08 Dec 2015
No two companies are identical, ever. Sometimes a company will spring up that seems to be a clone of an existing company, but on closer inspection there will always be some very important differentiating factors.
A classic example of this is the Samwer brothers, known for ‘cloning’ US companies for the European and general non-US market. I remember when they launched Paymill, essentially a clone of the wildly successful Stripe payment processor. At the time Stripe was only available to US companies, so while on the surface Paymill seemed like a rip-off of Stripe, right down to an identical API to the one that made Stripe so popular, there was one very big key difference: Paymill was available to businesses outside of the US, which happens to be a huge market.
Bare with me, there is a point to this rambling introduction. What I’m getting at is that while companies have competitors, it’s better to think of each company like circles in a Venn diagram, each with varying levels of overlap.
BugMuncher has a lot of competitors in the “Website Feedback” category, but not one of them is exactly the same as BugMuncher. They may have a different use-case, be aimed at different types of companies, have different features and integrations, etc.
The point is BugMuncher isn’t the right tool for everyone, and that’s OK. I recently had a customer cancel BugMuncher, telling me they had been unsuccessful in getting their clients to use it. I replied telling them that I understood, and thanked them letting me know.
A few days later I had a bit of a radical thought: “BugMuncher isn’t aimed at getting design feedback from clients, they’d probably be better off with TrackDuck, or maybe Usersnap, I should tell them that.” So I emailed them back and recommended they checkout those alternatives to BugMuncher.
It was this thought, coupled with my love of automating things, that inspired me to add a new email into BugMuncher’s email cycle. From today if a customer lets their free trial expire without converting to a paid account, they will receive the following email a couple of days later:
It might seem like an odd move, but to me it just feels like the right thing to do - if someone doesn’t find what they’re looking for in BugMuncher, why not try to help them in their continued search?
I’m not looking for anything in return, and I have no deals with any of my competitors. I just enjoy helping people, and if I can do so while going against conventional business wisdom, even better.
Although I have to admit it’s not entirely a selfless act, it did give me something new to write about :)
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