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Cool Development Tool

Hi Folks,

I've recently completed a new information management and help authoring tool; it's available as a free download on my web site.

I call it Foundation. It's written in VB.NET, and should be of interest to .NET developers who have a use for a documentation tool that can be tightly integrated with .NET applications to provide dynamic context-sensitive help. I have additionally found it valuable as a stand-alone development tool for building and referencing collections of coding procedures and techniques.

I've included full documentation along with a "quick-start" tutorial. The trial version is free; any and all comments are greatly appreciated. I am especially in need of advise on marketing strategies.

Visit blucastle.com for more details.

Regards,

Randy
Nov 20 '05 #1
7 1170
This tool is not free. There is a "free trial". And then other versions.
No prices listed, but every indication leads me to believe it is not a free
tool and there are no prices listed, but there is a sales@.... contact
address. Please don't advertise it as "a free download" if it indeed is
not. Instead, specify that there is a free trial. Attitude like this makes
me not even want to look at the tool, let alone purchase it.
Thanks,
Shawn

"Randy" <ra**********@c omcast.net> wrote in message
news:68******** *************** ***********@mic rosoft.com...
Hi Folks,

I've recently completed a new information management and help authoring tool; it's available as a free download on my web site.
I call it Foundation. It's written in VB.NET, and should be of interest to .NET developers who have a use for a documentation tool that can be
tightly integrated with .NET applications to provide dynamic
context-sensitive help. I have additionally found it valuable as a
stand-alone development tool for building and referencing collections of
coding procedures and techniques.
I've included full documentation along with a "quick-start" tutorial. The trial version is free; any and all comments are greatly appreciated. I am
especially in need of advise on marketing strategies.
Visit blucastle.com for more details.

Regards,

Randy

Nov 20 '05 #2
The trial version is free

Which he did state in his first letter...

Given, it was hidden, which makes me wonder what marketing help is actually
needed <eg> Seems pretty good to me. =)

"Shawn B." <le****@html.co m> wrote in message
news:OV******** ******@TK2MSFTN GP10.phx.gbl...
This tool is not free. There is a "free trial". And then other versions.
No prices listed, but every indication leads me to believe it is not a free tool and there are no prices listed, but there is a sales@.... contact
address. Please don't advertise it as "a free download" if it indeed is
not. Instead, specify that there is a free trial. Attitude like this makes me not even want to look at the tool, let alone purchase it.
Thanks,
Shawn

"Randy" <ra**********@c omcast.net> wrote in message
news:68******** *************** ***********@mic rosoft.com...
Hi Folks,

I've recently completed a new information management and help authoring tool; it's available as a free download on my web site.

I call it Foundation. It's written in VB.NET, and should be of interest

to .NET developers who have a use for a documentation tool that can be
tightly integrated with .NET applications to provide dynamic
context-sensitive help. I have additionally found it valuable as a
stand-alone development tool for building and referencing collections of
coding procedures and techniques.

I've included full documentation along with a "quick-start" tutorial.

The trial version is free; any and all comments are greatly appreciated. I am
especially in need of advise on marketing strategies.

Visit blucastle.com for more details.

Regards,

Randy


Nov 20 '05 #3
Hmm, I missed that last sentance. I was looking at the first opening
statement. My bad.
Thanks,
Shawn
"CJ Taylor" <no****@blowgoa ts.com> wrote in message
news:10******** *****@corp.supe rnews.com...
The trial version is free

Which he did state in his first letter...

Given, it was hidden, which makes me wonder what marketing help is actually needed <eg> Seems pretty good to me. =)

"Shawn B." <le****@html.co m> wrote in message
news:OV******** ******@TK2MSFTN GP10.phx.gbl...
This tool is not free. There is a "free trial". And then other versions. No prices listed, but every indication leads me to believe it is not a

free
tool and there are no prices listed, but there is a sales@.... contact
address. Please don't advertise it as "a free download" if it indeed is
not. Instead, specify that there is a free trial. Attitude like this

makes
me not even want to look at the tool, let alone purchase it.
Thanks,
Shawn

"Randy" <ra**********@c omcast.net> wrote in message
news:68******** *************** ***********@mic rosoft.com...
Hi Folks,

I've recently completed a new information management and help
authoring tool; it's available as a free download on my web site.

I call it Foundation. It's written in VB.NET, and should be of
interest to .NET developers who have a use for a documentation tool that can be
tightly integrated with .NET applications to provide dynamic
context-sensitive help. I have additionally found it valuable as a
stand-alone development tool for building and referencing collections of
coding procedures and techniques.

I've included full documentation along with a "quick-start" tutorial. The
trial version is free; any and all comments are greatly appreciated. I

am especially in need of advise on marketing strategies.

Visit blucastle.com for more details.

Regards,

Randy



Nov 20 '05 #4
I was going to mention that I'd give out some free licenses in exchange for feedback, but I couldn't phrase it without using "for a limited time" or some similar marketing cliche

I haven't mentioned pricing because I haven't decided yet

I'm going back in my hole now..

Randy
Nov 20 '05 #5
Hehe, relax, not a big deal.

Alright, so you haven't figured out pricing yet? Here is a simple way to
figure it out.

How much is your time worth per hour?
How many hours did you spend writing it?
How many licenses to you HONESTLY expect to sell.

So.. if you answered the questions.

37.50 / hr
20 hours
50 copies

you get

(37.50 * 20) / 50 = 15

This determines your break even point.

So from that point, think about the profit margin (fair margin that is.)
that you would lik eto make. So, something fair on this would be like $3
per copy?

add that to your break point and you have something fairly solid.

In no way is this meant to be a "end all rule" but hey, its a good starting
point.

hth,
CJ

"Randy" <an*******@disc ussions.microso ft.com> wrote in message
news:37******** *************** ***********@mic rosoft.com...
I was going to mention that I'd give out some free licenses in exchange for feedback, but I couldn't phrase it without using "for a limited time"
or some similar marketing cliche.
I haven't mentioned pricing because I haven't decided yet.

I'm going back in my hole now...

Randy

Nov 20 '05 #6
Ouch :-) No disrespect intended but that's a horrible way to calculate a
price. Seriously the "value" of something isn't determined by the seller,
it is determined by the buyer.

You can spend 1000 hours at $80/hr, calculate you might sell 100 units but
that doesn't mean you can get $800 each for them. On the other hand you can
spend 10 hours at $20/hr and perhaps get $400 each for them.

What does it do for the buyer and what does it cost them to do it without
your tool? Is it something worthwhile which they cannot otherwise do
(easily) on their own? Are there competing products? In any case,
determining one's "costs" will only tell you if manufacturing is worthwhile.
It doesn't determine the value of the product.

We don't need to argue about this (if anybody takes this wrong) simply refer
to textbooks on the subject.

Tom
"CJ Taylor" <no****@blowgoa ts.com> wrote in message
news:10******** *****@corp.supe rnews.com...
Hehe, relax, not a big deal.

Alright, so you haven't figured out pricing yet? Here is a simple way to
figure it out.

How much is your time worth per hour?
How many hours did you spend writing it?
How many licenses to you HONESTLY expect to sell.

So.. if you answered the questions.

37.50 / hr
20 hours
50 copies

you get

(37.50 * 20) / 50 = 15

This determines your break even point.

So from that point, think about the profit margin (fair margin that is.)
that you would lik eto make. So, something fair on this would be like $3
per copy?

add that to your break point and you have something fairly solid.

In no way is this meant to be a "end all rule" but hey, its a good starting point.

Nov 20 '05 #7
Hey Tom,

I'm not disrepected whatsoever by that. I think you forgot to read the last
line...

In no way is this meant to be a "end all rule" but hey, its a good starting
point.

Now... I'm just trying to show a simple model so that you can determine a
starting point. The goal is obviously to make that break even point, which
was what I was trying to focus on, but I think it got lost in there.

Yes, value makes a difference, but programmers time is hard to measure, like
I said, just somewhere to start to help figure it all out. After all, we
want to get our money back don't we? =) So if 800 sounds too high in your
example, maybe you can add more features that will encourage more sales to
drop your selling price. =) So many factors... so little time.

-CJ

"Tom Leylan" <ge*@iamtiredof spam.com> wrote in message
news:On******** ********@TK2MSF TNGP12.phx.gbl. ..
Ouch :-) No disrespect intended but that's a horrible way to calculate a
price. Seriously the "value" of something isn't determined by the seller,
it is determined by the buyer.

You can spend 1000 hours at $80/hr, calculate you might sell 100 units but
that doesn't mean you can get $800 each for them. On the other hand you can spend 10 hours at $20/hr and perhaps get $400 each for them.

What does it do for the buyer and what does it cost them to do it without
your tool? Is it something worthwhile which they cannot otherwise do
(easily) on their own? Are there competing products? In any case,
determining one's "costs" will only tell you if manufacturing is worthwhile. It doesn't determine the value of the product.

We don't need to argue about this (if anybody takes this wrong) simply refer to textbooks on the subject.

Tom
"CJ Taylor" <no****@blowgoa ts.com> wrote in message
news:10******** *****@corp.supe rnews.com...
Hehe, relax, not a big deal.

Alright, so you haven't figured out pricing yet? Here is a simple way to figure it out.

How much is your time worth per hour?
How many hours did you spend writing it?
How many licenses to you HONESTLY expect to sell.

So.. if you answered the questions.

37.50 / hr
20 hours
50 copies

you get

(37.50 * 20) / 50 = 15

This determines your break even point.

So from that point, think about the profit margin (fair margin that is.)
that you would lik eto make. So, something fair on this would be like $3 per copy?

add that to your break point and you have something fairly solid.

In no way is this meant to be a "end all rule" but hey, its a good

starting
point.


Nov 20 '05 #8

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