Ideas and Validation April 8, 2020

Launch with or without payment option?

Michael @mikas

Hi fellow IndieHackers!

I am about to launch a first beta version of Betterfolio, a portfolio tracker that enables you to effortlessly manage all of your savings and investments in a single place.

My plan is to offer the product with a subscription based model later on, but the payment module would need still some more time to be finished. As I'm excited to start talking to customers and see what they think about the product so far, I'm thinking about launching the first beta version with no payment option present. All users signing up during this period could use the product for free forever in return.

What do you think, should I wait for the payment module to be finished or launch the first beta version of Betterfolio without it?

Cheers ✌️

  1. 4

    I'm launching mine without payment initially, under different circumstances I would have launched with payment (doubt many will want to pay atm) but better to get users and feedback on the core experience now that waiting I think.

    1. 1

      That was my idea as well. Thanks for your input

  2. 4

    Hey Michael, I think I would just go for it and launch it! Offering it for free forever to the first users can be a good way to get more people to try it and help to validate your idea and add improvements. Good luck! P.S. Love the font you chose for the website.

    1. 2

      Thanks for the feedback! Very appreciated

  3. 3

    Hi Michael,
    I'll float an unpopular opinion and elaborate - Don't launch without payment in place.
    BTW, you can always do something "nasty" - put a billing page - let a spinner spin for 3 seconds and then "give" them the "paid" product without charge.
    No one will ever go to you and demand you charge them. They probably won't even know.
    This allows you to see your users pass the "paywall" and not implement it.
    The reason I'm so adamant on payments is that products without paying customers (not necessarily charged customers ;-) ) might over-fit for customers who will NEVER pay.
    If you're planning a freemium model (which would be great for your product) then you can launch the free now, but I'd offer a few services and put them behind a paywall.
    Hope this helps,
    Jonathan

    1. 2

      Thanks Jonathan for your input! I agree with you that you actually have users to pay for your service in order to fully validate it.

  4. 3

    It's great to launch & get feedback for sure.

    Just keep in mind that the only real way to validate your product is to get potential customers to pay for it.

    There's a huge difference between people who are interested and will check out a free product versus customers who need your product enough to pay.

    Honestly your product seems like a perfect use case for Saasify. Focus on your core functionality & UI and let us handle all the billing and account stuff. We're really early stage (as everyone in this community is 😉) so I def understand if it's not clear how we'd fit into your use case, but I'm happy to chat & save you work & maintenance around building the SaaS-specific portions of your product if you're interested.

    Best of luck either way!

    1. 1

      Thanks! I will take a look at Saasify

  5. 2

    Hey Michael it looks like you have launched, congratulations! The landing page has a nice clean feel to it. Start trying to get some people onto your app and worry about pricing when users are utilizing what you would consider paid features.

    Sidenote: It would be nice if i could go into a demo page with some pre-loaded stocks to see how the dashboard feels.

    1. 1

      Thanks for your feedback 🙏 A demo dashboard is definitely a good idea. I will try to implemt one for for the public launch

  6. 1

    I love the idea and congrats on the launch! I see that you are offering the product at $4.99 which is a pretty good range especially for people in the investing world. I would say offer a "Free" plan that anyone can use but limit the number of stocks they can add to their dashboard. Limit some great features but still offer the core.

    That way you can build up a community around the brand and then be able to sell it to people who want more out of it. If the service is great, those free members will convert.

    P.S. If you are ever hiring or something... ahem... :)

    1. 1

      Thanks for your feedback 🙏 I will let you know once I got that far 😉

  7. 1

    I think I would start without it.
    Getting early feedback is valuable and worth giving the product for free.
    Personally I'm a great believer in an always-free tier also after the beta phase.
    On a side note, take a look at paddle.com. They offer super easy payment module because they do all the subscription management and the payment itslef. They also handle the customer support related to payments.
    Basically they act as reseller and paying you your part at the end of the month. All payment plans and terms are controlled by you.
    I plan to use them in my new project charttt.com

    1. 1

      Thanks for the hint, I will definitely check them out

  8. 1

    Hi Michael, launching without is the way to go since it's not critical for now. You only need it implemented at least a day before you switch people off the trial anyway. PS– disclaimer at the bottom cuts off after "Betterfolio does". Also nice "What am I paying for" section! ;)

    1. 1

      Thanks for your feedback! I am learning from the best 😉

  9. 1

    I built a small fintech app last year and my most important takeaway was that for a fintech app you need to nail your design and UX. If it doesn't look polished, new users wouldn't trust it enough to give you their information at scale (a mistake I made, btw).

    So, I think getting the feedback from beta without payments would be a good start. That way, when users are happy with the experience, you can be confident.

    A small suggestion: I do like the clean interface of your website and the copy but I would consider changing the font family you're using. The current one doesn't suit the product imho.

    1. 1

      Thanks for your feedback 👍 Why do you think is the font not the best for our use case? Any suggestions for a better one?

      1. 1

        Again, something I have learned the hard way: when money/finance is involved, its better to come off sophisticated even in the small details.

        We chose Montserrat but any "fat" font has a better look (see Stripe, Square etc). Some good font examples: Raleway, Comfortaa, Muli etc Google Fonts is a good source.

        1. 1

          Good point! Will check them out 👍

  10. 1

    I'd figure out payment as early as possible. Real validation is that people pay for it. OR you find a steady revenue stream some other way. Free for users sell ads. (This takes volume)

    If you're setting up payment portal, look to platforms to help: Patreon, Substack, etc. Use these as a proxy to get early payers.

    OR try Launching with a $50 Lifetime Access. Makerpad did this. I just launched Bettersheets.co this way. Using just Gumroad, one time payment. You're in forever. This also is good for uncertain times (in a pandemic for instance) when people don't want to sign up for even $5 a month... forever. They know they pay once and will reap benefits forever.

    1. 1

      I really like the idea of having a special offer for a lifetime access during launch 👍 Thanks for the input

  11. 1

    If you're validating whether your product satisfies user needs, launch now.

    If you're validating whether someone would pay for your service, launch later.

    The in-between method is to have a "buy now" call to action, but on the confirmation page simply say thanks, we're still working our billing, we'll be in touch. Then you can at least measure intent.

    1. 1

      Good idea! Thanks for your input 🙏

  12. 1

    I'm in the same boat, I think we need to go without payments for 90/120 days and just validate. Whatever you decide, I think both have merit.

  13. 1

    Launch without. By the way, where do you source your financial information?

    1. 1

      I am tapping two financial APIs (EOD and IEXCloud) for It