SaaS Presale - opportunity or scam?

Guys, have you ever heard about successful SaaS presale? I've read some articles about it and comparisons to Tesla's Cybertruck (duh), but there was never any serious scale involved, more like a dozen seats sold. What would encourage you personally to invest like this? Is it lifetime access or money back guarantee? What is the max price that you'll pay for MarTech tool on a presale terms?
Thank you for all of your feedback in advance! :)

  1. 3

    It's not really binary. It can be an opportunity, or scam. But really, the answer, like most things, is neither. Level was presold. Tuple presold thier Linux client. For my app, my beta user is not being charged but I've made clear it's a paid beta that he will have to pay for eventually. My hope is that as I add users I'll be able to charge more on the beta. I'll never do a lifetime deal if I can help it.

    I think the orientation around this question misses the mark a little. Instead ask, who is my customer? What value and I'm bringing them? If they're directing the product development by being in the presale or beta that's different than early access to a known solution with a personalized take. What market are you serving? Align your presales, betas etc... With that.

    1. 1

      Hi Devin, thanks for sharing this thought.
      First of all, forgive the title - I try to make them as bait as I can, because a lot of threads disappear on IndieHackers unnoticed. I agree with you that this is not entirely binary.
      I absolutely agree that establishing a segment and its values is the most important thing, but isn't it still based on intuition and guesswork? Even if I ask people about their needs, they may be wrong because they lack openmindness. I don't know if you know a quote from Ford (the one from car brand): "If I asked people what they expected, they would say faster horses." That is why I put presale as an opposition to asking questions - presale helps to verify whether someone really reaches into the wallet or not. And while I have no doubts that this is the best attempt for me, I am afraid that for users it is too much of an entry threshold. Therefore, I am trying to find an answer to the question - what assurance will minimize the risk in the mind of a potential user? Is there no such assurance?

      1. 1

        If you talk to a customer and they say "I need an app that sends cookies to people". It's entirely reasonable to say, "I just happen to be working on an app like that and the paid beta opens in a month. It's $39. Want to try it out?"

        That said there's a few things that you need to be ready to do.

        • build the app in a month
        • refund them

        This book is worth reading on this topic.


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