Who Pays For Feedback?

Now and then, I get emails offering me a few dollars on a gift cards in exchange for my time. This usually ends up with a half hour call where they ask me about their product or service.

Are there any Indie Hackers doing sometime similar as part of your feedback loops? I'd love to know about it if so and did you gain any useful insight?

Heck, do you think doing this is a good idea? Why would you not do this?

  1. 3

    I've done this in the past, but there's a slight distinction that I think is important to making this useful. This makes a lot of sense in discovery scenarios where you're trying to learn more about the problem users have (or don't!)

    It sounds more like:

    • Here's a $50 gift card for any private chef that's willing to chat about how they transport their equipment from place to place and answer any dumb questions I may have.

    Instead of:

    • Here's a $50 gift card in exchange for feedback on this thing I'm building.
  2. 3

    Interesting question!

    Paraphrasing a beer company here, "If we went by what people said, we would only be producing premier beer. But then we would not sell a lot of it because our budget beer outsells our premier beer 10 to 1"

    Surveys/general conversations usually are ineffective.

    People lie(not in a bad way)! They either do not know what they need/want/do or do not want to hurt your feeling or try to give you an answer they think you want.

    I have found it is better to watch people and the way they work. In a few enterprise contracts, I have had. I have given them a discount for allowing me or my teammates to actually watch their people work and maybe shadow them for a day or two or more even after the contract is over. So they watch them use the software and get a sense of their general workflow.

    That, combined with what people ask you for, tends to be an excellent feedback mechanism. So if tons of people ask for feature X, it might be a good time to address it.

    Although shadowing people during their workday is a lot harder with smaller companies.

    1. 1

      @pras2018 Interesting perspective. I do worry that by "rewarding" people, you would get skewed results. Seems like them paying you to review it would give more truthful results, as having skin in the game would give them more confidence to get what they want out of the app. Sadly, life doesn't seem to work like that, though. lol

      I like the idea of job shadowing people... May have to try that out if the opportunity presents itself.

      Thanks for sharing your feedback!

  3. 2

    I suppose that giving a small gift for a feedback is a good idea, but I prefer gathering the feedback via Google Form. Moreover, I mention how much time it will take (but generally no more than 7 minutes) for a customer to fill in. So no half an hour phone calls required.

  4. 2

    DropBox in the early days paid random people $50 to come to their office and try to download and use DropBox. Found a lot of usability issues - basically nobody could use v1.0 without getting lost or making a mistake. Fixed the issues, led to a very successful public launch.

    If anyone wants to try the free version of ContactLink.com and give me feedback, I have a 1st month free coupon for the PRO subscription! ContactLink.com to see the product, or just contact me at https://contactlink.to/jesse.hercules

  5. 2

    Hi @mrbrazel,
    I'm doing it from time to time, occasionally.
    I'm not going into calls, but writing detailed feedback about UX and page functionality, at the end with a list of bugs (if I find any).
    As a reward, I accept almost anything, gift cards, cryptocurrencies, deals. We always agree on the reward in advance. (For me it is important to clarify with the customer, that if I found anything or nothing, I invested the same amount of time.)
    I'm doing this not just for the reward, but also as a learning opportunity.

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