> please let us know what amount you would like to pay every month. http://createmyinvoice.com/pricing
Feedback: The pdf looks nice! I worry about parsers not getting things right
(and, er, me not getting things right for the parser, typos, mistakes etc.), so this scares me a little. Plus, the "5 invoices" is also "5 attempts", discouraging trial-and-error to get it right. It would be great if you could somehow address the developer problem, of asking for money, by closing the gap even more. It does help already, great if it could help more - that is, focus on what will help someone accomplish their task, not on the actual code or product, what it does, how it does it. Just changing the process or steps might help; or changing the copy on the website (the way it's presented).
e.g. If it formed a buffer between you and the customer (like a secretary), so you just state the straightforward, factual information (no stress!), as if talking to a friendly ally (who is on your side!), and then it takes care of the rest of it - including sending it. But if you went that route, there needs to be a way to check it. Sending incorrect invoices is also scary!
EDIT I don't mean the parser fails to parse in a technical sense, I mean it didn't do what you wanted/expected. It's pretty common (think: regex problems).
EDIT2 I was thinking that a markdown-like syntax might work well, because more familiar - but then I remembered that I often test my markdown to check it does what I think. Same issue.
5 invoices is not 5 attempts (parser errors not counted). It's 5 successfully created invoices, unless you make typos in the name, address, etc, then that's counted too. I'll have to make that clear on the pricing page.
Email based invoice generation service, markdown renderers, tweet/blog from email, post to forum etc. seem to fit into this category. Services like event/reservation booking can also be used from email if the service has a forgiving parser (like WolframAlpha) for the human input.
Other than that, looks great - very simple.
I hate marketing emails myself. Your emails will not be sold or used for marketing purposes. I'm on your side.
Thanks for the feedback.
Also, generating in some kind of editable format, may be a good idea. For any minor edits I want to do, on the generated invoice, or fix any errors in generation because of its interpretation of the text.
I've tried to keep everything thing as simple as possible for now.
While asking for an image/banner to be used as letterhead could be too 'tedious'. How about letting the user attach company logo in the email & you process it as letterhead.
Company logo & name below it on the left, company address on the right. May be - make the background color gray to show it as letterhead.
Attaching an image was in the next iteration. I skipped it because I was about to lose motivation and just wanted to ship something.
Will these in.
Thanks for your 2 cents and more :)
The main problem is inevitably the syntax. It very quickly becomes too complicated, and with email you have the additional problem that you don't get instant feedback on submission.
In your case, the syntax might be simple enough to not be an issue. However, for many people (me included), it would probably still be easier, less error-prone and quicker to use a web interface with instant feedback. And since the type of person using this service is likely to be quite fast and proficient, there's little advantage to your solution over a web-based interface.
I do think there's a way to add value for users like me, though. Three things I like about email could be leveraged (more):
1. I always have email open
2. I tend to use email for quick, short messages that have more permanence than chat.
3. I tend to use email to keep track of things. For example, I don't open my billing app (Billings OSX) to see if I already sent out an invoice, of if it's due. Instead, I just search in gmail to see if I sent out the invoice, and when.
What you could add to this project to make it worthwhile to me, and I suspect many others, is the idea of partial invoices. I would send an email with one or more items, and these would then be added as items to this 'account'. Finally, I can send out an invoice with the total items by logging into your web interface, or through email.
It would greatly benefit me to send an email with something like:
"50 mins, implement login system, clientname"
It would be vastly preferable to my current approach where I load up the application, navigate to the client, and add the item, or alternatively where i add this item to my task app.
The question isn't. 'What do you think this service is worth?' - the question is 'How much would you be willing to pay for this?'.
The key difference being, I may like to use the service if it was $5 a month, but not if it was $50 a month - on the other hand someone else may do thousands of invoices and be happy to pay $100 a month.
The feedback he'll get will let him guage the size of the market, the prices people will be prepared to pay and allow him to offer a reasonable plan. Without this prior research he could over price or under price the product substantially.
If on the other hand, no one gives him any feed back on how much they'd pay - I'd take that as clear sign that either the market isn't there for people willing to pay for this or he's targeting the wrong market with his marketing.
I had the same thing in mind as PaulJoslin. This app might just sound like a feature. So I thought putting in a number isn't good unless I know the usage and what others have in mind.
Thanks for the feedback czzarr and PaulJoslin
The two options would be to either target a niche audience initially and grow from there, or focus on building a general purpose solution that can cater to a dynamic range of requirements. The second option might not be particularly wise in the early stages.
Agree that there's a lot of competition for general purpose market.
She sends just a few invoices at the end of each month, but each month she has to be reminded what to do.
Your project is much simpler, so hopefully she'll find it easier to remember what to do.
Someone else also told me the same thing about being able to receive a pre-filled email and sending it back. I'll look into this one.
1) the ability to set some kind of reference/invoice ID
2) the ability to set (grey/faint) footer text for legal bumpf (company number, VAT registration number, legal name etc etc)
A lot of people seems to be asking for #2. I too was thinking Invoice ID will be useful.
Excellent way to figure out how much to charge.
Other than that, Rails + Postgresql + Nginx + Redis
Now I just need to think of a business idea where I process emails from users. Hmm, how about a service where users can forward emails and it automatically creates an appointment on their calendar?
Thanks for the feedback. I'll style up the pricing page soon.
Edit: I see you just signed up for an account (I get texts when new users sign up) so you probably never saw my design before which makes this even more awesome. By the way, I'm really diggin' CreateMyInvoice. Awesome work.
Bill and me sorted this over email. The similarity in design was a co-incidence because the design is very simple.
Don't be afraid to put a price man.
Also, work for a better looking page (maybe take a look at themeforest.net, huge selection, several good pages).
BTW, is possible to make this working for iOS without internet connection? That is something I'm looking for for ages..
Incase you don't specify a "me" section, the details from the previous invoice will be used. You can try it out right now.
Thanks for chipping in :)
don't charge per month or for whitelabel (charging for reselling is ok)
CHARGE REAL MONEY FOR THE VALUE YOU'RE PROVIDING.