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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

Freeware rage

Hi group.  In the past, I posted here about someone who was angry that my freeware app has a splash window, and today I get this friendly little gem from someone else:


My app is just an LED indicator for Caps, Num and Scroll Lock, which shows a little bar for each in the SysTray.  So, it's not meant to look fantastic or magical or CGI-enhanced -- there's only so much you can show in a 16x16 icon!

The "advert" he speaks of is just the app's splash window, and I seriously doubt there's a bug with the NumLock key (unless his keyboard is stuffed).

I don't understand why people think they can tell you off for a freeware offering.  It truly amazes me.  Am I missing some opportunity, maybe?

Should I respond to him at all, or let it be?  I'd love to have a sarcastic reply without it looking sarcastic, if possible.  I don't know.  If you got such an email, what would you do?  Thanks.
PSB136 Send private email
Friday, October 16, 2015
IMHO, a small tray app like you describe (if that's all it does) really doesn't need a splash screen.  Splash screens are for heavy apps that take a while to initialize, or that you've invested a lot of money in to trumpet about itself.

_IF_ it has to be clicked to dismiss it, I'd be irritated too. 

The software's job is to help the customer get work done, not get in their way.

But should that guy have been so rude, no.  No excuse for that.
Doug Send private email
Friday, October 16, 2015
Very true about the splash window, so I'll change it such that it only shows on the first-ever run of the tool, and never after.

I'm also going to reply to this person with an offer for them to design the tray icon for the next release.  We'll see if they put their "design skills" where their mouth is.  ;)
PSB136 Send private email
Saturday, October 17, 2015
Is this an appropriate response?


I hope so.  It's the first time I've had to reply to someone who's had such freeware rage.
PSB136 Send private email
Saturday, October 17, 2015
Ah crap, I typed "team" instead of "time" at the start of my reply to him.  Dammit.  Hope he doesn't notice.  :)
PSB136 Send private email
Saturday, October 17, 2015
Today I got this email from a different user:


The contrast to the negative user above is amazing.  :)  As Andy told me in another post, how people react to your software is definitely an emotional roller-coaster.  Anyway, this email is just what I needed to keep my spirits up.  Weird that I got it so soon after the neg one.  Time to buy a lottery ticket today.  ;)
PSB136 Send private email
Saturday, October 17, 2015
Aggravating for sure - but on the bright side you have traction and even entitled pr*cks are better than crickets.

Your reply was good btw.
Bob Frances Send private email
Monday, October 19, 2015
I think people assume they are sending an email that is never going to be seen, so they are venting.  I've received a number of those myself, and in almost every case, when they hear back, they are quite cordial, and very often become customers.

Truly amazing what a little human attention can do.
Doug Send private email
Tuesday, October 20, 2015
I've been using keyboards for a very long time, and I honestly don't know what a scroll lock does or would be useful for?

Anyway, your response was good, and as noted above, people often presume their email is just as likely to go unread as not, so lash out. I suspect they are also taking out any other anger in their life at the time too, so don't take it too personally :)

Reluctantlyregistered Send private email
Wednesday, October 21, 2015
About scroll lock. Launch Excel and turn on scroll lock. Now try working with that stuff. When aggravated enough, turn off scroll lock. Enjoy.
Now imagine if there was no scroll lock and you could not turn it off, it would be horrible.

Joking, obviously. I also have no idea what's the use of that button.
Zka Send private email
Wednesday, October 21, 2015
Scroll Lock was from DOS days, where you'd use it to stop the console scrolling before you could read it.  You can still use it at boot-up too, to read any boot messages before they disappear off the screen when Windows starts loading.
PSB136 Send private email
Wednesday, October 21, 2015
BTW, that customer was complaining about Num Lock, not Scroll Lock.  If Num Lock is magically coming on by itself, it's probably an app doing it.  I've seen finance apps do it, and my day job's PC's do it from time to time when certain app windows appear.
PSB136 Send private email
Wednesday, October 21, 2015
Another person emailed me tonight to say my app is an "absolute no go" (their words) because "we users expect a cute little panel on the desktop".

I don't know what to make of this.  I've had several feedback on this freeware app now, asking for this or that to be changed.  I don't really want to change it, but is it stupid for me not to listen to the whims of free users?  Am I missing some opportunity?  Should I just start charging for it?  I don't know.
PSB136 Send private email
Tuesday, November 03, 2015
Your not going to be able to please everyone.  Certainly take note of trends, but don't get hung up on one email.  If your app isn't meant to provide a desktop panel, then don't sweat it.
Phlamajam Send private email
Tuesday, November 03, 2015
It seems to me that a console (or whatever that last person wanted) would just get in the way!  But... how hard would it be to make?  If it's super simple, you could say:

"Thank you for your feedback, we are developing that now for the paid version of our app.  We expect to release it in January for $x.  I will let you know when it's available.  Please let me know any other ideas you have for our program.  If we implement any of your ideas that we were not already working on, I'll give you a discount."

As to the first idiot who emailed you -- What an ass.  Why would anyone feel compelled to say something so rude to anyone ever?  I think the anonymity of the internet allows some people to forget they are interacting with human beings who have feelings.  And some people are so pathetic the only thing they can do to feel better about themselves if try to knock someone else down.

You handled person beautifully.  Much better than I probably would have.

I have a youtube channel of computer tips.  Some lady complained once that my 3 minute tip was too long.  WTH?  I replied very sarcastic with something like:

Wow, three whole minutes and still you made time in your busy schedule to criticize the free video that you voluntarily chose to watch.  May I suggest that in the future you get your free training form someone whose teaching style is more to your liking?

Then I thought better of that because all my other followers can see it too, so I deleted it and blocked that person.

Then "someone" went through and gave a thumbs down to every single video on my channel.  So, maybe I should have just kept my sarcasm to myself.  But it did feel good.

You can also laugh at people like this.  I was at a marketing seminar recently that I mentioned to you before, and the guy giving it is a multi-multi millionaire, very successful.  He showed us some of the incredibly nasty, very insulting reviews he's gotten on his FREE content.

I guess you know you've arrived when jealous strangers start take the time to try to make you feel bad.
Emily Jones Send private email
Monday, November 09, 2015

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