Blog logoMatthew Lang


A 20 post collection

Subscription pricing for Day One

 •  Filed under Posts, Apps, Business

Day One's change to subscription pricing model is taking some flak but I think it's a good move for them and ensures that it will be around for a long time to come.

Subscription pricing isn't new to apps, but it's on the rise and this is largely in part because upgrade prices alone for apps are not sustainable.

A great example of app pricing in my book is the Todoist app. While the Todoist app itself is free, they also have a premium subscription which really adds value what you get from using Todoist. It's subscription models like this that are the way forward. Paying for the software you use on a regular basis. In a lot of cases the pricing is very reasonable and I certainly wouldn't argue over paying between $20 and $50 per year for software that I value and use on a daily basis.

David Sparks rounds up the changing landscape of app pricing nicely.

The traditional model for productivity apps was the upgrade price, where developers released a new version every year or so and everyone paid a reduced fee upgrade price. I know the App Store has made improvements over the last few years but, having zero inside knowledge, I can’t help but feel we will never see upgrade pricing in the App Store. In the meantime expect more quality apps to go to the subscription model and, if they are apps you love (or even like), I’d encourage you to support them through the transition.

Productivity Apps and Subscription Pricing by David Sparks

Fall like a thunderbolt

 •  Filed under Posts, Products, Business

I have never read The Art of War, but I've seen this quote enough times mentioned elsewhere (other books, games and of course the Internet) to know that it comes from Sun Tzu's book on military strategy and tactics.

Let your plans be dark and impenetrable as night, and when you move, fall like a thunderbolt.

— Sun Tzu, The Art of War

I recently spotted this quote during a gaming session on Call of Duty: Modern Warfare Remastered. In between scenes a quote from history appears on the screen.

It got me thinking about the trend towards crowdfunding for products and how transparency is often thought of as a good thing when it comes to building products.

With the recent surge of crowdfunding, you might think that you have to have an idea to tell the world first before it can be successful. It's not always been this way though.

Before Kickstarter, before crowdfunding, before the Internet successful products were built without customers knowing too much about the products until after there were launched.

I wonder if in the light of all this crowdfunding that it's time to consider working on products in a new way? Building the product under the cover of darkness, without the world knowing. Then when it's ready, deliver it to the world. Letting it fall like a thunderbolt.

We live in an age where everything we do is shareable and only a click of way from others knowing what we're doing. It not only applies to what we do in our own time, but also what we do when we're working and that include what we work on.

In some cases it's a good idea to get crowdfunding for a product. You can test the market and get the financial backing before the big push.

Perhaps we might want to consider the opposite as well. If we spent our time working on something without anyone knowing about it, could we capitalise on it and thereby surprise people's expectations?

Bravery in brevity

 •  Filed under Links, Business

CJ Chilvers looks at the importance of being small and why avoiding the need to grow can be a good thing.

I've written before about my love of small books, but these past few days I've re-discovered a love of small blogs, small newsletters, and small products in general. Small could mean brief. There's bravery in brevity. Small could also mean minimal, a first step towards something larger.

The Importance of Being Small by CJ Chilvers

Time tracking - A valuable metric

 •  Filed under Links, Curtis McHale, Business

Curtis McHale explains why tracking your hours as a business owner can improve the health of your business.

Tracking your time will also help you identify the most profitable projects you have. As you narrow down your niche this is going to be important information to have, since what is most profitable and what you enjoy most often coincides.

4 reasons a great business owner tracks their time by Curtis McHale

The Case for Big Business

 •  Filed under Links, Business, Sports

Who knew that so many positives can come out of big business?

For one thing, he says, big companies have the ability to create jobs. Under Armour now employs 15,000 people directly in its 26 global offices, and indirectly hires close to a million people across its supply chain. "There's upwards of three quarters of a million people making Under Armour stuff at any one time," he says. "That's going to grow 50% over the next year, and that means we're going to be able to affect a million to a million and a half people."

Under Armour's Founder Makes A Passionate Defense Of Big Business by Fast Company

Essential Marketing Advice

 •  Filed under Links, Curtis McHale, Business

Curtis McHale has the three step process for marketing your business. Blog, podcast and meet people.

The primary thing you need to do is blog. Write for your own site at least weekly. You write because when people have issues, what do they do? An internet search. And search engines index your writing. People will land on your site and start to get to know you. Getting to know you is the start of the sales process.

A 3-step marketing plan for your business by Curtis McHale

The one thing I think I couldn't do is podcast. I could write all day if I had the chance. Meeting people certainly isn't an issue, but I think putting your voice out there is something that will take me a while to do.

Business Advice by Derek Sivers

 •  Filed under Links, Business

Derek Siver's latest post is the best business advice anyone needs before they start.

First you find real people whose problem you can solve. You listen deeply to find their dream scenario. You make sure they're happy to pay you enough.

Don't announce anything. Don't choose a name. Don't make a website. Don't build a system. You need to be free to completely change or ditch your idea.

Then you get your first paying customer. Provide a one-on-one personal service.

Then you get another paying customer. Prove a real demand.

Then, as late as possible, you officially start your business.

Don’t start a business until people are asking you to by Derek Sivers

For a moment there I thought I was reading the blog of Nicholas Bate. Similar styles of writing. Straight to the point.