Today is the day Easy Live Blog goes live. We’ve spent the past few weeks getting everything to the point where users could signup for a Test Drive and actually subscribe to the service. We’ve also used Easy Live Blog in our real environment, LaughingPlace.com, several times recently which has allowed us to work out many of the kinks in the real world which goes to one of our key tenants – Built on Experience.
One of the more interesting decisions that needed to be made was whether or not to have trial accounts and how long to have them for. There are multiple schools of thought here. The vast majority of SaaS companies do have trials – usually 30 days. However, I’ve heard some very successful entrepreneurs advice against that and instead force customers to sign up but have a very flexible refund policy. For a live blog platform, having a 30 day trial just seemed like it was asking for trouble. It’s not something you use every day, so it seemed likely users would sign up and perhaps only get around to using it once – if at all – during that time period. Then what?
One more feature isn’t going to make a huge difference
But somewhere along the way it occurred to us that the nature of our product allowed for a different type of trial. A live blog, by definition, extends for a long period of time. So by limiting the time any given live blog could be open, we could allow people to run a trial for as long as they want knowing that to truly get its value, they’d need to sign up. We called that “trial” a Test Drive – an account that can be live for as long as is needed for evaluation, but each individual blog can only remain open for 45 minutes. Seems like a reasonable idea to us – we’ll see if the public agrees.
So with that, we’re launching today. We don’t expect any big splash. Our marketing efforts have still been minimal and our mailing list is very small. But now it’s time to ramp that up. We’ve made a vow to not make improvements to Easy Live Blog (other than those need for LaughingPlace.com) until we get some traction. As so many podcasts have taught us, it’s easy founders to always feel like “one more feature” will make the difference. But if we can’t get customers with the features we currently have, “one more feature” isn’t going to make a huge difference (unless that feature request is coming from prospective customers, then we’ll consider it).
Come on everybody, here we go!