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SchnitzelConf Panel 4 by Mind Map: SchnitzelConf Panel 4
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SchnitzelConf Panel 4

Panel Discussion 4

Michael Buffington San Francisco, CA

Michael Buffington has done it all, seen it all: he's been employed, freelanced, founded an acquired startup (more than once). He's currently Director of Grasshopper Labs, a bootstrapped products company. Michael is Keynote-speaker-riffic because he has done it all, and he can speak authoritatively, from experience, on the most fun & rewarding thing of all. He is here to PUMP. YOU. UP!

We help people...thus the subscription

We see a ton of edge case stuff, we've had to go after features that customers want, but have to balance it with industry standard compliance, billing on the 15th and 31st, Pricing: setting yourself up to easily grandfather subs. is good to focus on in the beginning

Drive, Dan Pink

Tom Preston-Werner San Francisco, CA

Tom Preston-Werner is a crackerjack developer, accomplished essayist, maker of Gravatar and one-half of the original founding team of GitHub. Tom is Schnitzelconf-fabulous because: He turned down (big) easy money to work on his dream — then worked his tail off to make that gamble pay.

Small dollar amount + big value, subscription fits with a hosted service, life without value becomes inconceivable, what would you do if we shut down tomorrow?

When you're'll know about it., twitter, create a status site on heroku, address it, keep people calm, people like and want to use your service so much, they complain when it's not available, enterprise version - in house solution, Drawbacks:, Trying to serve a lot of people with just one subscription, Custom plans, people who want to invoice, screw you, no, yes, let's figure out how to do invoices, Changing your pricing is extremely hard, continue paying same prices, but introduce added value services, Pricing = aim high(er), people love it when you lower your prices, price is reflective of self perceived value, upselling is harder than selling, It's not necessarily about how much you want to charge, but rather, a wide market share by having low entry prices, There's benefit in making a personal appeal, we're 6 months in, and we think our pricing was too low., here are the new features, added value, etc.

Founders at Work, Jessica Livingston

Tobias Lütke Ottawa, ON

Tobi Lütke, a German expat, is one-half of the original founding team of Shopify, the friendliest do-it-yourself ecommerce platform. Tobi is Schnitzelconf-orous because: He grew an ecommerce empire out of an online snowboarding shop, and made lots of changes along the way.

They pay us monthly, because if they don't we take our product away

They start a lot slower than you think, conversely, revenue will grow exponentially, do covert analysis, look at how much money you make from people during a given time period, Pancake of cohorts, You must grandfather in current customers when raising prices, designers who are in the process of negotiating with clients, etc.., new features that only new customers (higher paying) get, encourages new upgrades, include a 'crazy' plan, i.e. an option that people will not want to buy, but will go for the 'medium' option

Influence Psychology of Persuasion, Robert Cialdini

Amy's book recommendations

Rules for Revolutionaries, Guy Kawasaki

Peldi's book recommendation

Growing a Business, Paul Hawken


What value do you provide that justifies your subscription?

What are the special challenges and benefits of running a subscription model?

Garrett Dimon Dallas, TX

Garrett Dimon is the designer-developer-superman behind Sifter, a lovely way to track issues, bugs, and support queries. Garrett is SchnitzelConf-eriffic because: He's the gutsiest single founder we know.

Teams that want to collaborate

In general, the big benefit = no invoicing, downside: something that's hosted, when the server goes down, you're the one up in the middle of the night fixing things, problems are amplified, you find them faster, they inconvenience more people, you'll never do a better job self hosting than a dedicated hosting provider, up and accessible 24/7/365

Small Is The New Big, Seth Godin

The Timeless Way of Building, Christopher Alexander


Where will Schnitzelconf be held? In a nasty 1980s hotel ballroom? NO! In a sea of fusty faux red velour that's been crushed by 5 decades of butts in suits? No! Behind the lion, up the stairs… Yes, we're holding our conference in Vienna's incredible Museum of Natural History! It's the center of everything, and so easy to get to, with scenery that can't be beat. And, by the way, we'll have the museum to ourselves. We'll have snacks and lunch in this very (gorgeous) lobby, and the gorgeous staircases and scenery will be ours to look upon while we munch, chat, query, and connect. It's gonna rule!


SchnitzelConf is a 1-day, full-contact conference in Vienna, Austria on September 7. The focus: creating products, launching businesses, and charging real money.


You'll meet and learn from the founders of successful bootstrapped businesses—including Software as a Service, downloadable software, and digital goods. Hard-won knowledge will be shared. Fun will be had. Wine will be drunk. Inspiration will be sparked.


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