Perch business model
• Downloadable self-hosted software
• Customers buy a license per site
• Recurring revenue because customers are
typically agencies and build lots of sites
• License includes support and free first party
• At launch $55 per site, now $89 per site
Perch came from …
• a need to have a tool that would make small
• a drop-in CMS for tiny sites
• started life as an internal tool but we quickly
started thinking of it as a standalone product
The Flyjar Story
Perch version 1
• built over 4 weekends
• launch infrastructure took another 4 weekends
• entirely a side project
• costs limited to lawyers fees, domain, a bit of
stock illustration and UI design (we’re
Existing customers enjoy getting new
features after they have paid - it
feels like free stuff!
Launch as soon as you have a
product that solves a real pain. Work
with your customers to add features.
Scratch your own itch but
be aware that you are not
your ideal customer.
Version one was the product that
we wanted and needed.
Our first customers were our
friends and peers - “people like us”.
The second wave had different
Version two was the product that
our real customers needed.
The happy majority are
There are many terrible ways to
configure PHP web hosting. We
know about all of them.
The more people can do with your
product, the more they want to do.
June to October 2014
• 38% of people who bought a license during this
time also raised a thread in the forum
• of that number 16% have contacted us only
• not all of this is “support” some is people
posting sites they have built/tutorials etc.
• we have heard from 8.5% of our entire
customer base since June
When it feels as if “everyone” is
asking for something. Is it really
everyone, or a few noisy people?
Make sure that a noisy minority
don’t cause you to make changes
that will upset the happy majority.
Your customers can show
you how to sell your
We love …
• Storing structured data
• Templates defining a schema
• Speed and efficiency of the template engine
Our customers love …
• not having to know PHP
• that the CMS doesn’t mess with their markup
• that the end client doesn’t need handholding to
edit the site
• that they can use any Bootstrap template or
Pave the cowpaths
• See what users are already doing
• Don’t penalize them for making that choice
• Find ways to help them do the thing they want
to do in a better way
Great support can be your
best feature and your most
Most of your competition spend their
days looking forward to those rare
moments when everything goes right.
Imagine how much leverage you have
if you spend your time maximizing
those common moments
when it doesn’t.
Help people to do things they
couldn’t do before they started
using your product.
Support is a feature you don’t
spend time up front developing. You
just have to commit to being great.
One customer well taken care of
could be more valuable than $10,000
worth of advertising.
With self-hosted software support
is often your first run experience
The influencers are fickle.
The ideal Perch customer
• is a freelancer or agency building lots of sites
• understands that time is money
• prefers running a solid business over constantly
learning new things
• often does fixed price website builds
• are well-known in the web industry
• can charge a premium for their work
• can treat each project as a “special snowflake”
• have time in higher budgets to try new things
• have a need to learn new things in order to be
able to talk about them in their influencer role