* 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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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

My new project - onTime

Hello, I want to ask You to review my new project - onTime and updated website. Can You tell me if this website is user friendly? I like this not modern design but heard that it is totally unfriendly for most of users. I'm still not convinced. I'm also interested how fast and smoothly onTime works on your PCs, it's quite not optimized (GUI drawing is in pure WinAPI but had problem with fast window drawing) and I wonder if this will be big problem to make it popular.
And in the end, do You think the idea of this application is good, will I be still able to sell it in these times.
NorthNotch Software Ltd. Send private email
Saturday, March 12, 2016
 
 
www.northnotch.com
www.northnotch.com/ontime
NorthNotch Software Ltd. Send private email
Saturday, March 12, 2016
 
 
Well, I think you've nailed the problem in your own post; "I really like this not modern design." To put it bluntly, it doesn't make a blind bit of difference what you like. You are not designing the website for you, you are designing it to appeal to customers and rank well on search engines. What you like doesn't matter. Not one bit.

It looks like something from the 1990's. This is not a good thing even if you like it and I'll tell you why. Google penalise websites that are not responsive. Your site look hideous on a mobile. But that doesn't matter you say, as the software only works on a PC. WRONG! More than 50% of website traffic comes from mobile devices. If someone reads about your product on a review blog on their way to work on the train and your website looks like it's been hit with a bag of spanners on their mobile, you've lost a sale.

Google penalise none responsive sites in the search results. You can check your site here and they'll tell you what's wrong with it:

https://www.google.co.uk/webmasters/tools/mobile-friendly/

Basically, my advice would be to scrap it fast and start again. Use Wordpress with a responsive template. This will render correctly on all devices and make updating your site and adding new content a breeze.
Andrew Gibson Send private email
Saturday, March 12, 2016
 
 
Yeah.., You convinced me. But it has to be like that for some time. I will wait for other opinions. Btw. I really think that it doesn't look that bad, it has some charm.
NorthNotch Software Ltd. Send private email
Saturday, March 12, 2016
 
 
I have very little idea what that site is selling.

Some form of automation software but if i can't understand your website I know I won't understand the software.





APC
Reluctantlyregistered Send private email
Saturday, March 12, 2016
 
 
I hate how Google penalises.  IMO, it should just be returning your search results without any bias.  When you're skewing the results, it's wrong and unethical.

Say two apps do the same thing, and one is clearly superior to the other but simply has a crappy website.  Google will favor the inferior one and place it higher in its results, leaving the other one unrecognised.  That's BS.

As a customer, I expect to see both versions in my search results because they have the same description, functions, key words, etc.  Then I can decide for myself which I prefer.  But no, the better one will be hidden at the bottom of the pile.  That's anti-competitive behavior.

Yay, Google!  (Golf clap).
PSB136 Send private email
Saturday, March 12, 2016
 
 
I disagree with the fashion mavens.

It's a system utility, the style of the web site is fine. It's not a bad design, it's just not the latest gee whizweb 9.0 garbage that doesn't run on most browsers, which most companies out there are producing now.

As to the ad copy, it was sufficient to understand what the software does. That is good, many sites don't have that.

I didn't feel I needed to buy it though, so I'd say the thing to focus on would be sales copy.
Scott Send private email
Saturday, March 12, 2016
 
 
"Google penalise websites that are not responsive"

His site is minimalist without tons of BS giant JS libraries, which means it loads very fast, and therefore is not not responsive.
Scott Send private email
Saturday, March 12, 2016
 
 
In this context a "responsive" website refer to it's ability to scale correctly with a change in browser size and therefore render well on mobile phones and tablets.

Given that more and more people are using mobile devices to consume content and browse the web, it make sense to design a website that renders correctly on mobile browsers.
Andrew Gibson Send private email
Sunday, March 13, 2016
 
 
Our opinions don't count either.

Only your (potential) customers' do.

If you're willing to make a small investment you'll get a far more accurate gauge of your site's appeal.

Place ads to draw prospects to your site. Use Facebook, LinkedIn, Google Ads, Google Dusplay Network or whichever medium your target market hangs out.
Spend $10 a day and tryit for a week.

Then count how many come.
And time how long they stay.

BTW, who is your target market?
Marcus from London Send private email
Monday, March 14, 2016
 
 
My main target are people who use or used (or need such tool) application TimeLeft. I thought that this application is very old and not developed any more so this can be niche for me. TimeLeft had big audience. This is first thing. The second thing is, I just wanted to create such application for very long time for myself. I need to optimise drawing of widgets because it is not very fast when You first time show app's windows. The third group are all people that would like to help me because I am >targeted individual< (this is hell and nightmare) for one year and I will need to engage in this topic to help myself and other persecuted people. I will need to ask people that will see my videos and text on this subject to help me by buying my applications. This is the third group. Btw. If I wrote here about being TI so I should also introduce myself (I know that this is business group but You are intelligent people and somebody asked me about my target market). My name is Łukasz Woźniakowski, You can find me on Facebook or upWork.com
You can read about targeted individual on Internet and internet, I can tell You it is very important topic, also artificial telepathy. It's important (also for You, but You probably are not aware of the problem)
I earn money by creating  applications for Clients on upWork, NorthNotch is still semi-hobby project that did not give me any money so far.
NorthNotch Software Ltd. Send private email
Monday, March 14, 2016
 
 
Web site looks terrible, clunky, vague, ugly. Product sounds like something I'm not interested in, and, were I to try it, would probably screw up my computer. No thanks. You asked.
GregT Send private email
Monday, March 14, 2016
 
 
Thanks for review GregT. You can think what You want to but it wasn't rather constructive criticism.
Will need to create something like business to business solution. Applications like this - for consumers are not profitable any more.
NorthNotch Software Ltd. Send private email
Monday, March 14, 2016
 
 
Hi Lukasz,

"people who use or used (or need such tool) application TimeLeft" is not a very clear definition of a target market and will make it very difficult to promote and sell your product.

I suspect that an application aimed at "executing and killing processes... setting power management tasks like shutting down, hibernating, restarting, sleeping you computer" is solving a problem most consumers don't know (or care) that they have, let alone would actually pay for.

Is there a more commercial (i.e. business focused) use for the tool?
As you suggest - I dpon;t believe you will get consumers paying for this application.

All the best -
Marcus from London Send private email
Monday, March 14, 2016
 
 
Yes, I think that You can be right, it can be totally not profitable product, I still hope that at least some people will think that it is useful tool. I use computers for more then 15 years and I think that I am aware what solutions are attractive, useful, but Times changes, so now people use more mobile devices and software and this can really be not useful for most of them. I am quite conservative PC user and do not use mobile software that much so my view on attractiveness of my application can be wrong. But as I know many applications that are just simple tools that do simple tasks yet are very popular, have thousands and thousands downloads per day I am always very optimistic that my application will also get big audience (but It can also be very naive)
NorthNotch Software Ltd. Send private email
Monday, March 14, 2016
 
 
I don't think the design is a problem.  What I don't like is that big clump of text at the top.  Reading.....
 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6gLMSf4afzo

If you want to explain it, I think your images that you have to scroll down to see say a lot more than the text. 

I would do one of the following:

a.) Get rid of that big chunk of text
b.) Say what you wanted to say in that big chunk of text in 5 words.  something like "Organizer, Sticky Notes and Clocks"  Something that you can read the whole message by just looking and don't need to stop and think.
c.) Or if you really want to keep the big clump of text. Fine, Keep the text you wrote but stick it all the way at the bottom of the page.
C. Stark Send private email
Monday, March 14, 2016
 
 
Also, it appears to me that the last sentence you wrote might contain a few errors.  I counted:  one spelling error, one punctuation error, one capitalization error, and two missing words.

But I don't know for sure.  My English writing skills are not so good.
C. Stark Send private email
Monday, March 14, 2016
 
 
"Also, it appears to me that the last sentence you wrote might contain a few errors."
Damn...
NorthNotch Software Ltd. Send private email
Monday, March 14, 2016
 
 
"Will need to create something like business to business solution."

Yes, IMO B2C segment has really changed due to app stores and low pricing, killing off viability of niche software made by independents. If you're doing it as a hobby with no hope of reward, that's fine, but with the skills to do so you'd be better off at a corporate job, or better yet, doing sales, marketing, plumbing or nursing.
Scott Send private email
Tuesday, March 15, 2016
 
 
Yeah, I see this clearly that these days small business in desktop software segment are not that easy. I will need to find (very quickly) good niche either on desktop (which I adore) or web or mobile, it is not that hard to change the platform to not known before. I am desktop developer but desktop seems to be dying slowly. I hate mobile but market is market. If I need to I will start to create mobile solutions but not for consumer market, it is useless I suppose, very hard to get money from it.
I wonder how for instance Andy's Brice Hyper Plan got such big (as for my standards) popularity. I think that this application is very niche solution and still it got the market. Is is good but I doesn't see why people would like to buy it as they are other web/mobile/free solutions. So I think that good software is just 10% of success, the other 90% is marketing. I suppose that You can sell everything if You have good marketing. I will try to sell my app but I think that will need to think about something more specialized software for professional purposes.
NorthNotch Software Ltd. Send private email
Wednesday, March 16, 2016
 
 
>  So I think that good software is just 10% of success, the other 90% is marketing.

Yes, that is very true.  Also, Andy got started, what, 15(??) years ago.  So he's been (I assume) slowly  growing for many years.
Doug Send private email
Wednesday, March 16, 2016
 
 
> I am >targeted individual<

Are you talking about this?:
http://artificialtelepathy.blogspot.co.uk/2007/02/effects-reported-by-targeted.html

We're well off-topic. But have you talked to a mental health professional about this? If not, perhaps you should.
Andy Brice Send private email
Thursday, March 17, 2016
 
 
"But have you talked to a mental health professional about this?"
Yes, I had to..., after intrusion to the Russian embassy and when after few months later I wanted to leave my country, my family forced me to do this some early morning ;-) but I can assure You that I'm totally mentally healthy. We're just living in XXI century.
NorthNotch Software Ltd. Send private email
Monday, March 21, 2016
 
 
You can read about mind control and remote weapon here:
mindcontrol.se
NorthNotch Software Ltd. Send private email
Monday, March 21, 2016
 
 

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