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The app's been built, now what?

P: n/a
On the computer side of the businees there is me, the developer.
Another person's role is that of the idea man...the person that knows
the business and requirements and issues for the business. Together we
put together an application we both think is of value.

The app is written. Of course, the app is not finished. I suppose I
could work on this app for the rest of my days adding new features and
enhancing and adjusting as new software/hardware is created that opens
up new markets and potential. Conceivably this app could be a never
ending job. But it has enough features to go to market now and
hopefully be a success.

Have any of you created an application that you have taken to market?

I'd be curious to know what you did to make it a success. Did you do a
lot of cold calling? Did you attend lots of conventions? How did you
determine the pricing? Did you do a lot of mailings? Did you have a
good marketing background? Did you hire someone with experience in
marketing to get the ship off the ground and into the water? Were there
any books you considered a "bible" for getting your software on the
market and sold? Were there any companies that helped you get your app
to market and sold? Did you work with ISVs? Did you create
partnerships with other companies?

Your advice, opinions, and viewpoints are welcome.
Nov 13 '05 #1
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14 Replies


P: n/a
On Fri, 15 Jul 2005 17:44:36 GMT, Salad <oi*@vinegar.com> wrote:

Where to begin answering your post?
I think that for most real software companies, writing the app is
almost an afterthought. It's all about marketing. They would NEVER
write an app before they would know who needs it, whom they're
competing with, how they will advertise it, what pricepoint will work,
etc.

Anecdote: a friend and retired medical doctor figured many people
would want what he wanted: a medical data and events database for
families. Record when your kids had the measles, your weight over
time, the outcome of a blood test, etc. He would be willing to invest
20K+ and sell it at $100+ a pop. He had some screen designs worked
out. I did half an hour of research at tucows.com and found half a
dozen such apps, for $20-60 each. The advice we gave him: if you like
the experience of working with us on this app, the thrill of having
your brain child in the market place, then do it. If you expect to
make money, then don't.

joelonsoftware.com has a nice blog about software development. Every
now and then a gem about the business/marketing side of it.

We have a custom software development company. Every now and then we
are approached by a potential client looking for a partnership: "I
have the greatest idea, and here is some documentation about the
potential in the marketplace. You develop it (for free or very reduced
rate), and I help you market it. We could both make a nice profit". We
will never do that, mostly because we don't know that industry as well
as they do, and we can't gauge the truth of all these claims. Your
dream isn't my dream.

-Tom.

On the computer side of the businees there is me, the developer.
Another person's role is that of the idea man...the person that knows
the business and requirements and issues for the business. Together we
put together an application we both think is of value.

The app is written. Of course, the app is not finished. I suppose I
could work on this app for the rest of my days adding new features and
enhancing and adjusting as new software/hardware is created that opens
up new markets and potential. Conceivably this app could be a never
ending job. But it has enough features to go to market now and
hopefully be a success.

Have any of you created an application that you have taken to market?

I'd be curious to know what you did to make it a success. Did you do a
lot of cold calling? Did you attend lots of conventions? How did you
determine the pricing? Did you do a lot of mailings? Did you have a
good marketing background? Did you hire someone with experience in
marketing to get the ship off the ground and into the water? Were there
any books you considered a "bible" for getting your software on the
market and sold? Were there any companies that helped you get your app
to market and sold? Did you work with ISVs? Did you create
partnerships with other companies?

Your advice, opinions, and viewpoints are welcome.


Nov 13 '05 #2

P: n/a
On Fri, 15 Jul 2005 17:44:36 GMT, Salad <oi*@vinegar.com> wrote:

Where to begin answering your post?
I think that for most real software companies, writing the app is
almost an afterthought. It's all about marketing. They would NEVER
write an app before they would know who needs it, whom they're
competing with, how they will advertise it, what pricepoint will work,
etc.

Anecdote: a friend and retired medical doctor figured many people
would want what he wanted: a medical data and events database for
families. Record when your kids had the measles, your weight over
time, the outcome of a blood test, etc. He would be willing to invest
20K+ and sell it at $100+ a pop. He had some screen designs worked
out. I did half an hour of research at tucows.com and found half a
dozen such apps, for $20-60 each. The advice we gave him: if you like
the experience of working with us on this app, the thrill of having
your brain child in the market place, then do it. If you expect to
make money, then don't.

joelonsoftware.com has a nice blog about software development. Every
now and then a gem about the business/marketing side of it.

We have a custom software development company. Every now and then we
are approached by a potential client looking for a partnership: "I
have the greatest idea, and here is some documentation about the
potential in the marketplace. You develop it (for free or very reduced
rate), and I help you market it. We could both make a nice profit". We
will never do that, mostly because we don't know that industry as well
as they do, and we can't gauge the truth of all these claims. Your
dream isn't my dream.

-Tom.

On the computer side of the businees there is me, the developer.
Another person's role is that of the idea man...the person that knows
the business and requirements and issues for the business. Together we
put together an application we both think is of value.

The app is written. Of course, the app is not finished. I suppose I
could work on this app for the rest of my days adding new features and
enhancing and adjusting as new software/hardware is created that opens
up new markets and potential. Conceivably this app could be a never
ending job. But it has enough features to go to market now and
hopefully be a success.

Have any of you created an application that you have taken to market?

I'd be curious to know what you did to make it a success. Did you do a
lot of cold calling? Did you attend lots of conventions? How did you
determine the pricing? Did you do a lot of mailings? Did you have a
good marketing background? Did you hire someone with experience in
marketing to get the ship off the ground and into the water? Were there
any books you considered a "bible" for getting your software on the
market and sold? Were there any companies that helped you get your app
to market and sold? Did you work with ISVs? Did you create
partnerships with other companies?

Your advice, opinions, and viewpoints are welcome.


Nov 13 '05 #3

P: n/a
find a customer first. get him pay you, then do the job.
and you build your skills, and experience which maybe useful in find a
database career.

Nov 13 '05 #4

P: n/a
find a customer first. get him pay you, then do the job.
and you build your skills, and experience which maybe useful in find a
database career.

Nov 13 '05 #5

P: n/a
Tom van Stiphout wrote:
On Fri, 15 Jul 2005 17:44:36 GMT, Salad <oi*@vinegar.com> wrote:

Where to begin answering your post?
I think that for most real software companies, writing the app is
almost an afterthought. It's all about marketing. They would NEVER
write an app before they would know who needs it, whom they're
competing with, how they will advertise it, what pricepoint will work,
etc.
Yes. In my case, it was the opposite. My idea man, quite a visionary
in his industry, runs a business. When he started it 10 years ago he
decided that if he were to succeed he needed to invest in technology.
So as he ran his business and grew it he started working on his app,
investing in hardware and software and several years later he he hired
me and together we built the app to meet, and now meets, the demands of
his business. Although the app is tailered to his market, with very
little modification (mostly some lookup tables) it could be converted to
being used in several other vertical markets.
Anecdote: a friend and retired medical doctor figured many people
would want what he wanted: a medical data and events database for
families. Record when your kids had the measles, your weight over
time, the outcome of a blood test, etc. He would be willing to invest
20K+ and sell it at $100+ a pop. He had some screen designs worked
out. I did half an hour of research at tucows.com and found half a
dozen such apps, for $20-60 each. The advice we gave him: if you like
the experience of working with us on this app, the thrill of having
your brain child in the market place, then do it. If you expect to
make money, then don't.
We know what software programs are out there for this industry. If one
had existed like ours, he would not have created this app. Why reinvent
the wheel if the wheel exists?

Some of the software programs are so cost prohibitive to small
businesses that those software companies have limited their market.
Other packages address issues that are applicable to a very small
segment of the industry. There are other software packages are web
based and are more tailored to the customers and clients of the company
and are not directed towards the workflow of the company performing the
work whereas ours is designed around the company's workflow. These
other packages have good ideas but are not designed to run the business
of the company and lack features necessary for the business. I have no
doubt we are lacking some features too, but we know what they are and
those issues are minor and can always be added when demand requires it.
If we waited until everything is perfect we could lose our edge and
opportunity.
joelonsoftware.com has a nice blog about software development. Every
now and then a gem about the business/marketing side of it.
I'll check that out. Thanks.
We have a custom software development company. Every now and then we
are approached by a potential client looking for a partnership: "I
have the greatest idea, and here is some documentation about the
potential in the marketplace. You develop it (for free or very reduced
rate), and I help you market it. We could both make a nice profit". We
will never do that, mostly because we don't know that industry as well
as they do, and we can't gauge the truth of all these claims. Your
dream isn't my dream.
I agree. That tends to sound like makework without much of a business plan.

Have you ever built a custom app for a company that you feel has a
definite market potential for that industry? Have you taken that app to
market? That's my situation.

-Tom.
On the computer side of the businees there is me, the developer.
Another person's role is that of the idea man...the person that knows
the business and requirements and issues for the business. Together we
put together an application we both think is of value.

The app is written. Of course, the app is not finished. I suppose I
could work on this app for the rest of my days adding new features and
enhancing and adjusting as new software/hardware is created that opens
up new markets and potential. Conceivably this app could be a never
ending job. But it has enough features to go to market now and
hopefully be a success.

Have any of you created an application that you have taken to market?

I'd be curious to know what you did to make it a success. Did you do a
lot of cold calling? Did you attend lots of conventions? How did you
determine the pricing? Did you do a lot of mailings? Did you have a
good marketing background? Did you hire someone with experience in
marketing to get the ship off the ground and into the water? Were there
any books you considered a "bible" for getting your software on the
market and sold? Were there any companies that helped you get your app
to market and sold? Did you work with ISVs? Did you create
partnerships with other companies?

Your advice, opinions, and viewpoints are welcome.


Nov 13 '05 #6

P: n/a
Tom van Stiphout wrote:
On Fri, 15 Jul 2005 17:44:36 GMT, Salad <oi*@vinegar.com> wrote:

Where to begin answering your post?
I think that for most real software companies, writing the app is
almost an afterthought. It's all about marketing. They would NEVER
write an app before they would know who needs it, whom they're
competing with, how they will advertise it, what pricepoint will work,
etc.
Yes. In my case, it was the opposite. My idea man, quite a visionary
in his industry, runs a business. When he started it 10 years ago he
decided that if he were to succeed he needed to invest in technology.
So as he ran his business and grew it he started working on his app,
investing in hardware and software and several years later he he hired
me and together we built the app to meet, and now meets, the demands of
his business. Although the app is tailered to his market, with very
little modification (mostly some lookup tables) it could be converted to
being used in several other vertical markets.
Anecdote: a friend and retired medical doctor figured many people
would want what he wanted: a medical data and events database for
families. Record when your kids had the measles, your weight over
time, the outcome of a blood test, etc. He would be willing to invest
20K+ and sell it at $100+ a pop. He had some screen designs worked
out. I did half an hour of research at tucows.com and found half a
dozen such apps, for $20-60 each. The advice we gave him: if you like
the experience of working with us on this app, the thrill of having
your brain child in the market place, then do it. If you expect to
make money, then don't.
We know what software programs are out there for this industry. If one
had existed like ours, he would not have created this app. Why reinvent
the wheel if the wheel exists?

Some of the software programs are so cost prohibitive to small
businesses that those software companies have limited their market.
Other packages address issues that are applicable to a very small
segment of the industry. There are other software packages are web
based and are more tailored to the customers and clients of the company
and are not directed towards the workflow of the company performing the
work whereas ours is designed around the company's workflow. These
other packages have good ideas but are not designed to run the business
of the company and lack features necessary for the business. I have no
doubt we are lacking some features too, but we know what they are and
those issues are minor and can always be added when demand requires it.
If we waited until everything is perfect we could lose our edge and
opportunity.
joelonsoftware.com has a nice blog about software development. Every
now and then a gem about the business/marketing side of it.
I'll check that out. Thanks.
We have a custom software development company. Every now and then we
are approached by a potential client looking for a partnership: "I
have the greatest idea, and here is some documentation about the
potential in the marketplace. You develop it (for free or very reduced
rate), and I help you market it. We could both make a nice profit". We
will never do that, mostly because we don't know that industry as well
as they do, and we can't gauge the truth of all these claims. Your
dream isn't my dream.
I agree. That tends to sound like makework without much of a business plan.

Have you ever built a custom app for a company that you feel has a
definite market potential for that industry? Have you taken that app to
market? That's my situation.

-Tom.
On the computer side of the businees there is me, the developer.
Another person's role is that of the idea man...the person that knows
the business and requirements and issues for the business. Together we
put together an application we both think is of value.

The app is written. Of course, the app is not finished. I suppose I
could work on this app for the rest of my days adding new features and
enhancing and adjusting as new software/hardware is created that opens
up new markets and potential. Conceivably this app could be a never
ending job. But it has enough features to go to market now and
hopefully be a success.

Have any of you created an application that you have taken to market?

I'd be curious to know what you did to make it a success. Did you do a
lot of cold calling? Did you attend lots of conventions? How did you
determine the pricing? Did you do a lot of mailings? Did you have a
good marketing background? Did you hire someone with experience in
marketing to get the ship off the ground and into the water? Were there
any books you considered a "bible" for getting your software on the
market and sold? Were there any companies that helped you get your app
to market and sold? Did you work with ISVs? Did you create
partnerships with other companies?

Your advice, opinions, and viewpoints are welcome.


Nov 13 '05 #7

P: n/a
If you were to give me the type of market you are looking for, I might be
able to provide better advice...
I have use the advice that swiminging gave you and had success. However
this only applies to a small market. If you are looking for a large market,
you might go to a large business that uses software that is like yours and
see what advantages yours has over theirs. If you find yours to be
superior, you then drop hints to those who are running the software and see
if they are pleased with their present software program. If you hear that
they are displeased ask them what it is they are displeased with. If your
software handles that complaint, you could then start a conversation with
that person and find out what they are looking for. Sometimes, in my case
it has been 100% success in finding out their status on if they are looking
into a change for their software program that better suits their business
needs, in which case you can present yourself to them and then give them a
presentation that is applicable for both you and the business. This has
worked for me in the fields of Accounting software programs, Video Rental
software programs, and Lawn Business software programs. There are a lot of
variables when you are trying to price your code. If you do it a business
at a time until you have a large following of businesses you have to charge
a fair sum for the initial purchase of the software and charge by the hour
for each businesses special needs to fine tune it for their purpose. This
in itself can be a full time operation at first and requires other people to
help you when you have more refining of your software than you have time.
When you get to this point, word of mouth works wonders.

When you are at this point is when you need to decide on launching your
program to the web. After you have solved where you niche in the market is
and developed it with actual businesses you have a record you can use for a
referral. Advertise in PC Mags with a demo that can't be broken and you may
just have a new PeachTree, QuickBooks, or FamilyLawyer program for all to
buy.

Right now I am working on a nation wide database for certain consumers of
professional services. It will start out as a community service until it
takes off or goes broke.

My brother C.E.O. of the defunct Roaster Technologies helped to make JAVA
what it is today and made it accessible to Microsoft. If the dot com
disaster had been one year later his company may have survived and Microsoft
would be licensing the technologies that he developed. Rather than been
bought out.
Timing is important!!!
"Salad" <oi*@vinegar.com> wrote in message
news:8C*****************@newsread2.news.pas.earthl ink.net...
On the computer side of the businees there is me, the developer. Another
person's role is that of the idea man...the person that knows the business
and requirements and issues for the business. Together we put together an
application we both think is of value.

The app is written. Of course, the app is not finished. I suppose I
could work on this app for the rest of my days adding new features and
enhancing and adjusting as new software/hardware is created that opens up
new markets and potential. Conceivably this app could be a never ending
job. But it has enough features to go to market now and hopefully be a
success.

Have any of you created an application that you have taken to market?

I'd be curious to know what you did to make it a success. Did you do a
lot of cold calling? Did you attend lots of conventions? How did you
determine the pricing? Did you do a lot of mailings? Did you have a good
marketing background? Did you hire someone with experience in marketing
to get the ship off the ground and into the water? Were there any books
you considered a "bible" for getting your software on the market and sold?
Were there any companies that helped you get your app to market and sold?
Did you work with ISVs? Did you create partnerships with other companies?

Your advice, opinions, and viewpoints are welcome.

Nov 13 '05 #8

P: n/a
If you were to give me the type of market you are looking for, I might be
able to provide better advice...
I have use the advice that swiminging gave you and had success. However
this only applies to a small market. If you are looking for a large market,
you might go to a large business that uses software that is like yours and
see what advantages yours has over theirs. If you find yours to be
superior, you then drop hints to those who are running the software and see
if they are pleased with their present software program. If you hear that
they are displeased ask them what it is they are displeased with. If your
software handles that complaint, you could then start a conversation with
that person and find out what they are looking for. Sometimes, in my case
it has been 100% success in finding out their status on if they are looking
into a change for their software program that better suits their business
needs, in which case you can present yourself to them and then give them a
presentation that is applicable for both you and the business. This has
worked for me in the fields of Accounting software programs, Video Rental
software programs, and Lawn Business software programs. There are a lot of
variables when you are trying to price your code. If you do it a business
at a time until you have a large following of businesses you have to charge
a fair sum for the initial purchase of the software and charge by the hour
for each businesses special needs to fine tune it for their purpose. This
in itself can be a full time operation at first and requires other people to
help you when you have more refining of your software than you have time.
When you get to this point, word of mouth works wonders.

When you are at this point is when you need to decide on launching your
program to the web. After you have solved where you niche in the market is
and developed it with actual businesses you have a record you can use for a
referral. Advertise in PC Mags with a demo that can't be broken and you may
just have a new PeachTree, QuickBooks, or FamilyLawyer program for all to
buy.

Right now I am working on a nation wide database for certain consumers of
professional services. It will start out as a community service until it
takes off or goes broke.

My brother C.E.O. of the defunct Roaster Technologies helped to make JAVA
what it is today and made it accessible to Microsoft. If the dot com
disaster had been one year later his company may have survived and Microsoft
would be licensing the technologies that he developed. Rather than been
bought out.
Timing is important!!!
"Salad" <oi*@vinegar.com> wrote in message
news:8C*****************@newsread2.news.pas.earthl ink.net...
On the computer side of the businees there is me, the developer. Another
person's role is that of the idea man...the person that knows the business
and requirements and issues for the business. Together we put together an
application we both think is of value.

The app is written. Of course, the app is not finished. I suppose I
could work on this app for the rest of my days adding new features and
enhancing and adjusting as new software/hardware is created that opens up
new markets and potential. Conceivably this app could be a never ending
job. But it has enough features to go to market now and hopefully be a
success.

Have any of you created an application that you have taken to market?

I'd be curious to know what you did to make it a success. Did you do a
lot of cold calling? Did you attend lots of conventions? How did you
determine the pricing? Did you do a lot of mailings? Did you have a good
marketing background? Did you hire someone with experience in marketing
to get the ship off the ground and into the water? Were there any books
you considered a "bible" for getting your software on the market and sold?
Were there any companies that helped you get your app to market and sold?
Did you work with ISVs? Did you create partnerships with other companies?

Your advice, opinions, and viewpoints are welcome.

Nov 13 '05 #9

P: n/a
KnightKnives wrote:
If you were to give me the type of market you are looking for, I might be
able to provide better advice...
OK. It is software for running a business for a subcontractor; not a
General contractor, not a residential contractor, not a cash-n-carry
contractor, but a commercial subcontractor. It doesn't do accounting as
a company would be better off with an accounting program. It doesn't do
estimating as the company would be better off with a program that excels
in estimating. My program can (and does) interface with the accounting
program and it does use information from the estimating program. But
this program project manages and runs the business.
I have use the advice that swiminging gave you and had success. However
this only applies to a small market. If you are looking for a large market,
you might go to a large business that uses software that is like yours and
see what advantages yours has over theirs. If you find yours to be
superior, you then drop hints to those who are running the software and see
if they are pleased with their present software program. If you hear that
they are displeased ask them what it is they are displeased with. If your
software handles that complaint, you could then start a conversation with
that person and find out what they are looking for. Sometimes, in my case
it has been 100% success in finding out their status on if they are looking
into a change for their software program that better suits their business
needs, in which case you can present yourself to them and then give them a
presentation that is applicable for both you and the business. This has
worked for me in the fields of Accounting software programs, Video Rental
software programs, and Lawn Business software programs. There are a lot of
variables when you are trying to price your code. If you do it a business
at a time until you have a large following of businesses you have to charge
a fair sum for the initial purchase of the software and charge by the hour
for each businesses special needs to fine tune it for their purpose. This
in itself can be a full time operation at first and requires other people to
help you when you have more refining of your software than you have time.
When you get to this point, word of mouth works wonders.
Good advice.
When you are at this point is when you need to decide on launching your
program to the web. After you have solved where you niche in the market is
and developed it with actual businesses you have a record you can use for a
referral. Advertise in PC Mags with a demo that can't be broken and you may
just have a new PeachTree, QuickBooks, or FamilyLawyer program for all to
buy.
Yes. I see your point. Get some customers, get some "converts" that
spread the word, and advertise.
Right now I am working on a nation wide database for certain consumers of
professional services. It will start out as a community service until it
takes off or goes broke.
Good luck and much success.
My brother C.E.O. of the defunct Roaster Technologies helped to make JAVA
what it is today and made it accessible to Microsoft. If the dot com
disaster had been one year later his company may have survived and Microsoft
would be licensing the technologies that he developed. Rather than been
bought out.
Timing is important!!!
Yes, that is why I want to get my app into the marketplace soon.
"Salad" <oi*@vinegar.com> wrote in message
news:8C*****************@newsread2.news.pas.earthl ink.net...
On the computer side of the businees there is me, the developer. Another
person's role is that of the idea man...the person that knows the business
and requirements and issues for the business. Together we put together an
application we both think is of value.

The app is written. Of course, the app is not finished. I suppose I
could work on this app for the rest of my days adding new features and
enhancing and adjusting as new software/hardware is created that opens up
new markets and potential. Conceivably this app could be a never ending
job. But it has enough features to go to market now and hopefully be a
success.

Have any of you created an application that you have taken to market?

I'd be curious to know what you did to make it a success. Did you do a
lot of cold calling? Did you attend lots of conventions? How did you
determine the pricing? Did you do a lot of mailings? Did you have a good
marketing background? Did you hire someone with experience in marketing
to get the ship off the ground and into the water? Were there any books
you considered a "bible" for getting your software on the market and sold?
Were there any companies that helped you get your app to market and sold?
Did you work with ISVs? Did you create partnerships with other companies?

Your advice, opinions, and viewpoints are welcome.


Nov 13 '05 #10

P: n/a
KnightKnives wrote:
If you were to give me the type of market you are looking for, I might be
able to provide better advice...
OK. It is software for running a business for a subcontractor; not a
General contractor, not a residential contractor, not a cash-n-carry
contractor, but a commercial subcontractor. It doesn't do accounting as
a company would be better off with an accounting program. It doesn't do
estimating as the company would be better off with a program that excels
in estimating. My program can (and does) interface with the accounting
program and it does use information from the estimating program. But
this program project manages and runs the business.
I have use the advice that swiminging gave you and had success. However
this only applies to a small market. If you are looking for a large market,
you might go to a large business that uses software that is like yours and
see what advantages yours has over theirs. If you find yours to be
superior, you then drop hints to those who are running the software and see
if they are pleased with their present software program. If you hear that
they are displeased ask them what it is they are displeased with. If your
software handles that complaint, you could then start a conversation with
that person and find out what they are looking for. Sometimes, in my case
it has been 100% success in finding out their status on if they are looking
into a change for their software program that better suits their business
needs, in which case you can present yourself to them and then give them a
presentation that is applicable for both you and the business. This has
worked for me in the fields of Accounting software programs, Video Rental
software programs, and Lawn Business software programs. There are a lot of
variables when you are trying to price your code. If you do it a business
at a time until you have a large following of businesses you have to charge
a fair sum for the initial purchase of the software and charge by the hour
for each businesses special needs to fine tune it for their purpose. This
in itself can be a full time operation at first and requires other people to
help you when you have more refining of your software than you have time.
When you get to this point, word of mouth works wonders.
Good advice.
When you are at this point is when you need to decide on launching your
program to the web. After you have solved where you niche in the market is
and developed it with actual businesses you have a record you can use for a
referral. Advertise in PC Mags with a demo that can't be broken and you may
just have a new PeachTree, QuickBooks, or FamilyLawyer program for all to
buy.
Yes. I see your point. Get some customers, get some "converts" that
spread the word, and advertise.
Right now I am working on a nation wide database for certain consumers of
professional services. It will start out as a community service until it
takes off or goes broke.
Good luck and much success.
My brother C.E.O. of the defunct Roaster Technologies helped to make JAVA
what it is today and made it accessible to Microsoft. If the dot com
disaster had been one year later his company may have survived and Microsoft
would be licensing the technologies that he developed. Rather than been
bought out.
Timing is important!!!
Yes, that is why I want to get my app into the marketplace soon.
"Salad" <oi*@vinegar.com> wrote in message
news:8C*****************@newsread2.news.pas.earthl ink.net...
On the computer side of the businees there is me, the developer. Another
person's role is that of the idea man...the person that knows the business
and requirements and issues for the business. Together we put together an
application we both think is of value.

The app is written. Of course, the app is not finished. I suppose I
could work on this app for the rest of my days adding new features and
enhancing and adjusting as new software/hardware is created that opens up
new markets and potential. Conceivably this app could be a never ending
job. But it has enough features to go to market now and hopefully be a
success.

Have any of you created an application that you have taken to market?

I'd be curious to know what you did to make it a success. Did you do a
lot of cold calling? Did you attend lots of conventions? How did you
determine the pricing? Did you do a lot of mailings? Did you have a good
marketing background? Did you hire someone with experience in marketing
to get the ship off the ground and into the water? Were there any books
you considered a "bible" for getting your software on the market and sold?
Were there any companies that helped you get your app to market and sold?
Did you work with ISVs? Did you create partnerships with other companies?

Your advice, opinions, and viewpoints are welcome.


Nov 13 '05 #11

P: n/a
Salad <oi*@vinegar.com> wrote in
news:Co*****************@newsread3.news.pas.earthl ink.net:
We know what software programs are out there for this industry.
If one had existed like ours, he would not have created this app.
Why reinvent the wheel if the wheel exists?


A few years ago I got heavily involved in doing Access apps for
executive recruiting firms. At the time, there was nothing tailored
to the market that didn't cost 10s of thousands of dollars and was
really aimed more at big HR departments.

So, a client decided to develop it themselves, with me as their
developer. We created a great app. After a couple of years, we
started looking around to see if we might market the product, but
that time, a number of small-scale apps had sprung up, using the
same kinds of tools we'd used, and though nothing was as
comprehensive as what we'd created, we could see that we'd need to
invest quite a bit in the product to make it marketable. At the
time, the biggest stumbling block was the issue of handling sharing
data between multiple sites. We were using Jet replication, but I
didn't consider it robust enough to market. Also, the app was just
on the verge of needing to have the back end upsized to SQL Server.
So we'd have needed to rebuild the with that in mind, and would want
to offer either Jet or a SQL Server back end. At the time, SQL
Server 7 was just out, and for the first time offered merge
replication, so that looked like our industrial-strength answer to
the multiple site problem.

But when we looked at how much re-engineering would be required, and
at the problems brought up by the introduction of Access 2000, we
decided we would be unlikely to make much money off of the project,
unless we charged $10K or so.

A year or so after we put it aside, Win2K was released with Windows
Terminal Server built in, and the the multiple site problem was
mostly resolved (Citrix was possible before, but we were looking at
$900/seat for remote users just to license the software back then --
not a viable option!).

So, the timing was not right.

By the time Win2K Server was out, there were dozens of players in
the market offering a number of tools in the $300-1,500 price range,
and though none was as versatile was what we'd developed, they were
all enough to get the job done. Had those been available in 1997
when we'd started our project, the client probably would have gotten
by with one of those options, rather than spending the $50K or so
that they did.

And the end of the story is the best part:

In early 2000, the original founder of the company basically had
lost interest (executive recruiting had been in a bad slump for a
year before the stock market bubble burst), and turned over
management of the company to one of the partners. She turned out to
be someone who'd never really liked the app we'd developed (it was
basically the New York HQ office vs. the London office, and the new
chief was from the London office; the fact that I'd flown over and
set up the IT infrastructure for the London office that enabled them
to work was somehow irrelevant). So, she hired some consultants whe
were in the business of providing executive recruiting software to
provide a solution that didn't have any of the insecurities that
came with using Jet replication to share data among offices.

Well, it turns out the app they bought cost about 3X what their
custom Access app had cost, had about 1/3 the functionality (the
programmers marvelled at my app, and admitted they didn't know how
to do some of the things it was doing already).

And the real kicker: it didn't really support multiple sites -- the
horrid kludge they were using for that only worked between the NYC
and London offices and left their offsite contractors out of the
loop (whereas my Jet replication solution worked fine for the
offsite contractors).

And within 18 months, the company was bust -- completely out of
business.

It may be that had we been 1 year ahead of the game and paid more
attention to MS's plans for Win2K, we might have figured it all out
and come with a product to launch in 2000 or 2001, and might have
made a go of it.

But I sleep a lot better knowing that we *weren't* launching a
product into that horrid economic environment.

--
David W. Fenton http://www.bway.net/~dfenton
dfenton at bway dot net http://www.bway.net/~dfassoc
Nov 13 '05 #12

P: n/a
On Sat, 16 Jul 2005 17:23:46 GMT, Salad <oi*@vinegar.com> wrote:

Hi Salad,
Since you elsewhere told us about the market segment, I was reminded
of a project I worked on in the Access 2.0 days. This company had
already made the move from "let's write something for ourselves" to
"let's sell it to everyone". They are into software for electrical
contractors. Essentially the point of the software is: give me the
blueprints of your building, and I'll use this software to calculate
what it will take to install the electrical systems.

They started as electrical contractors themselves, and worked in the
trade. When computers became affordable they had someone write a
program for them, and when they found out they liked this business
better than contracting, they switched full-bore. They still sub out
some of the software development, maintain a small development staff
as well, and otherwise are a sales&marketing machine. They also became
heavily involved in one of the major trade groups, which gives them
many contacts in the industry, especially with the big players. They
have a 1-page ad in every issue of one of the main magazines for the
trade. Additionally they take real good care of their customers. The
pinnacle is an annual 3-day event for client+guest, all expenses paid.
Of course the software has a price tag to match, but still, many
customers love this and show up year after year.

<clip>

Have you ever built a custom app for a company that you feel has a
definite market potential for that industry? Have you taken that app to
market? That's my situation.

<clip>

Nov 13 '05 #13

P: n/a
Tom van Stiphout wrote:
On Sat, 16 Jul 2005 17:23:46 GMT, Salad <oi*@vinegar.com> wrote:

Hi Salad,
Since you elsewhere told us about the market segment, I was reminded
of a project I worked on in the Access 2.0 days. This company had
already made the move from "let's write something for ourselves" to
"let's sell it to everyone". They are into software for electrical
contractors. Essentially the point of the software is: give me the
blueprints of your building, and I'll use this software to calculate
what it will take to install the electrical systems.

They started as electrical contractors themselves, and worked in the
trade. When computers became affordable they had someone write a
program for them, and when they found out they liked this business
better than contracting, they switched full-bore. They still sub out
some of the software development, maintain a small development staff
as well, and otherwise are a sales&marketing machine. They also became
heavily involved in one of the major trade groups, which gives them
many contacts in the industry, especially with the big players. They
have a 1-page ad in every issue of one of the main magazines for the
trade. Additionally they take real good care of their customers. The
pinnacle is an annual 3-day event for client+guest, all expenses paid.
Of course the software has a price tag to match, but still, many
customers love this and show up year after year.
Hey Tom. Thanks for the encouraging words and story. Very similar to
our situation but we haven't entered the marketing phase. I'm passing
your story on to my idea man.
<clip>

Have you ever built a custom app for a company that you feel has a
definite market potential for that industry? Have you taken that app to
market? That's my situation.


<clip>

Nov 13 '05 #14

P: n/a
Tom van Stiphout wrote:
On Sat, 16 Jul 2005 17:23:46 GMT, Salad <oi*@vinegar.com> wrote:

Hi Salad,
Since you elsewhere told us about the market segment, I was reminded
of a project I worked on in the Access 2.0 days. This company had
already made the move from "let's write something for ourselves" to
"let's sell it to everyone". They are into software for electrical
contractors. Essentially the point of the software is: give me the
blueprints of your building, and I'll use this software to calculate
what it will take to install the electrical systems.

They started as electrical contractors themselves, and worked in the
trade. When computers became affordable they had someone write a
program for them, and when they found out they liked this business
better than contracting, they switched full-bore. They still sub out
some of the software development, maintain a small development staff
as well, and otherwise are a sales&marketing machine. They also became
heavily involved in one of the major trade groups, which gives them
many contacts in the industry, especially with the big players. They
have a 1-page ad in every issue of one of the main magazines for the
trade. Additionally they take real good care of their customers. The
pinnacle is an annual 3-day event for client+guest, all expenses paid.
Of course the software has a price tag to match, but still, many
customers love this and show up year after year.
Any chance the company is AccuBid?
<clip>
Have you ever built a custom app for a company that you feel has a
definite market potential for that industry? Have you taken that app to
market? That's my situation.


<clip>

Nov 13 '05 #15

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