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Nah. You can't sell it!

I'm from an Asian country where software piracy is a common practice. But, I want to sell software. Not to the people in my own country but on the Internet and probably through distributors in Western countries.

So, I asked a friend if establishing a software company would be a nice idea. He thought it was good and was willing to join me. But, he said we can only do the contract work. We can't sell on the Internet. We can't make money over it. We can't satisfy everyone and "provide them with a customized solution".

What do you guys think? Is that because of a specific mind set that we people have developed (because of software piracy being so common in our country) or is that because he's straight on target and we cannot really sell software on the Internet (and make fortunes)?

Humpty Dumpty
Monday, August 09, 2004

Just to reassure, I'm talking about CTOS/Shrinkwrap commercial products. I do not plan to customize them for each and every customer.

Humpty Dumpty
Monday, August 09, 2004

The dream of most programmers is to create and sell their own software. The Internet make things look even easier. After all, you could be travelling through Europe meanwhile people are visiting your site, downloading your software and buying it, with the money being deposited in your bank account.

Reality is a little bitter. Thousands of programmes test the waters of software business each year, and only a few are successful. Business is hard. Shareware is hard. Internet without marketing is hard.

A good start is read all articles in http://www.dexterity.com/articles/  specially the one entitled "Shareware Amateurs vs. Shareware Professionals".  Then read them again. And again. Plan everything before starting to write any code. Shareware is a nice concept, and once you make it, life becomes wonderful. Just don't dream too much or give up too soon.

Mauricio Macedo
Monday, August 09, 2004

joel seems to be doing ok...

Kenny
Monday, August 09, 2004

Getting paid could be a problem if your market is concentrated in locations with credit card problems.

Other than that, you face the same hurdles as mentioned above.

trollop
Monday, August 09, 2004

That's http://www.dexterity.com/articles/

(i want to test the extra trailing space on URL bug)

Good site. Must read.

trollop
Monday, August 09, 2004

Several places I have worked at have a company policy against buying or even using any software written in certain asian countries. And we do check origin: if we can't verify the company has a physical address in a western country, the software is persona non grata.

This is for security reasons, particularly since it is a known fact that all software coming out of china (as an example of the worst offender) right now is not what it appears to be.

Stuff from Japan and Taiwan is considered OK though because we have not seen problems with software coming from there. But we do do security audits nonetheless and verify with our overseas contacts that the companies are legitimate.

Devon Blanchewithe
Monday, August 09, 2004

>>Getting paid could be a problem if your market is
>>concentrated in locations with credit card problems.

Credit card problems like... people use them to scam from you?

To the OP: trollop was trying to say that if you shoudn't try to sell to thieves, and that some countries are heavily  populated by theives.  You can guess which ones. 

What are you lookin' at?
Monday, August 09, 2004

yeah, yeah, my fingers have a speech impediment, but i'd rather have them reinterpret on their own behalf, ta muchly.

the delicate point is getting money/brass/razoodle/boodle into your back pocket, shorn of scams, fees and shameless exchange rates. Can you still make a go of it...

Here's the poop: 

you can do it all by yourself. Sit by the fax machine and the phone and decide on the spot whether to deal. Like running a corner store. Or being a day trader. Or other professions that require the personal touch.

or, you advertise/network/spuik your stuff but leave dealing to card agents who take a smallish cut and occasionally send you a cheque or an invoice.

or, there's Paypal...

or, you go with affiliate selling

or, you sell through portals who work harder and better than you to be noticed and onsell your package for a hefty cut. 

Most banks don't have a clue. They have systems that suit the days of sailing ships and irrevocable letters of credit ...

Except the firstmentioned, all are wary players who don't like scammers and bite down hard on foreign credit cards..

but YES, you can sell it, iff

0.  you have considerable luck

1.  you have great software encapsulating a fresh idea.

2.  you attract buyers from areas where cards work

3.  you can get the money out of your bank's hands.

You need 0+1+2  - if 3 is a problem, you should move to a new bank or new location or marry the current bank's president or a child of same.

good luck!


trollop
Tuesday, August 10, 2004

I've seen it done before. http://www.editplus.com/

genius
Wednesday, August 11, 2004

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