Earlier this year our time tracking got a new feedback system from Get Satisfaction. We wanted to have new ideas, questions, bugs and praise all in one place.
But what appeared to be an obvious solution to us was not as obvious to others. I’ve gotten this question a couple of times: ”Why do you want to show your bugs in public?” To whom I like to reply:” Would you buy from someone that doesn’t show their bugs?”
Somehow, traditional software-vendors have managed to build a business model based on the fact that software has bugs, and you have to expect bugs when purchasing software. ”Support agreements” are generally a term for ”fixing bugs that shouldn’t be there in the first place”, and you have to pay to get them fixed.
Let’s say you went to a car dealer, you buy a car, then figure out that there’s something wrong with it. When you call the dealer, he agrees that there is something wrong with the car from the manufacturer, but it will cost you extra to fix it. Would you accept this?
I do agree on one point. Software has bugs. Being a small organization, it’s not easy to test all possible outcomes on all platforms. Whenever we launch something new, we depend on feedback. Including (but not limited to) bugs.
Feedback is crucial, and I strongly advice on reading this article by master student at NSE, Kim Joar Bekkelund, to fully understand the importance of feedback for a business based on the freemium business model.
That’s why we are transparent with our information. That’s why you don’t have to pay extra when providing valuable information.