Friday, April 13, 2012

Selling software entails much more than manufacturing a good product

A software producer tells me:

Software business is a _big_ business. It is big in that you need loooots of money to get they notice you.

Most funny is that you don't even need to have a very good product.

What you do need is:

1). A well-designed web site

2). Money to buzz about yourself on every corner. This includes not only various banners, but most important: having various computer magazines to write articles about you (that's all for payment); publish a couple of books about your product (but do not forget to hire a tech-writer for this, as well as to pay the publisher); participate in various exhibition (also pay for your place there); and the last: issue a press-release about every new "nail" in your software (but do not forget to subscribe to "media-kits" everywhere you want to press-release yourself)

3). At last, hire a lot of "account-managers" to push your software to the local businesses.

When you calculate how much it will cost, you'll get a figure of a several millions euros. That's it.
The development of the software itself will be the least part of your expenses.

Why all that system is needed to get people use that very software in the end, I don't really understand myself, particularly when everybody can reach every website in Internet and download/try any software out

Our customers do include some very top companies (or rather some people working there), like: (omissis) .... But all of them purchased mostly a single license (or set of licenses) and that was all.
If I was told from the very start that this would happen, I wouldn't belief...

Also, making all those things, I listed, would take some number of people. You wouldn't be able to do it alone.
And once you've got some tens of people, you obviously need a few more ordinary professionals, like a secretary,
a bookkeeper (or "CFO", as they say).
Possibly, also a human-resource manager and a lawyer -- but those would be required for a bit bigger business.

If your company is very small yet (e.g. 2-4 guys), the whole item N2 (that is, buzzing about yourself on every corner), could be done by a special "public relation" company. There are quite a lot of them, and they will arrange everything (all those sub-items). But you have to pay them, of course!

Well, whatever you do, a few thousands euros (or dollars) would be never enough. This is just called a "seed capital".
If you want to go any further, a true investor (with those millions) must be found somewhere!

That's theory, of course. But, lots of this is written in various books, even academic ones.
It is a big science, in fact, how to create and run company.

For instance, here you can read who those "account manages" are:
I knew a few of them. Quite modest people with not so large salaries.
But if you have an army of them, you will be making millions! :)

But some other people, I guess, may think something different about all this...

For instance, how the "open source" model works still remains a mystery to me.
A typical open source project is posed as a team of geeks.
But on the other hand (from my experience), to make really complex things you need very coordinated and dedicated people.
That means, it is a full-time job. You've got to feed them (and not only feed, by the way)!
And the promotion is also needed, less of course, but anyway.

So.... if you dream of being the next Bill Gates, now you know it's not only about writing good code... am I saying that Microsoft produces good products? I must be ill...

No comments: