Less Annoying Business: Freemium and customer service

published3 months ago
2 min read

Hey there,

Tyler from Less Annoying Business here. Here's what's new:

New content

Can freemium products have good customer service? [Blog post]
I wrote about freemium a few weeks ago, and this week I'm diving into a specific issue I see with it. I've got one more freemium post coming next week, and then I'll move on. I promise.

What to cut and what to keep [Podcast]
Rick has decided to simplify his business, and we have a deep discussion about how he can decide what things he can get rid of to allow him to focus on what's working.

What I've been working on

There was no newsletter last week because I was on vacation. I really didn't do anything too exciting (some combination of yard work and watching tv mostly) but it was a relaxing time.

Since the last newsletter, I've got a good update and a bad one:

  • A new developer started! This is the first time since the very early days of the company we've hired someone with existing experience, so the onboarding process is a bit simpler than normal. I'm excited to see what the team can get done now that it's a bit bigger.
  • We're based in St. Louis, Missouri. If you haven't heard, Missouri is one of the worst states for the new delta variant that's going around. We ended up needing to switch back to remote-first and impose mask requirements for people who are going into the office (more on that in this week's podcast). I feel lucky to be in a line of work where it's so easy to go remote on a moment's notice, but after getting a taste of normalcy the last few months, this really sucks.

Good stuff on the internet

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Reilly Chase ☁️☁️☁️
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@_rchase_
August 5th 2021
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I spend a lot of time talking and thinking about what it means to have a team. I really like this framing of the "minimum viable team". That's not how I thought about hiring in the early days, but if I had to start over, I might use that concept.

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Ricky
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@TheRickyIO
August 5th 2021
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I mostly don't think I have any special skills that make me a good fit for being an entrepreneur. But one thing I had going for me in the early days of LACRM was that I intuitively understood the point Ricky is making here. This might not be true for everyone, but I think for many people, starting a business that fails isn't actually as risky as it seems.

Apps Getting Worse [Blog post]
This post (the the corresponding conversation on Hacker News) got me thinking about what it takes to maintain software over a long period of time. There's a constant struggle between needing to improve (otherwise competition will kill you) vs. wanting to stay consistent for existing users. There aren't many examples of software that has managed to stay relevant for decades, and I hope that in the future LACRM can be a good case study on this. I might try to write out some of my thoughts on this in a blog post soon.

-Tyler


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