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Am I just being a baby?


#1

I’ve been involved in building a business for almost 2 and a half years now. We have been creating something that is a brand new and original but we’ve had to mold and sculpt it constantly A LOT.

I’m the only developer with a partner who is a Doctor from the field we are targeting. We both do work very well together but our project is taking so long to build just due to it’s magnitude, but I’m tired of living in a room share and just scraping by unable to travel anywhere. We are building a lot of momentum and have a TON of leads but everything is just taking so long.

Is this what supposed to happen? I see all these other people making money and being successful. Can’t help but ask why am I not there and successful yet?


#2

I’m in the health/wellness field too and the real sculpting and molding happened after users starting using it.

Have you had any external feedback?


#3

Yeah we have a lot of people on it actively, but we have yet to hit a “we can charge for this” point.

  • 200 people who are on and off
  • 30 very active

You make a good point because we develop it in the back of a clinic and get constant feedback. Which is the reason for our latest push. Is this just the normal process?

Don’t get me wrong people do love it and it does help them but I thought we’d be making at least (I don’t have to have a roommate) money. You know what I mean?


#4

Why can’t you charge for it?


#5

Having to sculpt and mold a lot based on feedback is not just normal, it’s what you have to do. Few successful businesses turn out exactly the way the founder imagined it on day one. It just doesn’t work that way (although there are exceptions).

If you have 30 “very active” and “they love it” why aren’t you charging money? As the developer you will always see the flaws in your product. Your users on the other hand just care that their problem is solved. They’ll accept and deal with the glitches and weaknesses so long as the core mission is accomplished more easily than with other solutions.

Put another way you don’t have to have a jaw-droppingly cool solution, you just have to be less bad than the others. This is particularly true in the medical/healthcare field where most solutions are actually jaw-droppingly awful.

In fact one thing I noticed (I sell to doctors too) is that they are so accustomed to horribly bad software that they’ll give you a pass on flaws that would never be acceptable in a tech-savvy market.

If at all possible start charging for the subset of the solution that you already offer. Clearly there is value or people wouldn’t login regularly.

Besides, you’ll get more meaningful feedback when people are paying you.


#6

If you are at a point where you generate value for customers, you need to CHARGE FOR IT. :smile:

If you aren’t at that point, ask yourself what it would take to offer enough value to CHARGE FOR IT.

Either way, it will put you in a place where you start to get some income from a product and it will start to reduce this financial stress you’re describing.

If that scares you, it shouldn’t. Customer pay for things they value. Users don’t.


#7

@Oliver We got a foothold by making a deal with someone by providing our services for free. We have grown a lot from it and get to test things on his users though. (Granted the core of that deal is constant).

@daverodenbaugh Just last week we started charging for it because I was pushing to just get something out there and at least feel like we’re making progress as a business.

While we have our core concept down we keep finding stuff that are genuine improvements but sometimes change our UI quite a bit (in the long run for the better).

Then If I’m not mistaken the stuff I’m coding right now will make our tools much simpler but essentially achieve the same goal and that’s ok as long as it creates value for customers? Is this just part of the process/idea development?


#8

Besides, you’ll get more meaningful feedback when people are paying you.

Very true.

Also:
-The longer you leave it befoe you ask for money, the harder it will be when you do.
-People really don’t value stuff that they get for free.

So (at the risk of repetition) START CHARGING FOR IT. NOW.


#9

Thank you guys!
I’m going to get our pricing amped up and out there.


#10

@michael​jcalkins: Yep, this is all part of the process. There’s a fear that comes with trying to charge for something you feel “isn’t quite there”. But here’s the thing. Your opinion doesn’t matter on that. Your customer’s does. If they see value, you should be charging for it. The keyword is value.

So (at the risk of repetition) START CHARGING FOR IT. NOW.

My martial arts teacher used to say, “In repetition, there is learning” :slight_smile:


#11

You need to charge for it now. It took me almost three full years to build my product to the point where it was competitive feature wise but I always charged for it, even though that meant for the first year I only had three paying clients. But having said that the best product in the world can’t guarantee success, you need to double down on sales and marketing.


#12

FWIW, I’ve been chipping away at my business for almost 3.5 years with not much externally-evident success yet.

The good news is that unless you’re really stupid, I think it’s probably impossible to keep working toward success and not eventually make it.

And I also vote that you start charging now. Once I started charging it got way easier to sell my product. Then I raised my prices and life got even better.


#13

I know you already said you’re going to, but I think it won’t hurt you to hear this again:

CHARGE MONEY. NOW.

:smile:


#14

My lesson for today:

  • charging for value :wink:

#15

There’s been a lot of great advice here about charging now. I’d say keep building your lead list. You’ve got your product and it works, show it a bit via email courses, launch lists, and videos. Build interest in your product/service to grow it more. Hit up the people who left and show them what you’ve been up to since they left.

If people love it, get their testimonials.

Your doctor partner may not be hurting for income, so it’s up to you to push the growth of paid users. Sounds like since you’ve started charging for it, you do have some say in the business, so get out there and get some users onboard.

Changing your UI a lot isn’t a negative, it’s a positive. People usually like to see some progress. If you’re uncomfortable with the thrash of changes, then slap a beta label on the logo and keep charging.

I’ll add to the “Charge for it” call by saying “Charge More”.


#16

I’m sorry but if you are “upgrading” the product to essentially do the same thing - for people who do not pay you - something is wrong. Add me to the “START CHARGING NOW” camp.

And no, you’re not being a baby. But you are greatly underestimating your value.