reply to post by John_Rodger_Cornman
It would depend on where your market is, and what you hope to make.
Now, personally I would do things in this order, to get the funding out:
1. Register a trademark, or my product.
2. Make sure that I'm not using any third party tools (such as DLLs to create emails and word documents).
3. Create my own website for said product (or products).
4. Start signing up for software conventions or fairs, to promote. I'd also sign up with a company like Google for ad generation.
5. Create a trial version (30 day or limited preview). This way, they can test drive the app, and I can get feedback on how well the app functions.
6. Create a release schedule - For example, I doubt you want to be supporting multiple versions of the same product. What I would advise is that to
start, make sure that you only support two versions at a time, and charge a yearly fee to begin with - after that year, offer a renewal fee that is
less than a "new user" fee.
Why a year? Look at what the major software companies are doing: For example, most of your Anti-virus companies (Kaspersky, AVG, etc...), are starting
to go by the year instead of a one time only price. Even Microsoft and Adobe are following this concept, as it helps to maintain support and finances
(plus, it allows you to update their software easier).
7. Listen to what the user's don't like. For example, look at Facebook - not only did I (and many, many more people) not like the fact that they
dumbed down the privacy settings, but they, as a company, didn't care. I'd make sure you listen, and plan on putting in those features in a future
release. A Happy Sheeple is a Happy Spender
8. Assuming that app gets popular enough, keep an ear open for offers, or take on employees. This is where you get rewarded for all of your hard work
- at some point, someone may offer to buy you out of your app. If you want a living example of this, take a read on Sysinternals. Basically, these
guys delved so far into the Microsoft OS that Microsoft actually paid them to join up. Now, although the tools they created are free for everyone's
use, they still got paid rather nicely for them...Not bad, when you're a developer
Now if only I'd get paid to develop Microsoft SQL Server Add-ins (of which, only a handful of companies are able to do; I did it in one week, on 2008
R2, which supposedly only three of those companies had the no-how - I did it in a week, imo).
9. Assuming I found a pirated version of my software, I'd hire someone to place a killswitch virus into a copy of my product, and then release it
into the wild - nothing says "fun" like injecting your own software with a virus to prevent theft.
NOTE: To the NSA, or major companies reading #9 - please don't start getting any ideas, as I want to be the first that sends out tainted copies of my
PS: As far as keeping track of versions, you might want to consider creating license files (*.lic) to register the product. Many of the "professional
tools" like Aspose or Telerik already do this, and it's gaining popularity.