Thursday, December 16, 2004

Update wisely-and be loved(Part 2)

Welcome back, fellow readers for the second part of the updating article. In case you missed out on the first piece, find it at
2)Force users to update-they will hate you for it
This example comes from Agendus, where the version 8.006 does not work well on Tungsten T5 and Treo 650 handhelds. However, version 9.0 works well. Now, at the first look, this is perfectly o.k. Version 8 got discontinued-and version nine came out. But why did users make a terrible fuzz here? Well, I see two reasons here:
The first reason was the short time between the versions, where each was about half a year from each other. Even huge companies like Microsoft leave at least one year of development between the versions-according to 1), users feel more of the development this way. The second problem with Agendus is that a more-less buggy product was abandoned, so users felt forced to update in order to be able to use what they already bought. Of course, this will not be accepted....
3)Increase version numbers fast and keep your updates expensive
Now we are in the king's class of annoying users. Documents to Go version 7 is an excellent program(I tested it on a comrade's T3 and loved it). However, most users were pretty unhappy about the update. The reason was simple-the update was way too dear. When a program costs x, let the update be about x/4. Prices can of course vary a bit, depending gn how much cash your users have.
Regardless of how much your program costs, the update must be significantly cheaper to keep buyers happy. lf you want to be a nice developer, give away a free update to those users who bought your program-say-30 days before the new version came out. In addition, have your CustomerCare offer a few grace days to reduce bickering...

BTW, a companion in a german foroum thought about releasing an update once a day to stay in the Toplist at the portal-I can only say: check out GravityBall, dude..

Well, that's it about updates for now-come back for more Palm stuff regularily! And-don't forget to comment...

7 Comments:

Blogger Steven Fisher said...

It depends on the marketspace, too. I have a product in a market where customers *expect* to pay about 33% of the initial price yearly as maintenance. Why? Because everyone else does it.

We actually had problems for a while because our initial price was lower. Our initial price was about 25% of that of other modules customers had to buy to get our product. But our yearly renewal was about 30% of other modules. I believe we solved that by raising our initial price. Once we did so, the perception of the value of our product increased, the renewal seemed more reasonable, and our sales doubled.

Sometimes a low price will actually hurt your unit sales, let alone your dollar sales.

The other reason this can happen is if you have sales people who are paid a commision and your product is cheaper than related modules, even if it complements instead of competes. The sales people won't push for a sale of your product unless it's worth it to them. This happend with a previous product of ours.

What am I saying? It's simple: know your market. Some markets are strange.

12:00 AM  
Blogger Tam Hanna said...

Hi,
thank you forn the comment. Now this is indeed a very interesting market report-your comments are really useful! I must find a way to integrate them into the main view....
Thanks for the frequent visits
All Best
Tam Hanna

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