Personally the easiest part of the financial software business is software development. I have been involved with sales before and feel reasonably confident about this aspect of the business. The primary challenge for me is marketing.
Sales is a face-to-face process. Software development is either a solo process or a collaborative process usually involving a small group of developers. Marketing is very different. It is a one-to-many (or few-to-many) situation. Striking a chord with the “many” is a perpetual challenge because the feedback is indirect and slow. With marketing, I miss the face-to-face feedback and real-time personal interaction.
Knowing that marketing is not my strongest point, I have put extra effort into SEO, SEM, social media, and web marketing. Over the past couple weeks I have purchased about 20 new domains. Market and entrepreneurial research has shown me that a good idea, a good product, and a good domain name are not sufficient to achieve my business goals. I realize that solid branding and trademarks are also important.
As a holder of 4 U.S. patents, I understand the importance of IP protection. However, I am ideologically opposed to patents on software, algorithms, and “business processes.” Therefore I feel that I must focus on branding, trademark protection, trade-secret protection, and copyright protection.
My redoubled marketing efforts have been exhausting and I hope they will pay off. Next I plan to get back to software creation and refinement.