A lot has been going on here at SPI Headquarters during the past couple of weeks. By SPI Headquarters, I simply mean my home office, and wherever my team members happen to be remotely working from too.
I just wanted to share some updates with you so you're in-the-know about all that's happening. I have some upcoming events that you may not want to miss!
The SPI iPhone App
The SPI iPhone application launched last week. It was a couple of months in the making but it feels great to finally have it out there in the wild. Thousands of people have downloaded it already and are enjoying all of the SPI content (blog, podcast and the AskPat podcast) in one sleek, simple to use application.
I've also collected a ton of interest from people who want an app just like it for their own brands – over 350 people – and my team and I are in discussion about how to best approach this opportunity. There are a lot of questions on the table, like:
- How much customization do we allow? The more customization, the more time it takes to create. But – we want to provide value and don't want customers to have a 100% cookie cutter app either.
- Who submits the application? If we publish under my own developer's account, we save people from paying Apple $99/year, but then people don't have total control of their application. On the flip side, submitting and updating your own application is not the easiest thing in the world to do, which could create headaches for everyone.
- Would Apple even allow it? In the past, Apple cracked down on people who submitted 100s of apps that were essentially the same, except for a couple of things like a logo or RSS feed.
Then of course, there's the Android version, which is going to be worked on as well.
What's the priority? How do we balance the demand for the app versus the need for an Android version, and then how does that play a role in what we provide for potential customers too?
Just some thoughts I wanted to share with you.
Overall though, I'm thrilled about the initial response, and hope you get a chance to download it, for free!
The Smart Podcast Player
My new podcast AskPat just hit episode #100 on Monday June 9th, and with nearly 1.2 million downloads in 3 months, it's been a fun ride and I don't see it stopping anytime soon.
The coolest part? Dozens of questions are being submitted each week! Thank you for that, because the show obviously wouldn't be possible without you.
Seriously. No questions = no show.
A cool byproduct of starting AskPat involves the custom player that was built for the show. Since sharing it on AskPat.com, I received over 300 personal requests from other podcasters who wanted to get their hands on it.
At first, I replied with, “Sorry, it's custom built and not available anywhere right now.”
Now, I don't have to say that anymore!
My team and I have been working overtime to turn the player into one that we could easily distribute, which resulted in something I'm incredibly proud of:
This is my first crack at selling premium software. It's fun, exciting, but also very scary at the same time. After talking with several other software folk in this space, I know there's a possibility of an onslaught of incompatibilities and issues. It's just bound to happen, even though we've dedicated several hours to test and try to brake it.
That's why we're launching in beta.
We're capping the sales to 250 licenses, which gives us an opportunity to get a big enough group to get valuable feedback from, but it's still small enough to manage from a customer service standpoint.
Yes, I'm definitely leaving money on the table upfront by capping it now, but I want this to be a top-quality product for the long-term. By working with this small group, we can address any issues and problems now and can also add features and change things that need changing before releasing it full-on.
I'm using this software release as a case study as well, because with other sites I own (like FoodTruckr.com), there's definitely an opportunity to produce and sell software, and whatever mistakes we make this time around we'll definitely keep in mind for next time.
The most interesting thing about all of this software stuff is that, unlike selling information, selling software solutions like this provide instant results for the customer. A customer pays, and boom – they get what they paid for (and hopefully more).
This is unlike selling information (like in a membership site, eBook ,etc.) which first has to be consumed, and then put into action to see any results from it.
Only a percentage of people who buy information will put it into action, and only a percentage of those people may see results. This is a very general statement, obviously, but it would be silly of me to say that 100% of my customers who purchased my study guides at GreenExamAcademy.com actually took the time to study from those guides.
As someone who sells information on sites like GreenExamAcademy.com, and one who obviously promotes and recommends information products here on SPI, it makes me think hard about information vs. results, and software vs. results. Of course, even software must be opened and used appropriately to provide value to a customer, but it's different.
Again, nothing to conclude here, just more insights into my brain as I keep moving forward and trying new things.
Do YOU have any thoughts about this?
Note: I'm receiving a lot of questions about the landing page for SmartPodcastPlayer.com. The theme is a customized version of this ThemeForest theme. I'm collecting leads for the demo using LeadPages [Full Disclosure: I'm a compensated advisor and affiliate for LeadPages.], and we'll be using SamCart for payment processing and cart integration. [Full disclosure: As an affiliate, I receive compensation if you purchase through this link.]
The live demo will be done using a screen sharing feature on a live Google Hangout on Air on Thursday, June 12th, 6:00pm PST.
Let Go Day 2014!
Let Go Day is coming up!
Let Go Day is the anniversary of when I was told I was going to be let go from my position in Architecture back in 2008 – an event that sank me to the lowest point of my life, but ended up turning out to be a huge blessing in disguise.
Without getting let go from my job (and without letting go of my fears to try something on my own), I would not be doing what I'm doing today.
I'd probably still be working in architecture to be honest.
To celebrate, as I did last year, I'm going to hold a free, 2-hour no-pitch live hangout! I have a couple of special guests who will join us live on the hangout, and will also be giving away some prizes too, including one that is being sold online right now for $799/year. 🙂
The live event is happening from 1:00-3:00pm PST on Tuesday, June 17th. To invite yourself to the event, simply head on over to the Google Hangouts on Air Page here, and I'll see you on the live stream!
You don't have to attend the whole event, but I'd love to celebrate this day with you.
An Interview with my Executive Assistant
A lot of you know that last month, I hired an executive assistant to help me manage my growing and painful email inbox. With 300-400 emails coming in daily at times, I sometimes wanted to gouge my eyes out.
Well, after Jessica came on board, she helped reduce my inbox from over 9000 unread emails, to now hitting inbox zero almost daily.
I just interviewed her yesterday about the approach we took to controlling my inbox, and that interview will go live in the next couple of weeks. It'll be a great episode that you and/or your assistant can listen to help tackle this universal problem.
If your email isn't an issue for you, you're one of the lucky ones. 😉
Thank you for checking in to see what I've been up to! You are awesome.
Lots of stuff happening, as you can see, but always moving forward and trying to stay organized.
Cheers, and here's to you and your success!