Finding a selling point

15 09 2007

Recently my first customer paid me one of the highest compliments I’ve received so far in my short span as a software developer. For those of you who are new to the blog, a couple summers ago I put together a simple version of a management program for the University of Kentucky climbing wall.

So the person in charge of the wall at UK, Mark Lattin, had this to say: “It’s the most idiot-proof piece of software I’ve ever used in my life. No double entries, I don’t have to train anybody. People can just pick it up and use it.”

Now when I was building the first version of the software, Mark and I talked about idiot-proofing it. At the time I thought of that as a helpful addition, but not necessarily essential. To hear him talk about it, that’s the one thing that sets my software apart from the other recreation management applications that he sees around their rec center.

As a result, I’ve been rethinking my selling point(s) for the software. Until my conversation with Mark, I had been thinking that it would be an advantage if ClimbPoint implemented almost all of the guidelines in the Climbing Wall Association Industry Practices (a new document that provides guidelines and best practices for climbing wall management — if you want a copy it’ll cost you $75). Mark hadn’t even heard of the industry practices, and I’m betting that he’s not the only one.

While I still think the industry practices are important, that’s probably not the aspect of my software that’s going to push people over the edge in terms of buying it. Soon I’m hoping to begin polling a few other people who manage their own walls to find out what’s really important to them…but not before I get a few more quotes from Mark. His endorsement is probably more valuable than a lot of other marketing that I could do.




2 responses

21 11 2007
ClimbPoint first impressions « Another Startup

[…] for day-to-day operations, and sound fairly pleased so far. In addition to being dubbed “idiot-proof” by the Universty of Kentucky, ClimbPoint was identified as being responsible for a […]

11 03 2008
Feedback from my beta testers « Another Startup

[…] Idiot proof I’ve mentioned this aspect before as a selling point, and there are a couple priceless quotes on this topic: “[It’s] […]

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