Perch Runway - our second product

I’m mostly posting here because back when I was interviewed for the podcast I talked a bit about our difficulty in marketing Perch. How do we get across that it is simple, yet capable for more than tiny things.

I really pushed back against any idea of a “pro” version because I think it sends the wrong message, most of our customers are professionals, they are just professionals building a certain type of website.

As it turned out on running a survey and finding out what people wanted of the product we found a better way to make a second distinct product. We were getting a significant set of feature requests that, if we implemented them, would make the core product much more complicated to use. These were pretty much things that PHP developers (rather than our designer/front end developer customers) wanted. So Perch Runway will be a superset of Perch, all the Perch templating and so on but with a different take on working with it.

We’ve just put up a landing page and announcement blog post on our site for now, but no doubt I will be here posting about how to market these two things as one thing and independently as we get towards launch. So I thought that since we can now talk about it I’d post here.


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Awesome, thanks for posting this here! I think it’s a great move, I’m so excited to see what you guys do with it. Also, as someone dealing with 2 products I’ll be looking forward to hearing more about how you do with that.

Sounds like we’ll need a follow up interview actually. That’ll be fun.

I’d say excellent pricing decision. Good for support, good for customer segmentation and priced at a level it’s worth doing for you!

Having been a Perch customer, it’s simplicity (particularly in the admin) is it’s selling point to clients, so the knowledge there’s a place to put ‘advanced stuff’ is great news for little Perch.

Thanks - it’s pretty much in the ballpark for other products that are aimed at the sort of project we expect it to be used for. We’ve been blown away by the positive reaction to be honest. Even though we had a decent amount of data (from talking to customers, and from our survey) and had a pretty good gut feel that this was the right direction, it was a bit scary to announce.

Fun times, the 2.5 release of regular Perch has some lovely stuff in for assets management, and that should be out in the next week or so. So there is lots to talk about, which is good, as just creating some buzz helps people find out about us.

I think this is a cool idea. I know from building Laravel that it’s a tough balance to strike… maintaining simplicity so you don’t overwhelm one user base, while adding “power” features to gain / maintain another user base. I think having two separate offerings is a good idea here, and hopefully you’re able to utilize the existing code base - just building on top of it. Seems like a win / win!

Thought I’d reply to my own thread to say we went to Beta today. Exciting!

After looking at every way of handling a beta we’re just using Trello. This may be chaos, but we’ll find out. The product is pretty solid at this point so we’re hoping for a fairly rapid beta. It’s built on top of Perch which is very mature at this point so a lot of the likely issues will be to do with environments, and stuff that isn’t really the product like docs being confusing and so on.

We’re initially really selling this to our existing Perchers - people who use Perch for some sites and other solutions for other sites. We haven’t really figured out how the marketing site will work in a post-Runway launch world, and we’re going to wait to make major changes until after launch when I think that will become a bit clearer.

Congratulations! Great to see that taking shape.

This is great, looking forward to seeing how it goes. Two products is so much more work than one, be ready!

Luckily they share a lot between them - it’s not two completely different codebases etc. I’m looking forward to seeing what people think of it.

Yeah for sure.

Will people be able to just buy a license and it will become Runway from a regular install or no?

they will need to add in the Runway folder too, so there is an additional set of code - Perch isn’t going to become a nobbled version of Runway. However the upgrade should be relatively seamless. The aim is that people can start small then upgrade if the site requirements change.

This seems crucial – unexpected complexity appears so very often in web projects. “Yes, sounds like a simple brochure site to me too… Wait, did you just say ‘members area’?”