Hi bootstrappers! I'm Frank from WineSecretary

I’m a Paris based software developer who likes wine. Over the last year or so, I’ve worked full-time on learning to sell a software product and make a living out of it.

My first product is Wine Secretary an app for people who drink wine (duh). It is now the #1 Android wine app worldwide. I now know that doing a B2C product was probably a big mistake! I’ll try B2B next time for sure!

During the last year, I’ve been learning

  • Android development / UI / UX
  • Marketing
  • Copy-writing
  • Pricing strategies

Since May I’ve started making some money by selling in app annual sponsorships to access premium features. So far the revenue is in nowhere near what is required to live comfortably in a first world country.

Now my goals for Wine Secretary are

  • Increase number of users
  • Increase revenues

I’m looking forward to being part of the Bootstrapped community. Thanks to everyone who has made it happen!

Hmm… #1 wine app and businesses do not knock your door yet? Did you try to contact wine makers for sponsored reviews, catalogues etc? I feel you can get the best of the both worlds!

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@rfctr, thanks for the feedback. Sadly enough people in the wine business haven’t been busting down my door yet. It looks like I’ll have to go out and find them in their natural habitat. And yes, you’re right there is a lot of B2B potential, I just haven’t pursued that angle yet.

I actually haven’t put that much effort into growing revenue yet. Up until now I’m mostly trying to grow the userbase, engagement and loyalty, so that the app will stay #1 in the future.

There is at least one competitor that has Angel funding, so I can’t just rest on my laurels.

Wow, amazing progress to be tops in your category. In terms of making money from mobile I have no idea :smile: Seems like you should have an iOS version and perhaps even desktop companion for serious buffs? You can probably charge more for this.

Hi Frank, this thread caught my eye. I am a big wine guy. Definitely no connoisseur and more on the consumption side. I never thought of looking up a wine app. I would sell yourself short just yet. Anytime you hold max inventory somewhere leaves plenty of room for ROI potential. I think you are on the right track with wanting to solidify your position first, but don’t wait to long, the chance may pass you by.

Yeah I’ll definitely be working on iOS and web.

I’ve learned that consumers are very price sensitive. Right now the app is sold using an annual subscription model. Which none of the competing apps are doing. A lot of people seem to be thinking something like: 5$/year, I’ll be using this app for the next 20 years, so it’s expensive!

I’ll be testing a one-time pricing model. If that can 2x the revenue right away, I think it would be worth it, because then I would be in a good position to sell those customers other products (wine for example…).

Hi Dan, Pretty much the same here. I like drinking good wine, and know what I like and don’t like. But my poor nose just can’t keep up when my wine aficionado friends start talking about aromas of “black olives”, leather, cocoa, etc.

Do you have a wine cellar, or do you just buy and drink? I live in Paris in a tiny apartment, so having a cellar is out of the question for the time being.

Awesome! I definitely need this, I enjoy wine, but mostly I pick bottles based on the label. I’ve installed it now, and will definitely try it out. If it helps me track down some good wines, I’d be happy to pay for that. I don’t have a cellar though.

Hey @danielstudds thanks for checking out the app! Please let me know if you notice any major UX fails.

I believe the in-app referral model has more potential.

You direct a user to a wine maker site to buy and claim the referral fee. That transaction alone can be comparable to your annual subscription, and the more expensive the wine the higher your commission is. Also, I expect a user buys more than one bottle a year. You LTV would be times higher than now.

So I’d say – join every referral program out there, make the app free and even offer discounts to the wines bought via your app, if possible.

I agree completely, figuring out a way to make money from selliing wine through partnerships or affiliate programs will be the path to success.

Your idea added to the freemium model I’m using right now. My goal is to develop several revenue streams.

Hi @FrankHarper, I liked your idea very much and would use the app if there was an Iphone version.
Wine lovers is a huge market. People spend a lot of money in wine and I am sure you can monetize in many ways.

As @rfctr , I believe you can make a lot of money being a channel. There are many wine e-commerce sites and online wine clubs (e-commerce subscription of wines) that would happily pay you a lot to help them find customers. What is the CPA of e-commerce sites like this? $50? $100?

Your “next app” can be a web app that helps wine e-commerce sites advertise inside your app. You may use something like @andrey’s Uberdeck to push notifications of really target deals. I would go this way, instead of trying to convince labels one to one to advertise in you app.

If this strategy works out and you start making serious money as a lead generator, then changing to a free model for the consumer would make a lot of sense.


Thanks @fredguth for the feedback and the ideas! I will be developing them in 2014. My next step is creating a centralized wine DB.