Wolfram Kuss | 7 Jun 09:32 2012
Picon

Re: Re: Funding for ShadowPlan

 

I also pledge 50$ upfront for an Android version (more if it arrives
and is good plus money for Desktop improvements).

However, by now, there are several outliners for Android plus several
"note taking" programs that for the average user will look similar.
And Evernote (and possibly others) gets a HUGE amount of financing.
Many of them are written according to the current fad - IOW synch via
the cloud, be flashy, cost a dollar or less.

Here is my take on your target audience and whether/how you can find a
niche:

- First of all, compared to Android the number of smartphone users is
huge and growing, so a small market share would probably be enough. Of
course this means you would not be listed in the list of top apps,
which further reduces sales. Right now the smartphone is driven by
people that want to look cool. Hopefully over time this will slowly
and partly change and people actually want to do something useful on
their expensive phones.

- At least in Germany, quite a lot of users (IMO between 20 and 50%)
are quite conscious of data privacy issues. IMO Google and others
created the "cloud" fad as it is in their interest and told users it
is in the interest of the user also (access your data everywhere), but
people are getting more and more suspicious. So, if you would synch to
the desktop version, that would be an advantage to quite a few people
and would be easy to sell (unfortunately, allowing arbitrary
hierarchies is hard to sell, most people are content with a complete
kludge there). I think this is THE asset you have going into the
smartphone market. Other companies won't want to change as they
advertised all the time that they are about sharing your data over the
cloud (for example Evernote). Other companies of outliners that are
more like shadow also seem to be single persons working on it on the
side and won't have the manpower to make a desktop version from
scratch.

- I think the price point is crucial.
Starting to read Android forums, I am still absolutely shocked about
the opinion of the vast majority of both users and "opinion leaders"
like writers of reviews about price.
For the average person, anyone buying a low or middle class phone is a
looser.
Anyone buying an app or at least anyone buying an app that costs more
than one $ is stupid.
This to me is mind blowing, as I am still holding back on buying a
400-600 € smartphone, partly for lack of a good outliner, so for me a
good outliner on Android would be worth at least 100 € for me.
But reading forums it seems people are only interested in how things
look and everyone knows how much the different phones cost so you can
brag with a high end phone but regarding apps it simply needs to be
flashy. Even reviewers will only give full grade on price/performance
for free apps; And for anything over one $ or € they start to write
how expensive it is and whether it is worth it.
(Still they put in hours into the app. So what is their own time worth
to them???)

Again the DT version will help as people are used to say 50$ for a
Windows application.

Anyway, I hope this changes a tiny bit and that in future maybe say
10% of users (as oposed to developers) will begin to understand that
it is in their own interest to pay more, get a better product, and
save time. So you might well try to price your app like a Windows
application (say 20-50 $) but I am sure this would immediately cut the
target audience by a factor of 10 on Android (I dont read iOS forums,
so cant tell from own experience, but it seems iOS users are a bit
more sane in this respect). But still, 20$ / 10 is more than one $, so
swimming against the flow might be worth it.

One thing you should definitely do is have a stripped down version for
free. That way people can see how well it works on their smartphone
and they can be convinced that a full hierarchy is something they
want.

- Featurewise:
You might first target for reimplementing the Shadow features and as
we all on here know you will have a product that can help its users to
change their life in a major way. Unfrotunately most people wont know
that and wont believe it if you tell them. They will compare to other
programs and even when f.e. they see the full hirarchy and the synch
to desktop as a plus, they will still see some advantages with other
apps, for example:
* ability to like from one node to other nodes,
* have links to the outside world (for example URL opens a broswer,
telephone number dials etc)
* manage other data than text, for example pictures, videos, audio
notes etc.

I saved a crazy dea for last:
Start work not on the mobile version, but improve the Desktop version
first, for example with a better search. I would pay for that and you
probably would have some additional sales so you start earning fast
and of course later, once you have the mobile version, the improved
desktop will be an asset as well.

HTH,
Wolfram.

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    Noam Kfir | 8 Jun 17:50 2012
    Picon

    Re: Re: Funding for ShadowPlan

     

    I agree with almost everything Wolfram says. I think both his analysis and
    strategy are sound, and I agree that the price should be more than a measly
    dollar.

    The only thing I really disagree with is that the product should cost $100
    or even $50. One dollar, in my mind, usually does not reflect or respect
    the effort the developers put into their product or pay their bills. But a
    one-time $50 payment could stifle its development. The current prices of
    mobile phone apps are reminiscent of the early Palm days, before the (not
    so) invisible hand balanced the price to value proposition and before
    PalmGear and Handango got greedy. Just as the prices for good apps rose, so
    will they rise in the smartphone markets.

    I think the key today is recurring payments. Toodledo takes $15 or $30 a
    year and Evernote takes $45 a year. They both offer free editions. These
    are prices people pay, and Shadow does a bit of what they both do, and a
    lot that neither does. If you want to offer a non-recurring payment, you
    can also offer an lifetime license at an exorbitant price (I know you have
    a principled objection to ripping off your customers :) ), but don't count
    on it. It doesn't pay for future support or infrastructure costs, or for
    growth. I pay Toodledo $30, but I don't pay Evernote because it's too
    expensive for my taste. I'd drop Toodledo in a heartbeat and siphon that
    cash over to you, for Shadow, even without a mobile app.

    I think Henry Ford had it right when he said (paraphrasing from memory):
    "You can have anything Fast, Cheap, or Good; choose any two." (Note: fast
    refers to delivery, not to performance.) Today, outliners, task lists and
    calendars for smartphone are mostly Cheap and sometimes Fast. There are
    none I'd say are Good. Shadow was different: it was Good and Cheap. In the
    beginning it was also pretty Fast, which is rather remarkable, but
    apparently not sustainable. So my suggestion is to focus on Good and Fast.
    Forget Cheap: Good and Fast are your hallmark and far more important than
    Cheap. Price it based on actual (or planned) ROI and what the market will
    permit.

    I also agree to some extent with what Wolfram says about the cloud and
    growing distrust, but I believe the cloud is starting to reduce the cost of
    infrastructure and distribution for small and medium businesses - in the
    places where Google et al can't really reach. I personally don't care if
    you use the cloud or another distribution platform, but being able to work
    everywhere (e.g., desktop, mobile phone, tablets, online and offline) is
    crucial, whether by synchronization or by making a good web app. Especially
    for an app as useful in the daily "grind" as Shadow.

    There are 6.1 BILLION mobile subscriptions world wide. I saw a recent
    slideshow by Mary Meeker [1] on the "state of the web", in which she shows
    some incredible statistics on growth in mobile platform adoption and
    monetization worldwide. For example, she claims that there were 6.1 BILLION
    mobile phone subscriptions in Q4 2011, and that mobile internet traffic
    accounts for 10% of ALL internet traffic today - again, worldwide. I
    believe these statistics (and others in the same slideshow) are almost
    enough to guarantee that a sophisticated app like Shadow will succeed even
    if it doesn't reach the "top ten" lists. You don't need broad market
    penetration to make it worthwhile, and one of the few advantages of the
    online smartphone markets is that they help publicize your wares.

    Finally, would it make sense to make this a two or three person operation?
    Could opening up a shop and hiring a couple of young enthusiastic Canadian
    programmers help make this a reality? I've mentioned it before, but it's
    worth mentioning again. If the issue is risk, Kickstarter can help mitigate
    that risk significantly, for you, your potential employees, and your first
    crop of fanatic customers (none of which, needless to say, are on this very
    list :) ).

    [1]
    http://www.businessinsider.com/mary-meekers-latest-incredibly-insightful-presentation-about-the-state-of-the-web-2012-5#-10

    shovavnik

    On Thu, Jun 7, 2012 at 10:32 AM, Wolfram Kuss <w_kuss <at> rz-online.de> wrote:

    > **
    >
    >
    > I also pledge 50$ upfront for an Android version (more if it arrives
    > and is good plus money for Desktop improvements).
    >
    > However, by now, there are several outliners for Android plus several
    > "note taking" programs that for the average user will look similar.
    > And Evernote (and possibly others) gets a HUGE amount of financing.
    > Many of them are written according to the current fad - IOW synch via
    > the cloud, be flashy, cost a dollar or less.
    >
    > Here is my take on your target audience and whether/how you can find a
    > niche:
    >
    > - First of all, compared to Android the number of smartphone users is
    > huge and growing, so a small market share would probably be enough. Of
    > course this means you would not be listed in the list of top apps,
    > which further reduces sales. Right now the smartphone is driven by
    > people that want to look cool. Hopefully over time this will slowly
    > and partly change and people actually want to do something useful on
    > their expensive phones.
    >
    > - At least in Germany, quite a lot of users (IMO between 20 and 50%)
    > are quite conscious of data privacy issues. IMO Google and others
    > created the "cloud" fad as it is in their interest and told users it
    > is in the interest of the user also (access your data everywhere), but
    > people are getting more and more suspicious. So, if you would synch to
    > the desktop version, that would be an advantage to quite a few people
    > and would be easy to sell (unfortunately, allowing arbitrary
    > hierarchies is hard to sell, most people are content with a complete
    > kludge there). I think this is THE asset you have going into the
    > smartphone market. Other companies won't want to change as they
    > advertised all the time that they are about sharing your data over the
    > cloud (for example Evernote). Other companies of outliners that are
    > more like shadow also seem to be single persons working on it on the
    > side and won't have the manpower to make a desktop version from
    > scratch.
    >
    > - I think the price point is crucial.
    > Starting to read Android forums, I am still absolutely shocked about
    > the opinion of the vast majority of both users and "opinion leaders"
    > like writers of reviews about price.
    > For the average person, anyone buying a low or middle class phone is a
    > looser.
    > Anyone buying an app or at least anyone buying an app that costs more
    > than one $ is stupid.
    > This to me is mind blowing, as I am still holding back on buying a
    > 400-600 € smartphone, partly for lack of a good outliner, so for me a
    > good outliner on Android would be worth at least 100 € for me.
    > But reading forums it seems people are only interested in how things
    > look and everyone knows how much the different phones cost so you can
    > brag with a high end phone but regarding apps it simply needs to be
    > flashy. Even reviewers will only give full grade on price/performance
    > for free apps; And for anything over one $ or € they start to write
    > how expensive it is and whether it is worth it.
    > (Still they put in hours into the app. So what is their own time worth
    > to them???)
    >
    > Again the DT version will help as people are used to say 50$ for a
    > Windows application.
    >
    > Anyway, I hope this changes a tiny bit and that in future maybe say
    > 10% of users (as oposed to developers) will begin to understand that
    > it is in their own interest to pay more, get a better product, and
    > save time. So you might well try to price your app like a Windows
    > application (say 20-50 $) but I am sure this would immediately cut the
    > target audience by a factor of 10 on Android (I dont read iOS forums,
    > so cant tell from own experience, but it seems iOS users are a bit
    > more sane in this respect). But still, 20$ / 10 is more than one $, so
    > swimming against the flow might be worth it.
    >
    > One thing you should definitely do is have a stripped down version for
    > free. That way people can see how well it works on their smartphone
    > and they can be convinced that a full hierarchy is something they
    > want.
    >
    > - Featurewise:
    > You might first target for reimplementing the Shadow features and as
    > we all on here know you will have a product that can help its users to
    > change their life in a major way. Unfrotunately most people wont know
    > that and wont believe it if you tell them. They will compare to other
    > programs and even when f.e. they see the full hirarchy and the synch
    > to desktop as a plus, they will still see some advantages with other
    > apps, for example:
    > * ability to like from one node to other nodes,
    > * have links to the outside world (for example URL opens a broswer,
    > telephone number dials etc)
    > * manage other data than text, for example pictures, videos, audio
    > notes etc.
    >
    > I saved a crazy dea for last:
    > Start work not on the mobile version, but improve the Desktop version
    > first, for example with a better search. I would pay for that and you
    > probably would have some additional sales so you start earning fast
    > and of course later, once you have the mobile version, the improved
    > desktop will be an asset as well.
    >
    > HTH,
    > Wolfram.
    >
    >
    >

    [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]

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      skeezix | 9 Jun 05:53 2012

      Re: Re: another plea! ShadowPlan for iOS? Seed-Money?

       

      On Sun, 27 May 2012, Noam Kfir wrote:

      # This would give you an indication of where the wind is headed before you
      # commit yourself hook, line and sinker, and minimizes everybody else's risk
      # as well.
      #
      # What say you?

      That would imply a level of commitment I can't be 100% behind --
      you remember my biggets fault of course, is trying to be honest and
      upfront always ;) ie: If I put up a KS for $50k or whatever, and then got
      it, I sure as hell have to go and do it ;)

      I'd rather tool around, get a tech-demo together to prove some of
      the tech and see if people like the feal at all, and then go from there.
      Its mostly a matter of seeing if where I'd like to go is what people want,
      and if its possible.

      Scoping worries me a lot -- theres so many lofty goals these days,
      but which are the true path that I would need .. what sort of web
      frontend? what sort of app on the mobiles, and what sort of app
      integration?

      ie: Most apps in iOS and 'droid app stores are standalone ..
      islands unto themselves, nice and easy; but the calendar apps and such,
      are really only useful if they tie into iOS (say) native DB, with sync up
      to iCloud. We've been that road before back 10 years ago of course... but
      its worse now -- do you also sync with google calendar? or any old ical
      davical type calendar? or to yahoo calendar? or no one? (and thats just
      calendar .. if we're doing Shadow linking like we did in the 'classic
      app', then we're ting into evferything ;)

      So rethinking from the ground up, need to find out what people
      need (whats the niche?), need to define what the application is within
      those needs, and how best to serve.

      For my part, my needs are simple .. I like simple fast
      hierarchical task lists, and I like to be able to sync some of those items
      into my calendar..

      .. and babies are up, time to run/rum ;)

      --
      If everyone would put barbecue sauce on their food, there would be no war.

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        swac2002 | 10 Jun 07:00 2012
        Picon

        I'm in for $50 now and could go to $100.00

         

        and I'll be one those folks bothering you monthly--as you requested!

        Some thoughts on recent comments:

        I will NEVER use "the cloud" for my data. I don't even like the idea of my iTunes purchases being there.

        Second, at least for Apple own iWork apps for the ipad, they're charging a
        price-point of $9.99 EACH. So to get Apple's version of a word processing and spreadsheet, plus Keynote that's thirty bucks.

        I'm wondering what kind of response you'd get from a one-time email to all the purchasers of Shadow Plan saying you're considering doing iOS and Android versions and their interest and at what price point.

        I'm also wondering about where targeted advertising could be effective. I was very surprised when I saw a full page ad in Macworld for the five buck desktop Mac app Moom. Wouldn't have thought they could afford that.

        I wonder about the market that the Jot stylus is geared to and if that audience could be tapped--cross-merchandising.

        And maybe joining with the makers of the niche (enviro friendly on steroids) higher-end iPad sleeves: like nedrelow.com's "sleeve" and "book" for the iPad. I have the "sleeve" honestly I wish I had goneforthetotally stratrospherically priced "book.".

        You be doing amazing I bet if you could somehow get a shot at Levenger's customer base.

        My gut feeling is that twenty bucks is near the ceiling--well $19.99 of course. Does that sound about right and would that make it feasible for you to realistically develop it? And I don't know if apps can charge for updates but I'd say go that route even though it's not your style: if that can lower the initial price a little and as long as the update amount wasn't too much.

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          skeezix | 12 Jun 05:01 2012

          Re: I'm in for $50 now and could go to $100.00

           

          On Sun, 10 Jun 2012, swac2002 wrote:

          # I will NEVER use "the cloud" for my data. I don't even like the idea of my iTunes purchases being there.

          I'm with you, but I'm 'old school'; I have a few servers up in the
          basement, running my own calendar and email services and so forth .. its
          icnrasingly annoying to run such things, with needing anti-spam and so
          forth and alwasys having to update everything etc, but so far.. I'm off
          the grid .. no one sniffing all yme email and calendars. Creeps me out..

          # My gut feeling is that twenty bucks is near the ceiling--well $19.99 of
          # course. Does that sound about right and would that make it feasible for

          Same price point as before really ;)

          The biggest hurdle for years now, aside from free time, has been
          .. what direction needs to be run?

          - a simple/fast outliner?
          - with dates, dependancies, other fun stuff to make it optionally
          more a project tracker?
          - and simple lists, for shiopping lists, etc?
          - .. but then we're turning ionto a database, with user definable
          forms, so you can make fancy shopping lists and have summations of costs,
          filters by target store, etc.. getting too 'broad'
          - integration with what?
          - Apple calendar so line items can show up in calendar?
          - sync/push to google cal, yahoo cal, etc?
          - evernote, mind manager, basecamp, ...
          - sync to online codejedi site, so no data loss if device lost?
          - set up your own server, sync to that, so no codejedi dependancy?
          - rotating, scaling, transformable display .. phones, tablets, etc
          .. babies are sick and waking up again.. I'm off ;)

          I'm open to big discussion about what it needs to be, since
          eveyrones idea are different. An interesting discussion if nothing else ;)

          jeff

          --
          If everyone would put barbecue sauce on their food, there would be no war.

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            Wolfram Kuss | 12 Jun 10:40 2012
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            Re: I'm in for $50 now and could go to $100.00

             

            Jeff wrote:

            > On Sun, 10 Jun 2012, swac2002 wrote:

            > # I will NEVER use "the cloud" for my data.

            Yes.

            > # My gut feeling is that twenty bucks is near the ceiling--well $19.99 of
            > # course.

            My gut agrees to yours ;-)

            About features:

            > - a simple/fast outliner?

            Obviously it would be nice if simple jobs are easy to do,
            but I think you should design for the power user from the start.

            > - with dates, dependancies, other fun stuff to make it optionally
            > more a project tracker?
            > - and simple lists, for shiopping lists, etc?

            I use Shadow as a "Keeps all my Life's information in" program.
            Both professional and private info.
            But I dont have needs for a complex project tracker, so IMHO
            2 or 3 features would eanble people like me to use it both as
            todo and as shopping list:

            - Notes can have a checkmark
            - Notes can be active or inactive via location
            - Probably a "due date" although I normally dont use it

            I would not go overboard (dependancies) unless it is very easy
            to do and fits into your concept.

            Speaking about dates, a "date created" for each node is a must IMHO;
            The user does not need to spend any time to create this info,
            so it makes him more efficient.

            > - .. but then we're turning ionto a database,

            Database as oposed to what? Simple XML text file?

            > with user definable forms,

            IMHO a nice feature that should be designed in from the
            beginning but does not need to be part of V 1.0.
            I am speaking of say a view without the checkmarks and one with them.

            > so you can make fancy shopping lists and have summations of costs,

            Sounds overkill to me.

            > filters by target store, etc..

            Tags and filters are important

            > - integration with what?
            > - Apple calendar so line items can show up in calendar?
            > - sync/push to google cal, yahoo cal, etc?
            > - evernote, mind manager, basecamp, ...
            > - sync to online codejedi site, so no data loss if device lost?
            > - set up your own server, sync to that, so no codejedi dependancy?

            IMO not in V 1 and maybe not even in V 2.
            Like I wrote in my previous mail, you should synch with a PC version.
            That is both a backup and on the PC you have large screenspece,
            a mouse and keyboard.

            Have different views for phones and tablets is important as
            available screen space should influence the layout in a major way.
            With stuff like the padfone starting to ship, you should actually
            allow dynamic switching of views.

            More features:
            - Links from node to other node in the plan,
            to other node in different plan, to outside
            - Different data (text audio video pictures etc)
            - Excellent search
            - Import (use your current data) and export (so one is not "forced
            in")
            - Unicode

            Features I advise against:
            - Allowing more than one parent (actually one Android "outliner"
            allows this

            > jeff

            Bye bye,
            Wolfram.

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              Doug Reeder | 12 Jun 14:12 2012
              Picon

              Re-implementing Shadow

               

              One thing that hurt Outline Tracker is that it tried to be both an
              outliner and a to-do app, and I didn't have the time to make it do
              both well.  Despite the overlap, those are two different things that
              require some different design choices, particularly in search.

              -- Sent from my HP TouchPad
              On Jun 11, 2012 11:02 PM, skeezix <skeezix <at> skeleton.org> wrote:

              I'm open to big discussion about what it needs to be, since
              eveyrones idea are different. An interesting discussion if nothing else ;)

              --
              Doug Reeder
              reeder.29 <at> gmail.com
              http://reeder29.livejournal.com/
              https://twitter.com/reeder29

              https://twitter.com/hominidsoftware
              http://outlinetracker.com

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                Noam Kfir | 13 Jun 11:59 2012
                Picon

                Kickstarter

                 

                I came across an interesting infographic on Kickstarter. I'm not sure if it
                helps or hurts my cause, but I think it's relevant either way since it also
                shows how many Kickstarter projects do not get funded. The data was not
                produced by Kickstarter directly, so the inforgraphic may not be 100%
                accurate, but is revealing nonetheless. Some of the ensuing discussion on
                the linked page is also quite interesting.

                http://www.appsblogger.com/kickstarter-infographic/

                By the way, looking through the threads for Kickstarter, I found out that I
                was not the first to suggest the idea. I apologize to arkarkarkark2001 who
                suggested it almost two months before I did.

                shovavnik

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                  adabsurdumadabsurdum | 13 Jun 18:17 2012
                  Picon

                  I didn't receive the serial number for Shadow Plan

                   

                  Hi everybody,

                  I purchased "Shadow Plan for your Handheld and Windows desktop" more than two months ago for my dad who is using his Palm for I don't know how many things. He relies on all his list and would like to have a way to access them on his computer if his Palm fails (again). But I didn't get the serial number by mail. I sent a couple of emails to support <at> codejedi.com but no answer. I also tried the online tool (http://shadow.skeleton.org/cgibin/codejedi_registration_request.cgi) but it didn't work. It simply says "No matches were found.".

                  After reading the posts in this group I understand that the developer is really busy. But I paid for the software. The payment hasn't been canceled on paypal. I hope that I will get a response and hopefully the serial number by posting in this group. Or maybe someone here can point me to a better way to contact the developer.

                  Mathias

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                  skeezix | 13 Jun 19:44 2012

                  Re: Re-implementing Shadow

                   

                  On Tue, 12 Jun 2012, Doug Reeder wrote:

                  # One thing that hurt Outline Tracker is that it tried to be both an
                  # outliner and a to-do app, and I didn't have the time to make it do
                  # both well.  Despite the overlap, those are two different things that
                  # require some different design choices, particularly in search.

                  Always a trouble spot; I always had a lot of pain in trying to
                  'serve everyone', but withotu going the full database 'hyopercards' sort
                  of route .. you want it to 'go easy' like an outliner, but do all this
                  similar-but-different jobs. A tough line :)

                  jeff

                  --
                  If everyone would put barbecue sauce on their food, there would be no war.

                  [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]

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                  Gmane