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  • #1000451
    bengtan
    Member
    • Total posts: 12

    Hi Flying Solo-ers!

    My name is Beng Tan and I’m a software/tech person from Perth.

    I registered a long time ago but then dropped out of the scene several years ago after getting a ‘regular job’. Recently, due to the COVID madness, I’m back to going freelance/indie again. Well, for now, at least.

    For the past few months, I’ve been building an entry-level accounting app for solo business people and side gigs. I’ll probably give it another few more months and then go back into the (job?) market to see what’s out there. Well, maybe.

    So, anyway, just saying Hi!

    Beng

    #1224427
    Dave Gillen – FS Concierge
    Keymaster
    • Total posts: 2,554

    Welcome to the forums [USER=14149]@bengtan[/USER]!

    I like the simplicity of your accounting software. How would you describe it in comparison to the many competing options out there?

    Dave

    Dave Gillen - Client Acquisition | Brisbane | (07) 3180 0288
    #1224428
    bengtan
    Member
    • Total posts: 12

    Hi Dave,

    That’s a really open-ended question and could easily fill up a 20-page report :)

    But I don’t want to overload you with minutiae so I’ll just summarise my slant on it.

    The overriding/overaching philosophy of GigoBooks is

    * It’s tailored to solo business operators, whether they are consultants, freelancers, a micro-business owner, or even just someone who wants to track/account a side gig or two. And,
    * Be nice and ethical.

    Applying these principles results in:

    * Simple software that precisely meets the needs of the target user AND without unnecessary clutter. (Or, at least, that is the intention.)
    – For example, there’s no ‘payroll’ function. There’s also no ‘stock-keeping/inventory’ function either (for now).
    * The user owns their data (ie. it’s saved on their computer).
    – Most accounting software nowadays is cloud-based, and cloud based (ie. SaaS) is inherently user-hostile because the data is owned by the vendor. Ugh.
    * Transparency.
    – The code is free and open source so interested users/parties can inspect/audit it

    And I add one more thing:

    * Excellent support
    * Because the person doing support is also the person who writes the software (Me!). If a user encounters any problems, or needs a new feature, they can just contact me directly. (Disclaimer: I won’t guarantee that I’ll add every new feature that is suggested.)

    So, compared to the other options out there:

    * GigoBooks is either free/freemium or much cheaper
    – I haven’t settled on the details yet, but I’m projecting that the premium edition, if there is one, is a one-off price of $40-$100. That’s easily cheaper than $10 per month for who-knows-how-long.
    * Less functionality. (But actually, when executed correctly, less functionality is a good thing if it means simplicity and less clutter.)
    * Simple (see previous point)
    * Non-cloud/user-friendly instead of cloud-based/user-hostile
    * Tailored to a niche market.

    Hopefully, other people also see it the way I see it :)

    If you disagree with any of the above points, or just wanna debate/brainstorm, feel free to go ahead, Thanks for reading!

    (Off-topic: Uh, how do I format bullet points?)

    #1224429
    bb1
    Participant
    • Total posts: 4,485
    bengtan, post: 271355, member: 14149 wrote:
    Hi Dave,

    That’s a really open-ended question and could easily fill up a 20-page report :)

    But I don’t want to overload you with minutiae so I’ll just summarise my slant on it.

    The overriding/overaching philosophy of GigoBooks is

    * It’s tailored to solo business operators, whether they are consultants, freelancers, a micro-business owner, or even just someone who wants to track/account a side gig or two. And,
    * Be nice and ethical.

    Applying these principles results in:

    * Simple software that precisely meets the needs of the target user AND without unnecessary clutter. (Or, at least, that is the intention.)
    – For example, there’s no ‘payroll’ function. There’s also no ‘stock-keeping/inventory’ function either (for now).
    * The user owns their data (ie. it’s saved on their computer).
    – Most accounting software nowadays is cloud-based, and cloud based (ie. SaaS) is inherently user-hostile because the data is owned by the vendor. Ugh.
    * Transparency.
    – The code is free and open source so interested users/parties can inspect/audit it

    And I add one more thing:

    * Excellent support
    * Because the person doing support is also the person who writes the software (Me!). If a user encounters any problems, or needs a new feature, they can just contact me directly. (Disclaimer: I won’t guarantee that I’ll add every new feature that is suggested.)

    So, compared to the other options out there:

    * GigoBooks is either free/freemium or much cheaper
    – I haven’t settled on the details yet, but I’m projecting that the premium edition, if there is one, is a one-off price of $40-$100. That’s easily cheaper than $10 per month for who-knows-how-long.
    * Less functionality. (But actually, when executed correctly, less functionality is a good thing if it means simplicity and less clutter.)
    * Simple (see previous point)
    * Non-cloud/user-friendly instead of cloud-based/user-hostile
    * Tailored to a niche market.

    Hopefully, other people also see it the way I see it :)

    If you disagree with any of the above points, or just wanna debate/brainstorm, feel free to go ahead, Thanks for reading!

    (Off-topic: Uh, how do I format bullet points?)

    They all sound like motherhood statements, but no substance. What does your product really offer.

    But the real show stopper for me is this statement ” For the past few months, I’ve been building an entry-level accounting app for solo business people and side gigs. I’ll probably give it another few more months and then go back into the (job?) market to see what’s out there. Well, maybe.” Why would I sign up for your app or even worse still pay for it, knowing that this is only a stop gap play thing for your before you go back to a real job. I’ll be left with an app with no support, no advancement and basically a lot of invested time,

    #1224430
    bengtan
    Member
    • Total posts: 12

    > Why would I sign up for your app or even worse still pay for it, knowing that this is only a stop gap play thing for your before you go back to a real job.

    It’s not a play thing. I built the app for myself to use, and then I extended it so it would be useful for other people as well. It’s not something that I’m going to throw away … because I’m already using it myself to file my quarterly BAS.

    And since I have other side projects that produce recurring revenue, I’ll be using the app for a very long time … probably until I retire. This means that I will continue to maintain it. If written well, software requires very little ongoing maintenance once it’s done.

    Even if I find a full time client later in the future, I’ll still be maintaining the app.

    #1224431
    bengtan
    Member
    • Total posts: 12

    I’ve had a good night’s sleep so I’d like to elaborate/expand on my previous reply.

    bb1, post: 271358, member: 53375 wrote:
    But the real show stopper for me is this statement ” For the past few months, I’ve been building an entry-level accounting app for solo business people and side gigs. I’ll probably give it another few more months and then go back into the (job?) market to see what’s out there. Well, maybe.” Why would I sign up for your app or even worse still pay for it, knowing that this is only a stop gap play thing for your before you go back to a real job.

    GigoBooks is not a play thing. I built the app for myself to use, and then I extended it so it would be useful for other people as well. It’s already usable and suitable for production/real-life use. For example, I’m already using it to prepare and file my quarterly BAS.

    I have other indie projects that produce recurring revenue. The longest-running one has been running for 8+ years and is still going. I foresee that I will continue to have side revenue for a very long time. And hence, I will be using GigoBooks (to do accounting) for a very long time as well. So GigoBooks will be maintained for a very long time as well (basically until I retire).

    So there is no issue about the longevity or status of GigoBooks. It will be around in 10 or 20 year’s time, or longer. Furthermore … it’s open source. So by the time I become senile and can’t maintain it anymore, it’s entirely possible/probable someone else will step up and take charge of the software and I’ll just pass it onto them.

    As for support … based on my own projections, past history, and estimates, I could easily support 10,000 users in my spare time even if I have a full time job. But once it (hopefully) reaches those numbers, then I’d consider scaling back my other commitments and working more on GigoBooks. For example, once it hits 20- or 30- thousand users, I’d probably be in a position to make a decision to work exclusively on GigoBooks.

    So I don’t think you need to be worried about support either.

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