The Long Tail

I had an idea in May 2008…for poker tracking software…for the Mac. Users must have a Mac, play online poker, want software to analyse their game, AND be prepared to pay US$49.95. Oh, and finally, they should like my solution.

As a business plan, it sounds somewhat crazy. I, for one, did not think it likely that there would be enough people in that niche. But I tried anyway. Somehow it worked. It’s Chris Anderson‘s famous Long Tail in action.

Starting a software business is remarkably easy today, courtesy of the Internet, a payment processor like FastSpring, affordable and reliable hosting, and high penetration of broadband Internet. You can get an idea for a software product and a few weeks later launch the first version. The initial outlay required is so low, you don’t even need to max out your credit card.

If you have an idea for a software product, no matter how half-baked or far-fetched it seems, I recommend getting a basic feature-lite version on the web, for download and purchase as soon as possible. People will soon let you know if the concept is of some value. They’ll also let you know what features you should move to the top of your to-do list.

There are so many people online, using computers, who might have what you want. Only a sliver of a tiny percentage need to want and buy your software to make it viable.