What I Said to a Guy Trying to Charge 30 Bucks a Month for Software

I started writing a response to a guy and then realized he had emailed me privately. I was looking at the emails in my blog account. When I post at somebody’s blog I check “yes” to the box to notify me about follow up responses. But like I said he emailed me in private, after I had written most of my response to him. So I’m gonna share it with you. I’m not going to mention the name of the guy’s company. I guess I also won’t have any pictures unless I get some clipart. I like always having picture proof in my pieces! I’ll find something to use.

So it goes like this, I got this email that starts off quoting me;

Hello Dave,

You posted this comment on my blog:

“I went by UNNAMED SOFTWARE today. The first month is ok, but after that. WHEW!”

Most UNNAMED SOFTWARE members would say it is severely under-priced, especially after viewing competing service’s costs. May I know the reason behind your feelings of $29.95/month being too much?




My reply: Dude, seriously. You’re going to ask me to tell you WHY I think something is overpriced? At first glance I thought this was a comment response on the blog and you wanted to do this out in the open. In which case I have a 2 drink maximum on these type of affairs. I state my case, I hear the response, then I give my follow up and go no further. I hate prolonged public “spirited debates.” So since we’re in private I’ll give you my honest opinion and try to be as thorough as I can without spending a whole night looking for supporting links to my various arguments.

First of all, subscription software? Are you kidding. Who’s doing this anymore? Do you remember Oracle? Do you remember when the head of Oracle was competing with Bill Gates for richest software guy back in the day and was convinced that his software was the best most beloved subscription software ever. Now? Where’s Oracle. And you know Bill-you know what he does; he competes and then he imitates. He did it with Apple, he did it with Netscape, and he did it with Oracle. So Microsoft tried to get people to use MS stuff as a subscription, and then online and not on your desktop. All kinds of insane stuff. And that’s not the way people in AMERICA want to live. We don’t roll like that. I’ll pay you today, and then walk away. That’s what we do. If your planning on selling outside the country you might have some luck-I don’t know.

And THIRTY dollars a month?! And I know you’re thinking “what’s wrong with a dollar a day?” I know. I know that’s what the logic of this was. But how many of your customers are making that kind of money with your software? Most people say they want a website and they try for a couple of weeks or maybe even a few months, but if they don’t start seeing any returns, they quit. So now they’re in this deal with you. It’s so hard to find information on your site (including the price) I have no idea if it’s annual contract or month to month. I’m telling you I don’t think that’s going to fly. Not in THESE times. We’re at the early stages of a recession that’s probably going to kick in for real within the next 6 months and I can’t see people going for a THIRTY dollar a month deal.

You’re not SBI. Even SBI isn’t SBI. They’re going to probably start seeing some real slow-ups in the future. But Site Build It at least has a serious track record, and outstanding numbers. And I think they’re package goes for 199.00 or maybe it’s 299.00 for their annual package and SERVICES either way-with a straight face you’re going to ask people to pay 360.00 a year ?! And yeah, I know there are people who would do it. But I can’t see them doing it for long. And certainly not a guy like me. And let me clarify that last point; I’m just a regular guy. I’ve got a little, nothing, PR3 blog that I’m sure some SEO pro could point out a million problems with. I’m not seeing big bucks-and that’s what led me to your UNNAMED SOFTWARE site. Looking for solutions-but your UNNAMED SOFTWARE doesn’t look like a solution. It looks like a deeper hole

Next ; you’re set up to help people sell in an auction environment. Auctions are best price wins arena. And you’re selling something with a SET price. An ONGOING set price. Are you seeing the irony. People want the best price. And right now the best stuff is actually FREE. WordPress is free. Hotmail. Yahoo mail. Gmail, in fact the whole Google suite of products is powerful, versatile and FREE.

And the speaks to new economy. You’re familiar with Seth Godin and the general move toward Long Tail economics ? 20/80. People focus on that structure for keywords, but it applies to most things. What am I saying-you have to be aware of these concepts; that’s how people are supposed to use your UNNAMED SOFTWARE, with niche targeting. But it’s MY opinion that you’re presenting yourself like a Blockbuster Video as opposed to Netflix, as if there was limited shelf space and that what you have is both in short supply and incapable of being done for free. I’ll give you an example; Keyword Elite sells for 97 dollars I think, but (remember my spiel about Microsoft and their habit of playing copy cat?) MS just came out with an Excel “add-in” called Ad-intelligence that pretty much does the same thing. I use it all the time. Cost? Free . And by charging 30 bucks a month, you’re playing to 20 percent of the crowd not the 80 percent.

Clearly you’re making money while doing internet stuff. And I’m not saying free is necessarily the way to go. I’m just telling you how it looked to ME when I went to the site.

13 thoughts on “What I Said to a Guy Trying to Charge 30 Bucks a Month for Software

  1. Pingback: Apple » What I Said to a Guy Trying to Charge 30 Bucks a Month for Software

  2. Hi, interesting post you have here. But you really got a lot of patient explaining your reasons for not using the software. I would have just ignored any email from them.


  3. Hey phostan
    Thanks for coming by. And yeah I’m chatty by nature. Lot of folks don’t know that Chicago was called the “windy city” years ago NOT because of the weather, but because when people met us they’d say we were “long winded.”

    But the reason I took the time and went into detail is because companies can affect such large numbers of people’s lives. if you think about the good a Microsoft or Apple has brought to the world. Or the damage an Enron did to people you can see what having a rare chance to communicate with one of these guys is.

    It’s a chance to MAYBE get them to rethink things and find a way to make money but still do right by people. Like I said; it may seem kinda like a burden, but to me it was an opportunity. Imagine if you could go back in time and convince the first cigarette companies NOT to use nicotine?

  4. Thanks for the link love! You should have just emailed that guy back a picture of your middle finger….lol. There are lots of programs that are worth a fee, but $30/mo is steep considering that premium hosting is only $15/mo. There is always a free or near free way to get things done, everything comes with a price – whether it’s time or quality.

    My advice is read, read, read, and read some more. Try everything free first so you know what more to expect from pay for programs and software. Oh – and don’t expect to make much of anything your first year if you’re just starting out. If you do- you’re just lucky.

  5. @Olivier – look again, there are a couple dozen merchants that are completely free and DON’T take the 4th click on at all (you keep all the traffic) because the merchant pays for the funding on the feed in hopes more people will promote it.

    The rest of the feeds are funded by the programmer of GoldenCAN himself, and that’s why he takes every 4th click. It may reduce your income, but you will have no income at all unless you have the programming skill to do what GoldenCAN does on your own. There are all kinds of feeds available for free – if you can figure out how to format them without using a service – there’s your “free” solution.

    Free would be nice, yes – but you can’t always get it…

  6. And even in my email to the original guy I don’t advise TOTALLY free. If you have something with true value you can always have a price structure.

    Hell, I sell pricey t-shirts on this site. But people expect a certain price for t-shirts. And every arena has certain parameters. And in the realm of software right now you’ve got to look around and say “ok, given what I have and given what people are paying, what’s a fair price to me and to the user.”

    And I believe what GC is doing is fair. They’ll take a cut , but still leave the option for you to get those services “free.”

  7. You told him the right thing! You are so very right about the best things being free.I am a huge fan of open source platforms. I like your 2 drink philosophy on comments 🙂 I wish everyone would follow suit on that one!

  8. Hi Chelle glad to hear from you!

    But right; to just pick a price out of the air without looking to see if what you have isn’t already out there super cheap or free is sloppy in a best case scenario, and rip-offy in a worst.

    And yeah I can’t stand reading or participating in internet battles..

  9. Pingback: April 25, 2008 Edition of Work at Home in Your Pajamas | Sarah Paine

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