Indie Hackers episode 208 hit home...

In 2016 I started Shift – a SaaS for automating the upgrade process of Laravel applications.

In the beginning I only charged a few dollars per upgrade. I thought it would be an easy long tail approach as so many developers would use it for all their projects.

In listening to episode 208 of Indie Hackers, I learned I had made the classic indie hacker mistake. If I had simply done some basic math, I would have realized the enormous scale required to reach even decent revenue numbers.

To the point of the episode, I would have saved myself 2 years.

It took another 2 years to dial-in the pricing for Shift to reach a revenue which surpassed the income of my "day job".

Increasing prices has been the single biggest change which took Shift from a side project to a Company of One.

I still only charge $9 for the latest versions. But, referencing another Indie Hackers episode, the $9 price point helps Shift keep a "best bang for the buck" value proposition. It's a no-brainer to try. And with a 93% reuse rate, I put more focus on the lifetime value of the customer.

I’m not the first to say it, but I will reiterate it for indie hackers like me - charge more.

Once you’re past whatever introductory or trial you may offer, set that initial price point a little higher than think. If there's barely any pushback, find ways to increase it until you get pushback.

For Shift, I increase the prices for older versions when new versions are released. This not only provides a natural opportunity for me to increase prices, but serves as motivation for the community to stay up-to-date (and stay at the $9 price-point).

In the end, I like maintaining that low price point. It not only reflects my value proposition, but also my own person spending habits. Which I believe plays the largest role when indie hackers determine pricing.

  1. 1

    Hey Jason, solid post and agreed 100% on the spending aspect. Just wanted to follow up on how Shift is doing and if you would be up for an interview?

    1. 1

      Sure, feel free send a DM on Twitter or email me at the Shift support address.

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