Keeping Dronedesk affordable
I know how hard it is to get up-and-running and estabished as a drone operator - I've lived it. There are any number of companies queing up to charge you a monthly subscription for services like accounting, web hosting, job portals and so on. Those subscriptions can quickly add up to a significant sum each month.
So, when I came up with Dronedesk as a concept, I wanted it not only to be an app that would help operators streamline and standardise their operation, but also be affordable.
I started out offering a free version of Dronedesk which was supported by a very small amount of ad revenue and also subsidised with income from the paid service. This approach unfortunately turned out to be unsustainable so I had to change things up and start making a modest charge for the base version of the application. This has levelled the playing field a bit and made the Pro version more affordable for a wider audience and ensured the base version is accessible, in terms of cost, to new startups.
Dronedesk is what's termed a "bootstrap startup" which means the project is entirely self-funded by me with no external investors whatsoever. That's a bit of a double-edged sword in that it means that we run on a tight budget. There's no swanky parties at Christmas or expensive business lunches here. No chance.
But the incredibly positive benefit of bootstrapping is that I'm not answerable to anyone except Dronedesk's users.
I can steer the development in the direction users want it to go instead of in the direction that would give investors the best return on their money.
I find that liberating and exciting and I believe it means I can continue to deliver a product that's sustainable, ever-improving and genuinely useful to its users. Forever.