Posts from February 2006. Punishment & Reward, Google-Style

Joe Indie has just made a great post to his blog about the ups and downs of riding the Google AdWords roller coaster, how pulling back on his spending has had a delayed effect on his sales, and how he needs to find other methods of attracting the right traffic.

I’ve only recently started using Google AdWords for CaseDetective for FogBugz, but I’ve seen a steady increase in traffic to because of it, even though I’m keeping my bids very low at the moment. It’s a very interesting area that I’ll be coming back to soon.

BackupBrain: Another MicroISV Venture

Glenn Rice has decided that he too would like to have a micro adventure, so is starting his own MicroISV.

I have no idea what he’s up to just yet (not sure he knows yet either, or maybe he’s just playing his cards very close to his chest), but it sounds like he’s interested in doing something which may be sold as a software service rather than a straight download and buy.

It’ll be interesting to see how he goes with this, it’s always been touted as a great way to keep revenue flowing, but to my mind it only suits business orientated applications/services.

For example, both FogBugz and HelpSpot have an initial license fee which covers upgrades and support for a period of time, then there is a much reduced fee for continuing free upgrades and support cover. This gives a business peace of mind that they’re going to get a one-off annual charge that they can budget for and know they will always be able to pick up the phone to get support as and when they need it.

If however you tried to apply that model to a consumer orientated product you might struggle, consumers are much more near-sighted when it comes to buying software, they need what they need now and don’t want to continue spending money for something that already works for them. To some extent this can be extended to desktop software verses server, it’s not often you’ll see any kind of desktop software being sold as a service without a lot of back-chat from the users, whereas for most server software having the prospects of continuous upgrades is always desired.

When it comes to web services however, it’s a totally different ball of fish. If you’re not downloading a piece of software and everything is online, then it’s obvious to anyone, business or consumer, that the simplest way to pay is by the month or whatever period the customer feels comfortable with. As the customer has much less control over the updates to the software as it’s updated on the server and that’s it, customers are much more comfortable with being able to say to hell with it, it doesn’t work for me anymore so I’m not going to subscribe for another month.

That’s why paying for a year’s worth of a web service in advance doesn’t usually happen at first, most will pay for a month or two and if they really like it then plump down the wonga for a full year if the discount is attractive enough.

For me CaseDetective was always going to be a “download and buy” even though it’s primarily a business product. I guess the main reason being that it’s desktop software, and as I mentioned above I and many others just aren’t comfortable with paying an on-going fee for desktop software, try and buy suits most people just fine.

Anyway, this wasn’t supposed to be an analysis of payment methods, good luck Glenn, in whatever it is you’re looking to do!

Apologies and congratulations to Dimitris Giannitsaros

Last week Dimitris Giannitsaros of RapidSgnal released MagnaCRM 1.0 unto the World, and I clean forgot to congratulate him, not even by email. I can only hang my head in shame and beg forgiveness, especially as he’s always been one of the first to send me notes of support and congratulations in the past.

Congratulations Dimitris, I know it must be a huge weight off of your shoulders to have finally released MagnaCRM, good luck, I hope you do very well with it.

But, your work has only really now begun, as people start to use your product you’ll get lots of great feedback, bug reports (no matter how good your QA is, there’s always something), feature requests and questions. It’s a great place to be, I know I’m enjoying myself, I’m sure you will to.

Well done, looking forward to seeing how things progress for you.

Matt's very own Micro ISV

Matt Breckon has decided to create his very own Micro ISV.

He’s going to continue to develop an application called PageTrack that he released as a free “proof of concept” a little while ago.

PageTrack is going to be an “intuitive light-weight application to aid browsing the web.” which will allow you to…

  • Quickly Create & Search Bookmarks
  • Be Notified When Pages Change
  • Monitor RSS Feeds

Sounds like an interesting project, you can follow Matt’s exploits as he develops PageTrack and brings it to market on the PageTrack blog at

Good luck Matt, hope you enjoy the ride!