Okay maybe a billion is a long shot, but I read the Hiten Shah article on how Trello could have been a $1B business (via startup chat) and was surprised to discover there are lessons for how I can turn Sql Data Viewer into a sustainable business.

What trello and SDV have in common:

  • Mass (horizontal) appeal
  • Easily copied
  • Difficult to sell premium versions of the general purpose product (“stickers” anyone?)

I was going to just sell SDV for £100 and be done with it, but this article showed me a better way.

  1. Give the general purpose tool away for free (as Trello does)
  2. Collect contact information in exchange for the value provided by the free tool.
  3. Use the contact list to have conversations with businesses that use it in order to…
  4. Find out how integrating tightly with their business could provide real value over and above the general purpose tool.
  5. Build vertical-specific integrations, stickyness & marketing.
  6. Profit! (No underpants required. Or gnomes.)

What do you think? Drop me a line: tim@timwise.co.uk