Great job, Colin. I've been recommending it to everyone I know. Keep it up.
Thanks! This is very important to me -- both because such recommendation tells me that I'm doing something right, and because Tarsnap's target user base is a very hard one to reach by any method other than word of mouth.
So I gave up on the idea.
ps. Note to cperciva - Speaking as a customer, please don't take this as a sign that you should raise your prices.
pps.: Note 2 to cperciva: Speaking as a fellow entrepreneur, how can you not raise your prices? ;)
Don't worry, I have no intention of raising prices. Tarsnap is not wildly profitable, but it is profitable -- and the most feasible way to make more money is to get more customers, not to increase prices and probably lose customers.
Speaking as a fellow entrepreneur, how can you not raise your prices? ;)
As I said above: Raising my prices would probably be a bad business move. That said, I make no guarantees that my prices will come down every time that my costs come down (as they inevitably will over time), so my profit margin might increase in that way.
The front page of the tarsnap website says
300 picodollars / byte-month
($0.30 / GB-month)
300 picodollars / byte
($0.30 / GB)
Edit: Okay, $0.30 / GB / month
Just avoid confronting your potential customer with terms he has never heard. "Don't make me think" applies here.
BTW, since your service is command line only, are you targeting only programmers?
No. I haven't extensively interviewed Tarsnap users, but my impression is that most fall more into the category of "sysadmin" than "programmer".
At some point, yes.
Anyway, I thought it was really neat.
It sets a new standard for honesty in business. No rounding required.
That's not quite true. Tarsnap does billing computations daily, so -- in months which do not contain 30 days -- there is some rounding.
However, usage costs are computed to attodollar precision, and are rounded down -- so I don't think anyone will object to said rounding. :-)
I probably look stupid asking this, but... what makes the Tarsnap TOS page good?
I didn't set out to create a particularly exceptional TOS page; I just said "gee, I guess I need to write a TOS page" and sat down to write what I, as a user, thought such a page ought to contain.
(I'm sure many people will say that I should have had a lawyer review the Tarsnap TOS page -- but unless you pay a lot of money, a lawyer's advice in such circumstances generally comes down to (a) looking for really dumb mistakes and (b) providing that lawyer's standard block of boilerplate text, neither of which is particularly helpful.)
Most of all, it's readable. Also, the sections are organized based on what the user wants to know, not what lawyers want to say. Where you say "Money," a megacorp would say something like "Terms of payment processing for the client service," or something similarly stupid.
That's an innovation which I'm hoping other people will pick up -- I'm sure it helps readers understand the terms, but I also found it very useful as I was writing the terms to write "these are the rules" and "these are the reasons for the rules" in parallel.