Why Xojo should focus on existing users

It used to be that as an existing user of REAL basic or REAL studio there was a discount when you updated. So instead of paying full price yearly you’d pay a reduced rate to update.

With that model new users, especially ones who bought the more expensive licenses, made sense to court since the revenue from them could potentially be higher. We’ll ignore that its costs more to sell to a brand new user.

But that changed some years ago and now there is no discount for an existing user to renew or a new user to buy a license.

And this is why I say Xojo should switch its focus from courting new users to existing users.

A new user has no investment in existing code. So its easy for a new user to look the tool over and just walk away without buying. An existing user already HAS some code base, large or small, and has a reason to want to update.

Existing users _should_, according to all the marketing people I know and have ever talked with, be easier to sell an update to than trying to sell to a new user. So it should be commensurately less costly to sell to existing users.

Since there’s no discount for existing license upgrades vs new licenses I really do not understand why Xojo wouldn’t focus on existing users and their needs instead of new users.

They stand to make at least the same amount of money if they can convince the same number of existing users to update vs selling to new users they have to “sell”. And maybe thats the rub ? Do they have a difficult time convincing new users to renew ?

I know that so far the people I have spoken to have said they have no compelling reason to update. OR “I would but I dont need all that API 2 stuff” – although “stuff” isnt the word usually used.

And this gets back to my original point. Xojo is pursuing things that do not focus on existing users needs and is doing so at their own financial peril. So they spend more money than they need to to court new users because existing users arent updating ?

Maybe the thing to do is ask existing users WHY they arent updating and tackle those problems rather than trying to just court more new users – who next year arent new users and maybe dont update so you need to court more new users … and so on and so on.

Your thoughts ?

5 Replies to “Why Xojo should focus on existing users”

  1. I need DESKTOP, especially Mac and Windows with Linux a nice-to-have, and potentially Web.

    The neglect of the Desktop core market for half-baked new targets iOS and Pi is difficult to understand – they might as well not have bothered. Xojo’s saving grace were the efforts of some community members that stepped in and created libraries that extended the functionality of those new targets.

    Unless DESKTOP becomes a valued target and improves again I see no reason to upgrade.

    And in the meanwhile I enjoy learning Swift …

  2. I agree with both what Norm and Markus have said. For me. mac Desktop is a priority, with Windows a far second. their iOS offering is a joke, as I expect Android to be as well.

    As Norm mentioned, when a discount (50%) was given as a renewal, I forked it over every year without fail. When that changed, I went 3 or 4 years without following up on my investment, until the changes in macOS etc forced me to.

    Then along came API2.0, and Geoffs arrogant responses to myself and various other long time users.

    So for the foreseeable future, I will use 2019r1.1 for whatever small projects come along… but I am going to forget about Windows, and focus on doing macDesktop and iOS projects in SWIFT (its free)

  3. There is an old phenomenon that often occurs in software, and sometimes hardware, products called “creeping featurism”. It’s when a company keeps adding new features in an attempt to attract new users. The problem with that is twofold; it ultimately makes the product unwieldy (think MS Word) and it pushes what current users need, typically bug fixes, to a lower priority.

    What is generally missed in this is that new users aren’t really interested in new features since their focus is on evaluating and learning the basics of the product. Very few new users pick a product based on its having a specific advanced feature. So, as creeping featurism takes hold, new users find the product too overwhelming and look elsewhere for their tools. At the same time, current users are not getting the support they need and also start looking elsewhere.

    Creeping featurism is often the result of the developers seeing the product as more important than the users. And that is not a good position for any company.

  4. Dale… I think you hit the nail on the head there… Xojo needs to shore up their base products (macOS/Windows/Linux DESKTOP) an arena where their competition is the smallest, and where they could shine. In my opinion, iOS and Android, they are way way too late for that party… not to mention their competion in THAT area has them beat hands down. I don’t know about WEB as that isn’t of interest to me, so I can’t comment on if they should continue there or not.

  5. I used to create small little Xojo Desktops apps that provided a friendly GUI for something that would otherwise require arcane system commands. Xojo was a productivity booster. Today…my focus is on the Web and I am a Xojo Web User. I find it works pretty well and I’m only embarrassed once I’m up against a real industrial enterprise Web App — take for instance Facebook. You are NOT going to write that in Xojo. Visual Studio Code is FREE — the React libraries (created by Facebook and used to build the same) are FREE — and the number of high paying jobs that want someone with a JavaScript/React/Angular skillset is enormous. The number of Xojo programmer positions? . That said… For a given project you can do 90% of the work in 10% of the time using Xojo…it’s that last 10% that you can’t quite achieve. As long as 90% is good enough Xojo is golden. It’s easy to deploy (even if you don’t use Xojo Cloud).

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