Day 10 - Zero to MVP in 30 Days - Let's talk pricing

Nov 2017

Hi there! If this is your first time here, you may be interested in day zero where I lay out ground rules, and on day one describing my current idea. I document, a little every day, what I’m working on.

Let’s talk about pricing!

We discussed yesterday that we’re now looking to convince some businesses to part with their cold hard cash, to push this project from “I’m getting some (awesome!) email subscribers” to “Hey, this is actually one step closer to a sustainable business

Some time ago, I stumbled onto a Hacker News post: “Ask HN: What are some ‘must watch’ talks?” In that thread, Patrick McKenzie (patio11) offered up this amazing MicroConf talk by Jason Cohen. If you have an hour of time available and are interested in pricing, I definitely think Jason’s talk is worth a watch. He’s an engaging speaker and that hour will fly by: https://vimeo.com/74338272

I’m subscribing to many of Jason’s strategies when it comes to this early version of pricing for Bystander.io.

I can only work with napkin math to estimate my costs at this time. But I’ll also be researching similar companies and their pricing strategies. I’m focusing on the pricing tiers they offer, the price, and the primary metered “thing” (pageviews, events, stored user sessions, etc.)

This spreadsheet is quite long, but here’s how simple it looks:

And I’ve found a few that store data similar to what my session tracking will look like (my primary metered “thing”) which helps in checking my cost estimates against what a few businesses in a similar space have in production.

When it comes to pricing, I have to remind myself that we’re selling to businesses. It’s easy to have my consumer hat on, and start price gouging myself before I even have this thing out the door.

Plus, if no one at all thinks your pricing is too high, your price probably isn’t high enough.

With that said the early pricing iteration looks like:

I still want to add an annual opt-in, which discounts the price by two months. The idea behind annual opt-in is: more money now is better than a little more money in the future – I can turn around apply that larger annual opt-in sum into custom acquisition.

Of course, this is getting ahead of myself a bit, but it will be nice to build with this strategy in mind early.

Hooking up Stripe and actually offering the 50% discounted pre-order for early access subscribers starts tomorrow.


I don’t yet have any updates about the ads were testing from yesterday. I failed to anticipate how long the review process was for new advertiser accounts.

And understandably so! I can imagine they get an influx of people trying to advertise on Black Friday through Cyber Monday. Which, come to think of it, I bet that also explains the inflated bidding prices I saw this weekend. So, the delay will probably save us a bit of money!


Tomorrow, Day 11

  • We’re hooking up Stripe and putting that pre-order flow in

  • Lots of outreach, I want to make a big push now

  • I have a ton of feedback on the landing page from a few kind folks on Medium from my day 8 post, and on my Indie Hackers post. I want to organize that feedback and make a list of things I’d like to test, and start planning on some improvements I for sure want to get started on.

I’ll catch you tomorrow! Thanks for reading. And of course, feel free to email me with any questions or feedback!