Selling your software is hard

    I'm sure you have read about a software unicorn and thought: I had this idea before, too! If I had built this, I would be a billionaire now!

    The hard truth is: An idea has no value–the value is all about the execution.

    Most people don't realize that and try to get a signed NDA before they even talk to you about the project. They want to protect their idea and think that they are the first one who had this idea. But that's rarely the case. If someone wants your signature to talk about their project, please read 7 Reasons I Won't Sign Your NDA Before a Coffee Meeting by Hartley Brody first.

    Back to your own product idea: Be sure that you have in your mind that building the software is not the hardest part. Yes, building software is not easy, but spreading the word about it and getting actual sales is much more difficult.

    I've built several SaaS platforms and multiple mobile apps, but until we released Flare and Tinkerwell, they haven't been successful. The software itself was excellent and solved a problem for me, but I had no audience or money to spread the word about the previous ones. It took me a while to understand this and focus on specific niches and people before building software.

    An example of a company that built many products before the first one succeeded is Rovio–the company behind the well-know Angry Birds mobile game. They built more than 50 games before they succeeded.

    One thing that is a common trap is building more features if you don't have sales and you don't acquire more users. That is a common misunderstanding of software products. Your product has only a single purpose–all additional features add value to this purpose, but if there is no demand for the core feature of your product, you can build as many extending features as you want, this won't increase sales.

    This article reads like and advice to stop building software–but it's the opposite. Every product that you launch will increase your probability of changing your life. You'll learn many things with every new launch and if you keep doing it, you'll be successful eventually. Just keep in mind that after every launch, the work on marketing and sales starts, and if you don't like this part, get a partner who does.

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    Sebastian Schlein

    Sebastian Schlein

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