Presentation on theme: "SIC2009 Andy Brice Oryx Digital Ltd"— Presentation transcript:
SIC2009 Andy Brice Oryx Digital Ltd
A quick dash through ten mistakes I have seen µISVs make (including myself) Questions at the end
Writing software professionally since 1987 Full-time µISV since Jan 2005 product: Consultant to µISVs specialising in one day consultations to help µISVs, especially with marketing and usability Blog:
The customer cares about whether you solve their problem They are a lot less interested in whether you do it in Silverlight or C Starting with a solution and then working back to a problem is clearly sub-optimal The answer is not always more code!
Everything in the product should be informed by marketing decisions, including: Features implemented Platforms supported Aesthetics Type of user interface Licensing Trial restrictions Segmentation (e.g. lite and pro editions) So make the marketing decisions first!
µISVs have limited resources and it is essential to focus them With focus your product is easier to develop, easier to market and has less competition You should be able to describe what it does in one sentence Even small niches can be profitable There are over a billion people on the Internet!
Your website must make it clear what your product does in a few seconds Add a big, unambiguous statement of what it does at the top (strapline) Move large chunks of text to separate pages Less is more
Tell them what to do next Subtlety is overrated, be bold Download Now
Organic search is the best possible promotion Targeted Free! Do basic on-page SEO Page Titles, Page names, Meta tags, H1s, Image titles, etc. Write good content Avoid snake-oil salesmen
Dont use Adwords unless you are prepared to learn the rules and do a lot of tweaking Make sure you at least understand: search ads vs content ads broad vs phrase vs exact match negative keywords geographic targeting A/B testing of ads Start with a small daily budget
People are much more likely to make a decision if they know it is reversible Refunds dont cost anything apart from time (through PayPal, anyway) Customers can get a refund anyway (chargeback), so you might as well offer one Show the guarantee prominently
The only sure way to know if your product will succeed is to release it Advantages of releasing early: Feedback Cashflow Motivation Failing faster Disadvantages of releasing early: A lot less than you might think If you arent embarrassed by v1.0, you didnt release it early enough
You never get a second chance to make a good first impression First 5 minutes is crucial Your competitor is only a few clicks away Usability testing is easy (but painful!) Well explained by Krug in his Dont make me think book
Many of these mistakes are relatively easy to fix, but: We are often too close our products to see the problems ourselves None of these problems can be solved by adding more features! Many of these topics are (or will be) covered in more depth on my blog: