Kohl's Discounts

I saw an advertisement in this week's Khol's circular. I could get $10 off my purchase. I could also earn Kohl's cash. Now I know the family has shopped at Kohl's before. I inquired with them. Found out Kohl's cash is a reward that you get on purchase. It is time sensitive. You have about a week to use this "cash" to discount further purchases.

Tonight I was doing some shopping online. I went to Kohl's. Found I could use my $10 off coupon online. Cool. They had some furniture I needed. They also offered free shipping since my order was over $75. Things were looking up. Then on the payment page I saw that I could use up to two coupons. What? I don't want to leave any money on the table.

Spent ten minutes googling around to find a 20% off coupon that I applied. Nice. Now that I was spending at least $100, I was also expecting two $10 Kohl's cash coupons back. I was just over $100 with my taxes. I could not find details anywhere to see whether the Kohl's cash was awarded on merchandise only, or whether it included tax.

Turns out the Kohl's cash must not count the tax. Ouch. I just lost one $10 Kohl's cash oppotunity. Well we shall see how Kohl's online does for me. If the experience is good, I might just redeem the Kohl's cash and make more purchases. This experience has taught me a lesson. New merchants must navigate many chances to turn off new customers. Kohl's almost failed. Let's see if they recover.

AdWords Revisited

I got some people buying copies of my apps in the Windows Store. However I want them buying my premium enterprise apps. I figured I should drive some traffic to my Windows Store page using Google AdWords.

My hosting company gave me a coupon to use. If I spent $25 on AdWords in a month, they will give me $100 of free advertising. Not sure if this is a global campaign bonus, or just an incentive for some type of local AdWords deal. I need to attract global customers.

Hey. I guess it is worth a try. However I figure it will take more than $25 or $100 to figure out how to use AdWords effectively. But I got to start somewhere. Why not start with AdWords?

Breaking Branch

Saw this web page that showed the evolution of source code control. Cool. Then I found an offer to get a Breaking Bad t-shirt. They got me. All I had to do was follow their evaluation guide. No problem right?

Step 1 of the guide wanted me to download their software. To download the software, I need to log in. To log in, I need a username a password. Clicked the register tab. Nothing happened. I can't log in. I can't download their software. Fail.

Okay. I am a good guy. I will let them know something is screwed up on their registration page. Tried to leave a comment on their evolution of source code control page. It required me to log in. Okay. I got a Google ID. I clicked the button to authenticate using Google. But get this. I could not choose my Google ID.

Umm, maybe it is a good thing I found out how messed up their web site was. Do I want their software controlling my source code? No way in hell. I had better go to some t-shirt web site, and pay $20 for my own Breaking Bad t-shirt.

More on AdWords

My web host had sent me a letter in the mail for a $150 coupon towards free AdWords ads. Sounded awesome. Then I read the fine print. This was for AdWords Express. Apparently this is some type of ads for local businesses.

I am not a mom and pop's pizza shop. I am trying to sell Windows 8 apps online to the world. So AdWords Express was out. Maybe I will wait until I get a valid coupon for free AdWords advertising. Or maybe I will start out with some small AdWords campaigns.

The real holy grail is to get organic exposure to my web site. Right now I need to get the word out on my Software Schedule Estimator product page. Any ideas?

AdWords Discounts

I figured it was finally time to advertise my Windows 8 apps on Google AdWords. My web host gave me a promotional code worth $150 of advertising. I figured I could do some good with that. Turns out the offer expired last year.

Found another offer from my web host. It offered $100 worth of Google AdWords advertising if you spend $25. Sounded fair to me. Once again, this thing expired last year. I am a little late to the party. Guess I will have to get the word out myself.

If you have Windows 8, then check out my Software Schedule Estimator app in the Windows Store. Figure out how long your software development project will last. Prevent surprises from lengthy such as requirements gathering and quality assurance.

I also decided today to start logging the work I do on my app business. Got to measure to figure out what needs improvement.

Edgy Rebranding

I just read that 37Signals is changing their name to Basecamp. That seemed odd initially. I know them by 37Signals. Why give up all that brand juice? Sure I get that they want to rally behind their main product. Feels like a bold move.

They will most likely keep their URL. I guess what the are really saying is that their other products will slowly be phased out. Good thing they make a lot of revenue from their main product. The moral of the story is to try to gauge the future and choose your company name wisely.

Piracy Not Theft

I read an article a long time ago about piracy. It asked whether pirating some software is the same as stealing. The article itself was not enlightening. But there were a lot of comments on the article. There were a bunch of great ideas buried in those comments.
There was a thread about telling software developers to stop whining about piracy. Digital goods almost want to be free. Many people conduct illegal activities. Software piracy is not immune to this. Copyright in general is abused. So will software.
Let’s get down to the nuts and bolts. The people who steal software were never going to actually buy the software. So there is no real missed opportunity for revenue. If that theft costs you some actual money, such as the cost for extra bandwidth for their downloads, maybe a developer has a beef. But this amount is probably going to be a lot less than the purchase price of the software.
The good thing is that not everyone know how to pirate software. You can put some safeguards and protection in there. None of that will be foolproof. But you might be able to make it hard enough to pirate software, so that it is easier for would be thieves to not do it or actually buy your software. This will be especially so if you prices are low.