Wednesday, February 13, 2013

How do you know how to charge for your product?

A few things I wish somebody had told me years ago:

As a startup, if you want to survive, you have to pick a model. Everybody starts off by thinking they are low on the complexity scale ("our product is simple!") so they believe self-service is an efficient model for them. But complexity, in this discussion, has nothing to do with simplicity in the user experience (elusive in its own right) but the complexity of your user acquisition and total cost of service.
Are $13 accounts for server monitoring likely to be experienced sysadmins doing meaningful work for businesses who will solve their own problems and pay without complaint every month? No, they're going to be the worst possible pathological customers.

Why you should not avoid social media sites

Some people are so afraid of making damaging social media mistakes that they avoid social media platforms altogether. But that can be costly, as social networks have become prime recruiting territory. Therefore, skirting potential issues via non-involvement removes you from too many opportunities to make that a smart option for most. Furthermore, avoiding social media means you won't be able to maximize positive exposure and minimize the effects of negative exposure. Even if you avoid Twitter, Facebook or Tumblr, your customers won't. If they tweet, post or share something positive about your products or services, you should really take the opportunity to highlight this. At the same time you you use the opportunity to learn about why dissatisfied customers are leaving. Yes, as your customer base grows, so does the chance that some disgruntled ex-customer shares his frustrations about your product with the rest of the world. If you do not pay attention to the social media, you'll miss an opportunity to mitigate the effects of these outbursts and to find ways to improve your products and service.