asp.net 2d barcode generator Livingston: You were nimble enough to change your plan because you were in Font

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just getting started
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Spolsky: Yeah. We just lucked out. If we started a year earlier, we would have
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had 37 consultants whose salaries we somehow would have had to pay for 4 months while we realized there was not going to be any money for them. That would have been a dangerous situation.
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Livingston: So people were buying FogBugz. Was there another turning point
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for you then Because I know you never took any outside investment.
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Spolsky: We never took any investments. I put in probably $50,000 of my own
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money mainly to cover people s salaries, when we didn t have clients. There was a fairly long period of time where I went without salary because I had my own savings. (Michael had less savings, and he took out a little bit of salary.) And we had some expenses, because during this entire period we had an office.
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Joel Spolsky 349
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Although it was my grandmother s apartment, we were paying rent, and we were using it solely as an office. So we were paying, let s say, below-market rent for a below-market-quality office space.
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Livingston: Was it in Manhattan Spolsky: Yeah, it was a brownstone in Manhattan. Two floors, with a garden out
back. It was quite a pleasant place to go work. Nobody was living in there, but it had a kitchen. So we shipped another product, CityDesk. There are all kinds of reasons why it was not a successful product. We misinterpreted some things, and that product was not a big hit. But FogBugz just kept growing and growing and growing. Every time we did a new release, we would double our sales. We just sort of sat there and watched this little geometric growth occur which has been happening in the last 5 years to this day. This application is getting bigger and bigger and selling more and more copies every month. We had to raise the price a couple of times. We didn t have to, but raising the price actually increased the number of units that we sold. I guess because it looked more legitimate with the more realistic price.
Livingston: If people have to pay more, they take the product more seriously Spolsky: Definitely. There was a five-user license that was like $199, and that just feels like shareware, practically. But today, when you say that a ten-user license is $999, it starts to feel like a more substantial product. In that market, it still is actually a good deal. But you really have to have a price point that conveys what you think the product positioning should be. Many people will judge where your product fits in the market based on its price. So we increased the price a couple of times, and both times it increased the number of units we sold. We launched new versions, kept adding more and more features. It s become this gigantic monster. It s also a whole customer email management system. Your customers email bugs, it spam filters it automatically, it sorts them into areas, it assigns them to people, you can keep track of them, you can set due dates, you can automatically reply to a customer with a nice little message that gives them a link that they can click on to see the status of their message. We use it for handling all our incoming company email and make sure that it gets handled by the appropriate person. Livingston: Would you consider when you released this product one of your
major turning points
Spolsky: Yeah, although it didn t feel like Let s have a celebration. At the time, we thought, Hey, we have this product. We don t know what else to do. Let s just ship it and see what happens. We had no idea. At the time, you could have told me that this thing was going to sell zero copies, and I would have believed you. You could have also told me it was going to sell $50,000 a month s worth of copies an equally unrealistic number and I would have believed that too. Now I have enough experience to know that almost everything you launch is going to sell $2,000 to 3,000 in the first month, and that s the way the first
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