Wow, things have taken much longer than I expected at almost every stage of developing & launching BrainBank. But I see the light at the end of the tunnel now. Beta invitations will be going out in a week or two but I want to share a few insights I’ve had in developing BrainBank so far:
* Things take time.
* Break features down to smaller parts
* You need real customers to give you clarity. I have had myself as the customers POV but when you’re looking at it for for 2 or 3 months, it’s harder to keep perspective.
* The Rails community is awesome! Especially Radar, Mikeg1a and the countless others who have helped me in the #rubyonrails chat room.
Also, now that the general coding part is done, I need to take a short break. I feel exhausted. I’m excited but don’t have the energy to push this to market yet. I’m going to use the next couple weeks to get the marketing stuff updated (emails, PDF brochures, website, phone call scripts/guides) and get prepared for the new year. After the new year, I’m going to start going after potential customers and see how bad the economy really is. A few other SaaS software markers have said the down-turn hasn’t really affected them much. Let’s see how it all rolls.
I’ve got BrainBank almost ready to show to the world (private beta) and I’m working on the sales website for it. For people with experience selling/marketing business software, any tips?
I was asking iHate (codename of programmer from substruct) some questions about Ruby on Rails a few days ago and he commented to me that it looked very unprofessional that BrainBankHQ.com had a server error.
This didn’t initially bother me for two reasons:
- The traffic on the website is minimal.
- The server error wasn’t a bug. It was just something that hadn’t been coded in yet and it won’t be a top priority until BrainBank is ready for alpha/beta users.
However, as I thought about it more, I realized I was potentially missing a marketing opportunty so I fixed it. Now there is a Beta Request page which is connected with my PipelineDeals account.
Feel free to sign up and I’ll send you an email once beta accounts are available.
I think part of the reason I didn’t do this earlier was because I didn’t know how… and I didn’t want to spend the time doing it. For people who use Ruby on Rails, here’s how I did it:
#inside app/controllers/application.rb before_filter :sales_site_check private# real_account? just checks if an account exists for the domain used in the request.
# if it doesn’t, it will just render views/sales/index.html.erb
render :template => ‘sales/index’, :layout => false unless real_account?
It’s not really sophisticated and it won’t be usable once I’m ready to launch but it’s enough for now.
Just wanted to leave a quick note that I’ve been busy for the last few weeks with tests, reports & lab write ups. This is why the official 1.0 version has not been released. Summer classes are fairly fast paced. I love it, except I’ve had to give some things up… and BrainBank has been one of those things. I should have things under control after tonight so v1.0 will go live Friday.