a suggestion expect credit or compensation.  They are probably just happy to have their desired feature added. 

I also don't think most read the privacy policy or EULA so you probably won't scare many ideas away.  However, you might think twice about saying they have no expectation of confidentiality.  Is there any reason to make any of their information public?

My software is highly customized for my clients so sometimes when one person asks for a feature that I believe many will want, I give them a discount on the programming for it.  So far, this thrills them and no one has ever expressed the thought that they should have ownership since they requested the feature.  The law where I am is on my side, but I think I'll do the EULA language just to be safe.  You never know...
Emily Jones Send private email
Monday, February 16, 2015
> Is there any reason to make any of their information public?

I don't know; I was just quoting what Apple said.  They obviously have a good reason for saying it, so I adopted their stance.  Maybe it'll save my neck one day.
PSB136 Send private email
Tuesday, February 17, 2015
I wouldn't waste any time responding to this lunatic.  If I don't like the name of a product (but I like the product), then I can either deal with the unpleasant name, or not buy it.  The last thing I would do is to try to get them to change it!  Lots of successful products have pretty silly names, I think.  Yahoo! immediately comes to mind.

Set an email filter to separate out all his emails if they are shorter than what a real support message would be and don't even look at them until well into the future when you need a good laugh.

Good for you for not even thinking of making a major change to you product (the name) on the suggestion of one customer.  You are finally starting to settle down as I see from some of your earlier posts.
Dora Send private email
Tuesday, February 17, 2015
>Maybe it'll save my neck one day.<

That's a good point.  And again it probably won't scare anyone away 'cause most don't read those things anyhow. (I don't think.)
Emily Jones Send private email
Tuesday, February 17, 2015
For feature suggestions I usually say "That's already on the list of features we would like to implement in the future".

1. It's true.
2. I'm not making any promises.
3. Ask follow up questions to understand why that feature is important to them.
4. Suggesting a feature in no way gives a user the right to payment. A sincere thank you is sufficient.
koan Send private email
Friday, February 20, 2015
> Lots of successful products have pretty silly names

I remember when Google started, people were like "Google? Is that the name? That's stupid!"  Saw this everywhere, in both real life and reviews on tech web sites.  So yeah, a name means nothing really.
PSB136 Send private email
Friday, February 20, 2015
G'day PSB136,

"a name means nothing really"


There's many documented cases of products which have failed, particularly when trying to sell to foreign markets.
In these cases manufactures inadvertently chose a name which was ridiculous or even offensive in the local language of the market they were trying to penetrate.

Some amusing examples:




If your marketing budget is endless then you can spend you way to indoctrinate the market with your product name or logo (Swoosh anyone?)

For the rest of us, product name can mean the difference between the product's success or failure.

Softpedia including the word in their product description shouldn't be an indication that your product's name makes sense.
What should make more sense is if it resonates with your target market.

All the best -
Marcus from London Send private email
Monday, February 23, 2015

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