This is my first experience launching a startup, as well as my first desktop software I have ever wrote...so you are going to see lot of rookie mistakes.
I waited until I have tried what I could from reading the answers I received here. I wanted to try as much as I could before I posted. Now, I am fresh out of ideas what to do next. Literally, I am drawing a blank as to where the problem is. If only I knew the most likely reason as to why I have the problem of converting downloads and trial users to sale, I could set on work to fix it. Right now it feels like I am shooting in the dark, hoping to fix something and see if it works.
So I launched my startup two weeks ago.
So here's the update after trying various people's answers to my questions.
Desktop Software Startup: Offering Free Version and 30 day Trial overkill? Desktop Software Startup: How to go about pricing Pay Per Feature Desktop Software Startup: 11 Downloads, 2 pre-sale questions, no purchases I started talking with a few people, and they replied they were enjoying it, and asking "how do I do this, do that" and need screencasts and such....
The issue of price came up and said it was too expensive. I temporarily lowered it to 50% to see what happens.
So, this is it....I am open to any suggestions as I am getting burnt out from stress. At this rate, I don't think I am going to ever make a sale or even continue into 2012. Where do you think I am going wrong here? Is the free version too limiting? Is it the price?
I would love to hear your experiences, insights.
Thank you, and happy holidays everyone. This will be my final question for the time being as I don't think I can keep working fulltime on this startup much longer from the stress.
gagwgw: Happy holidays and good luck with your startup. Perhaps what you need more than anything is patience. After all how many customers did Twitter, Facebook, Apple or Microsoft get in the first two weeks? Would you have ever heard of Bill Gates or Steve Jobs if they had killed the business after two weeks?
I went and studied your website, and allow me to share what I believe to be the most important observation first, and do this with a comparison.
Have a friend who is a knowledgeable computer user go to http://www.dropbox.com/ and watch the 2 minute video on the homepage. See if they understand what dropbox is and if they might want to use it. Actually they should understand what dropbox is by 41 seconds into the video.
Now have them go to your website (with no coaching or telling them where to look etc.) and see if at the end of 2 minutes they can explain what your product does and how they would use it?
On another note, I believe a lot of people could really use your product, and if it can do what I think it might be able to do then a price of $99 is fair. SO can it do the following:
Automatically (say once per hour) go to a page like: Top Stories which is the top stories from the Associated Press, and retrieve all those stories? (remember the stories themselves are on separate webpages, one per story) like 3 killed, including woman, in Yemen clashes. Even better, could I have it only collect stories about Yenem (nice to have but not essential)? Finally in what format will I get the stories, CSV really doesn't cut it.
Ideally I should have been able to figure all this out from your website. The issue here is I think you have a product I and many others might want, but I really can't tell from the website.