Hacker News new | comments | show | ask | jobs | submit login

What if the demographic an app serves or aimed at is known to be notoriously cash-strapped i.e. university students ?

I think the notion of the "notoriously cash-strapped students" is a bit of a myth. Not that students typically have wads of cash, but most students I see around have iPhones, trendy clothes, spend money on booze and cigarettes. And even if you avoid generalizing students as trendy and cool, look at study aids students buy, they won't necessarily spare on a book or a laptop that would help them study.

At kenHub - we build a platform for learning anatomy. It makes students' lives easier and they can be more effective in their studies. As much as we'd like to give it away for free to all students, we need to make a living, and we need money to improve our products. Luckily, our audience seems to see the value and are willing to pay for it.

I think it boils down to the utility of your product, to students, grandmothers, or any other segment.

Well at the end of the day, somebody still has to pay you if your business is to continue running. So unless it's an ad-based business, you're gonna have to figure out how to monetise. It could be targeted at university departments instead, for instance, who you would convince to buy a license for their cash-strapped students. Point is, your marketing would have to be geared to that particular case. If you optimized to get non-paying students, you won't make money.

If your looking to make your product "exclusive," to a specific demographic....in the course of your business, someone is going to pay, whether it's you eat the cost, or your users do.

Even when Facebook started, it was hemorrhaging debt in the beginning...and eventually, they went to ads (even with the outcry). User's usually hate change, each product is different, so try to constantly ruminate a method or revenue (maybe even for select users in your demographic).

Guidelines | FAQ | Support | API | Security | Lists | Bookmarklet | DMCA | Apply to YC | Contact