NOTE: These recaps are a bit more for me than you. I’ll skip over stuff, include asides that are more personal notes to me, etc. Your mileage may vary. More detailed/sanctioned recaps will be available at http://microconfrecap.com at some point.

Selling to Developers: Mission Impossible?

Presenter: Ben Curtis

  • http://honeybadger.io
  • Personal aside: Honeybadger is freaking awesome.
  • I spend my days making your days better and I love it.
  • Developers: Lazy, Impatient, Hubris
  • How to take advantage of these
  • Laziness: First thing about a feature, “Has anybody done this for me already?” Do I need to reinvent this wheel?
  • The way to sell to laziness: You have to be findable. With developers, once you hook them on benefits, then you need to sell them on your features. Anybody can make up a list of benefits; prove it. Show in exacting detail how you solution solves the problem they have.
  • A developer wants to know, does this thing solve my problem? And they need to find out as soon as possible. Because, lazy.
  • Six minute video of http://railskits.com, walks through the exact steps on how you can use it. High engagement, gets watched a ton (97% play rate), 15.5 hours of people watching video. ~30% make it all the way through.
  • Might be documentation rather than a video - down to the method level. Is this code really good and how can I tell if I can’t see it?
  • You’ll find that those docs will help devs determine if this will solve their problems.
  • Bonus: makes you more discoverable.
  • Impatience: Make it very easy for devs to figure out if it will solve the problem.
    • How long does it take to try?
    • Do I need to get permission? We don’t ask for a credit card upfront. We’re selling to devs on a team, they don’t have access to a card. Get them into the system and then they can back up for the card.
  • Hubris: Convince them that their time is money.
    • Can I build this myself?
    • How long will it take?
    • Will this really save me time, or am I going to spend as much time integrating this as I would building my own?
    • Every developer has valued their time at zero at some point. Developers aren’t economists. I won’t give you $9.99, but I’ll spend two weeks building my own.
    • Educate them on how much time/difficulty you spent on it and that their time is worth money.
  • Target their psychology and then you can sell to them.

The five most depressing facts of selling to consumers

Presenter: Jordan Sherer

  • https://mnmlrdr.com/
  • Nobody tells you how to sell software to consumers
  • First product: One-time purchase, downloadable, Windows-only, shareware to-do app
  • Five deadly sins of MicroConf, but was able to quit his job last year
  • Selling to consumers is like selling to crowd.
  • What’s so bad?
    • Consumers don’t know that they have a problem
    • Or they don’t want to admit
    • So they’re not looking for a solution
  • First step is you have to find a way to reach them. Broadcast mediums work great, but you need to find a way to reach them online. You need to teach them that they have the problem, that you have a solution to that problem and they should pay you for that solution. Then, that other people they know might have the same problem.
  • Consumer don’t want to pay you every month. (or actually, at all)
  • Free! (doesn’t make any sense)
  • Ads! (have to have a large enough audience to make that work)
  • Freemium! (really have to convert a lot of people to make a lot of money)
  • Lean toward free trials.
  • It’s good to have a source of revenue, but they don’t want to pay you.
  • You don’t have enough margin to look at paid acquisition
  • “I would never pay you $4, but I might be convinced to pay you $2”
  • “While $4 isn’t much, it’s $3 more than I’m willing to spend.”
  • They can’t see the problem. They don’t value the solution.
  • Show instead of tell. Show them everything: this is what you’re getting, this is why you need it.
  • Consumers spend very little money on software (with some exceptions: entertainment, mobile)
  • King makes $1.5 mil per day
  • Consumers are fuzzy creatures with feelings
  • Consumers are wetware. We purchase things because they make us feel good inside. Your product makes me feel better about myself.
  • Make them feel comfortable. Can’t surprise them, make them feel safe, secure.
  • You can succeed in B2C, but prepare to work harder.
  • Avoid free and experimental business models. Stick to freemium, free trials.
  • Target an audience that will sell for you. Viral loops.
  • Sell at the highest possible price (which is low, because they don’t want to pay you)
  • So keep costs as low as possible.
  • Build entertainment into your product.
  • Automate everything.
  • Hand-hold when you need to (see: fuzzy creatures)
  • Don’t ignore B2B opportunities, you can shift later (Dropbox, for instance)

Inside Gumroad Data

Presenter: Ryan Delk

  • Data to go from ideation to launch
    1. Pricing
      • Always tier your pricing. This works really, really for driving additional revenue. Hardest part is what tiers should be: 1X, 2.2X, 5X perform best. Make sure you have significant difference between tiers. 5X is actually on the low side. Sellers make 5X more revenue when tiered. 62% of revenue comes from the top tier plan.
    2. Pre Sales
      • Emails are gold. Important to build a list just for the product.
      • Incentivize. Provide value in exchange for the email address.
      • Dedicated email lists work. 3x more revenue.
      • http://sachagrief.com “Discover Meteor”, dedicated list. 15% conversion from his email list. Average purchase was > $65 (double the non-email average). Revenue per subscriber was > $9
    3. Launch
      • Revenue distribution: 55% first 24 hours, 20% the next week, 15% next month. 75% of revenue in the first seven or eight days.
      • Youtube: 2.2% conv rate, Twitter: 5.4%, Facebook: 6.3%
      • Email: 9.4%, double average social conversion
      • Hacker News: 1.2%