Fog Creek Software
Discussion Board

Better or Different?

Now I have developed killer application (maybe only in my eyes).

Now I have two choice to advertise it:
Way 1:
It is an auto-complete tool but better than other products because it has feature #1, #2, #3....

Way 2:
It is totally based on new idea and new technology (new to westerners but very old to Chinese, Japanese). It is not a kind of auto-complete software . (actually, it is not)

Seems I have to select one because I can not tell customers my app is auto-complete app using different technology.

good - easy to understand and I can sell at the beginning.
bad - some misunderstanding (all auto-complete application is an exe and why you donot have? or I hate those unstable hook apps? Why configure it in Cotrol Pad?)

good - actually it is. And I can emphasize why my app is totally different. Maybe I can use some Chinese myth in westerners's mind?
China=Many people, They are laboring (like typing) all the day ... complicated China characters , China dragon :) and so on...

bad - I have to explain to those westerner (my major market) what is IME and why IME is good. I expect some customers will be scared if I ask them to use a totally new technolgy.

What to do?
I guess (only guess) my first customers should be programmers, then lawyers, doctors ....


Monday, February 2, 2004

Check out how these guys advertise their autocomplete software for inspiration:

Matthew Lock
Monday, February 2, 2004

I have checked it many times since it was still named ultimashell.

It is one part of my problem.

In China, I just tell my customers it was another IME. Few understand auto-complete or shell.

Now the key problem is how to tell westerners...

Monday, February 2, 2004

Customers seldom care about technology. They care about benefits. So try to work out what the actual customer benefits are when using your new technology, that might be the best selling angle.

Claus Christensen
Monday, February 2, 2004

Why not market as better AND different! 

I suspect most western technical users will be familiar with the auto complete features in editors or office type applications.  So you might want to target programmers like this: “If you like you auto-complete in your IDE now use it everywhere!”

>[...]I hate those unstable hook apps?

That would be my big hang up of something like this, a full function demo might be nice.

Bill Rushmore
Monday, February 2, 2004

it would be an interesting exercise to run two different websties, and market it as two entirely different applications....

Monday, February 2, 2004

Let's say you type 10 minutes out of each hour and your average typing speed is 60wpm.  The average word size is 5 characters.  This means you are typing 5 * 60 * 10 characters per hour, or 3000 characters.

Let's assume 5% of the words you use each hour are in FlashIME.  5% of 60 is 3, so this means that on average you will use FlashIME for a completion 3 times per minute.  On average, you save 10 keystrokes per completion (assuming here that a completion averages 2 words).  That's 30 keystrokes per minute, or 6 seconds per minute.

6*10=60.  FlashIME saves you 1 minute per hour, 8 minutes per day, 40 minutes per week.

I think I'm being a bit conservative -- 10 minutes of typing per hour is a decent of typing IMO.

Now let's look at costs.  Let's say the purchase price is equivalent to 3 hours of your time.  Next is time downloading/installing and reading the documentation.  Let's say that's another hour.  Next is training -- this includes adding words/phrases to the dictionary and learning to use FlashIME.  We'll say it takes 5 seconds to add a phrase.  So, for each phrase added, you have to use that phrase 2 1/2 times for it to pay for itself in time savings.  We'll assume each of the phrases you enter will pay for itself within a week, and ignore this time from here on out.  Finally, we'll add 5 minutes per week for maintenance and miscellaneous.

The 5 minutes per week taken from 40 minutes of savings gives 35 minutes per week.  This leaves us with 4 hours of "purchase time" to pay for.  At 35 minutes per week savings, it will take almost 7 weeks to pay for this.

So, to summarize: assuming 5% of your phrases are in the dictionary, this will start saving you time in about two months.  An average of about a half hour per week.

Now, let's say only 2% of the phrases you use are in FlashIME's dictionary.  Now, instead of saving 40 minutes per week, it's only 16.  Barely more than a quarter hour.  But if you type 20 minutes per hour instead of 10, it goes up to 32.  IMO 20 minutes of typing per hour is a *lot* of typing.

Summary: this might be worth it if you do quite a bit of typing and/or at least 5% of the phrases you type are in FlashIME's dictionary.  (Assuming my assumptions and math are correct.)

Should be working
Monday, February 2, 2004

Scot Doyle
Tuesday, February 3, 2004

*  Recent Topics

*  Fog Creek Home