Tag Archives: family

Honeymoon world tour

“Via Daring Fireball”:http://daringfireball.net/linked/2010/09/12/lanyrd, I’m loving “this blog and idea”:http://sparkabout.net/ from newlyweds Simon Willison and Natalie Downe, who are traveling the world on a working honeymoon:

“We’ve been in Morocco now for just over a month. We launched Lanyrd from a rented apartment in Casablanca, and we’re writing this update from a Riad in Marrakech. So far, travelling and working on a startup have complemented each other surprisingly well.”

In 1999, Traci and I took a similar but shorter 2-month vacation to Europe where we both worked remotely. This was before wi-fi, so much of the destination planning centered around pay-by-the-hour internet cafes or reliable hotel phone lines for dial-up. Lots of backpacking, cheap rooms, and trains and boats between 6 countries. We were constantly broke and our accommodations varied between the crummy (freezing showers at a hostel) to the beautiful (freezing showers with a Mediterranean view), but those were easily some of the best weeks of my life. At the end of the trip we got engaged and came back to America to get married and have kids and never leave our neighborhood again.

Someday we’ll go back.

Follow-up on family packs

In October I “blogged about”:http://www.manton.org/2008/10/family_packs.html and then launched a “family pack” purchase option for Wii Transfer. $39 for 5 licenses vs. $19 for 1.

The results are in, and they are unspectacular.

2.6% of orders were family pack purchases. At an extra $20 per order, that essentially comes out to the equivalent of one extra sale for every 40.

To all my customers who were honest enough to choose the more expensive option, thank you. I don’t think most people need the flexibility of running 5 copies of Wii Transfer simultaneously, but I’m glad that it’s helpful for a few of you out there.

Now that I’ve written this down and crunched the numbers, it calls to mind something that “Joel Spolsky”:http://www.joelonsoftware.com/ said in an interview. All the coupons or referral fees or discount prices or other gimmicks they tried are ultimately just a diversion from the best way to increase sales: make the software better.

I’ll leave you with this chart for 2008 sales. August was shiny-new-version month.

Sales 2008

Family packs

I rolled out “family pack” pricing for “Wii Transfer”:http://www.riverfold.com/software/wiitransfer/ over the weekend. I had to make changes to my custom PayPal integration scripts to support it, and I also modified the product page to use a simplified checkout (no standalone store page). Pretty straightforward.

I was less sure about pricing. A quick survey of other Mac developers yielded results like these (normal price / family price — all of these are for 5 users):

“Radioshift”:http://www.rogueamoeba.com/: $32 / $59

“Yojimbo”:http://www.barebones.com/: $39 / $69

“Hazel”:http://www.noodlesoft.com/: $21.95 / $39.95

“iLife”:http://www.apple.com/ilife/: $79 / $99

“Bento”:http://www.filemaker.com/products/bento/: $49 / $99

“TextExpander”:http://www.smileonmymac.com/: $29.95 / $44.95

“MoneyWell”:http://nothirst.com/: $39.99 / $69.99

Additionally, some companies don’t have a family pack, but offer discounts for multiple copies:

“Acorn”:http://www.flyingmeat.com/: $49.95 / 2+ (20% off)

“On The Job”:http://www.stuntsoftware.com/: $24.95 / 2+ (20% off)

“BusySync”:http://www.busymac.com/: $25 / 5+ (10% off)

“Transmit”:http://www.panic.com/: $29.95 / 10+ (10% off)

So 5 copies is the standard for family packs. My original idea was 3 copies for $29, so I threw that out. Five copies for only 50% more seemed way too cheap, especially since Wii Transfer is already the least expensive software of any company I found. True, this is “free” money — most customers don’t buy more than 1 copy anyway — but on the other hand they are getting 5 separate serial numbers. Unlike Apple’s iLife (which has no serial numbers), or Radioshift and BusySync (which allow a special serial number to be used on multiple computers), Wii Transfer’s URL bookmarking feature requires each copy of Wii Transfer to have a unique serial number to identify the computer.

I think customers buying a family pack are exceptionally honest. They are going out of their way to do the right thing. But at the same time, it needs to be a fair enough price that I’m not losing anything if a few customers decide to share their “extra” serial numbers with a friend.

In the end I settled on $39 for the 5-copy family pack, essentially double the normal price of $19. The Bento pricing model convinced me that it was doable, even if percentage wise it’s slightly higher than other products. I’ll be watching stats over the next month to see how well it works. “Decisions are temporary”:https://gettingreal.37signals.com/ch06_Done.php. I’m not afraid to change the family price or drop it altogether if it doesn’t meet my expectations.