January 2, 2019

The only way to succeed is with one-time purchases


  1. 11

    I get the point of the article, but the polarizing and misleading title makes the post lose credibility.

    1. -4

      This comment has been voted down. Click to show.

      1. 4

        I disagree with this interpretation, as it seems to mean that criticism, even constructive, is useless as the one who creates is the one who only matters. In reality, all creation is give and take, a sharing of ideas that can only be transferred through consistent, constructive criticism.

        1. -6

          This comment has been voted down. Click to show.

          1. 3

            then don' reply

  2. 3

    I really like the perspective you give to us n00bs here. Faster to market, faster to the first sale, and (albeit unmentioned) potentially profitable from the day that first sale is processed.

    Although my inclination was to start more with a one time purchase product, you’ve helped me cement that thought.

    Thanks!

    1. 2

      Great! Looking forward to see you launch your first product soon! 💪

  3. 2

    I disagree with @qkls IRT the title making the post lose credibility. I'd say the title is bad, but the article itself still contains good content.

    Interesting perspective, whether you agree with it or not.

  4. 2

    I love the occasional attention-grabbing headline, and you make a very good argument for starting with one-time products 👍

    It's given me a different perspective too. I've been thinking about a small range of one-time products I could build instead of going for a SaaS right up front (since the latter is where I want to end up). And maybe starting with something that takes <20 hours to put together would be a smarter move.

    1. 2

      Awesome! Do send me short note when you have launched! ✨

  5. 2

    Thanks for sharing your experience.

    As for the marketing there is actually a little difference between products with recurring revenue and one time sales.

    You still need to get people attention and this is the hardest part for most makers.

    The fact that you could make 1K in one mohth just means you were able to bring in enough visitors and motivate them to buy your product.

    Mind sharing your visitors and conversion rates?

    1. 0

      Oh, sure. As I wrote I did a little marketing: sharing within my network, PH, some reddit mentions. As I like to call it “passive marketing”. Had about 800 unique visitors to the site.

      Like to note: this not about my experience, but my advice to budding indie hackers/makers/first-time founders.

      1. 1

        How does “passive marketing” work on PH?

      2. 1

        This is great. Good luck in 2019 !

  6. 1

    I understand the point being made here but one could argue that facing the challenge of finding out how to sell a more profitable, scalable and predictable MRR-based product or service is more beneficial for someone starting a business because they'll learn more through the harder journey of it.

    If someone can sell a one-time purchase, they can sell a monthly subscription. It may require a bit more marketing, sales and overall finess, but it's not all that much different. And for this small additional challenge, you get huge benefits with regards to building a scalable business.

    Plenty of people starting out building their own businesses are coming from a services background (consulting, marketing, design, etc). So I believe going the productized service route is a better option for people in this camp. Check out the Productize course and community by @briancasel - that's a much better first step in this kind of situation.

    Just my two cents :)

  7. 1

    Quicker to build, quicker to sell too. All accumulating in that much-needed confidence that you actually can create meaningful and useful products.

    I love this line at the end. Because I was having this same conversation yesterday that you start by taking small risks. And those risks (and payoffs) start to get bigger and bigger as you get feedback, improve and build your confidence.

    I just launched last month. I was planning to change from a one-time fee to an annual. And I think you just changed my mind. 🙂 Sometimes we all need a reminder.

    On the point that you and Kyle raised, I think another way to approach it would be to charge for a limited time (e.g. 3 months) access to a “library” of templates or plugins, and that library grows if you have a subscription versus if you just purchased a one-off.

    Even better, if you default the payments to not auto-renew. I think this would help ease any doubts and concerns.

    @kylegawley, would love to hear the results of your split-testing once done.

  8. 1

    Just made another sale :) One thing that I'm having trouble finding though is a license? How is this licensed?

    1. 1

      Nice! Double win for you! 😉

      Been quite busy, but adding a license is on my list to add asap.

      1. 1

        I’m not in your target market, but for what it’s worth, I’m very much inclined to purchase and use something with an MIT license. It’s very permissive.

        1. 1

          Yes, looking into this. Basically boils down to you can build/create anything with this template but not resell the template itself.

          Edit: Curious though how you’re not the target audience, but are inclined to purchase.

  9. 1

    This is interesting, thank you for sharing eelco.

    I actually have a similar product to yours, only for Node.js which I've just launched and one of my big internal debates is one off v recurring payments.

    The founder of Railskits told me his biggest mistake was not charging an annual fee for the product, and he lost out on a tonne of $ because of it.

    I'm still in two minds about it, I'll decide after a lot of split testing :D

    1. 1

      Nice! You can change your pricing as you see fit. Sjabloon currently is one-off with 12 months of updates and improvements, so one could say it's sort of a hybrid.

      Be sure to keep in touch with people who signup (are interested) and people who paid for your product. See what their goal is by using your product, what they're missing, how it helped etc. You'll learn a tonne. Also feel free to send an email if you like to chat a bit more. ✌️