I’m a big fan of Dave McClure. He’s got a dynamic personality, credible personal success, and insights that rival some of the most seasoned investors. And he puts his (PayPal) money where his mouth is. Dave’s accelerator, 500 Startups, is just the latest example of his innate understanding of the startup and investing environment.
I was going through some posts I had written years ago for other blogs when I happened upon one that—while originally targeted at helping folks reassess their careers—seemed to play really well in the realm of being an entrepreneur and building startups.
The basis of the post is this: Everything is a product management problem. Not just the product. Not just features. Not just platforms. Everything you do. Read More
The post provides a fascinating look into the planning of the launch, including struggling with issues like pricing:
The price sensitivity data showed a starting price of $9.99 maximized revenue but I was concerned that these customers were too familiar with our products and wouldn’t represent the broader world of iPhone users. After agonizing over this for over a week, I decided to adjust the pricing based on some additional factors and settled on $5.99. This decision is proving to be both a good one and a bad one, and I struggle with selling our applications so inexpensively to this day.
And this is where not understanding the process hurt us. First, I didn’t realize that there was some additional paperwork that needed to be completed. That was completed on the 23rd. Then, once everything is signed off, it takes 24 hours to show up in the AppStore. Finally on the 24th, I’m looking for the application in What’s New and can’t find it!
And valuable lessons learned:
Two things happened around March 19th that changed our fortunes. For one, we hit that magical 20 review level I’ve talked about before. Second, one of the products in the Finance category most similar to ours went free. There has been a lot of discussion on the web about free applications versus paid applications and that the two customers aren’t the same. And this competitive application proved that.
Plus, some insightful suggestions:
Can you make money in the AppStore? Yes. But the competition is fierce and it’s very hard to differentiate your product from others. My suggestion: Spend plenty of time up-front figuring out how to get above the noise with factors you can control.