Simple means launching something

Simple means launching something.

We’ve been talking about launching a Basecamp affiliate program for a few months now. I’ll stress talking.
Talk, talk, talk. No walk. Why? Cause what we had in mind was pretty
complex which means we’d never get around to doing it. It meant
research and research isn’t our thing.

So yesterday
I said fuck it — let’s make this simpler. I wrote up a brief story
describing the feature, designed a few UI screens that were needed, and
we got started on it. Now we’ll launch the affiliate program next week.
1 week from idea to launch sure beats 3 months from idea to nothing.

Here’s the exact story posted to our “Storyline” Basecamp project (this is where we keep ideas for features we’re working on):

Ok… Let’s simplfy.

of dealing with cash payouts and the related accounting nightmare, I
suggest we start simple first. People can earn credits towards their
account. That’s good enough to get this started. We can introduce cash
later if we want. Cash will have more impact, but I think this is a
first good step to test the waters.

So, here’s how it works.

gets an affiliate link/code they can pass around. If someone clicks
that link or uses that code to sign up for paying plan, the code owner
gets a credit towards their account. The credit would be applied at the
time that the new customer’s card is charged, not when they sign up for
the 30 day free trial (since we need to take in someone else’s money to
give someone else a discount). We should show a “pending credit” to the
code owner so they can see it “working.”

So I’m thinking the
credit is 50% of the new customer’s first charge. So, if someone uses a
link, signs up for the Plus plan ($49/month), and then keeps the plan
and is charged $49 in 30 days, the code owner gets a credit of $25
applied to their account. Credits will accrue so you can build up $xxx
in credit and never pay for your Basecamp account again.

Simple. Done!

Moral: If you find yourself talking more than walking,
shut up, cut the vision in half, and launch it. You can always fill in
the gaps later. In fact, you’ll know more about what gaps need to be
filled after you’ve launched “half a feature” than if you tried to fill
them in before launching anything.  [Signal vs. Noise]

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