Last week, GoSoapBox opened its digital doors to the public. We were featured on Mashable, tweeted on Twitter, and discussed on numerous blogs. Many praised our innovative product, others scoffed. As thrilled as we are to be growing, we are pausing today to address a few concerns and questions.
Our public launch included moving to a for-pay service. We have heard from a few teachers that our asking price is too steep. Others were disappointed that the product costs anything. Frankly — we do not like charging for GoSoapBox and wish we could keep it free forever. Budgets are tight in schools, and any new expense is difficult to justify.
So why are we charging?
- We want to build a great product.
- We want to be accountable to our users, not investors.
Revenue allows us to reinvest in GoSoapBox and continue our track record of rapid improvement. It supports us while we work almost nonstop to build and support our product. And unlike most educational startups, especially ones offering free products, we have not taken any outside investment. Our only stakeholders are our users, and we want to keep it that way as long as possible.
A few other questions we would like to address…
“$90 / year is too expensive. Do you expect teachers to pay for this out of their own pocket?”
We developed our price point after conducting numerous interviews with our beta users. We know that we’ll never be able to satisfy everyone at any price, but after speaking with our users we felt that $90 was a reasonable amount to ask for an entire year of use.
Through our beta user interviews we also discovered that many teachers would plan to use funds from a school budget in order to pay for the subscription, or get reimbursed for the cost. Our current payments system only accepts credit cards but we are open to accepting other payment formats. Email email@example.com and tell us what format works best for you.
“Are school-wide or university-wide versions of GoSoapBox available?”
Though we are not ready to launch an enterprise edition of GoSoapBox, it will be available shortly (along with pricing information). Anyone interested in this should email firstname.lastname@example.org.
“There are other products out there that do this. What makes it different?”
While we have never come across a product that accomplishes exactly what GoSoapBox does, there may be other products that we have yet to discover.
What differentiates GoSoapBox from the competitive products that we have discovered is the custom level of engagement that can be achieved, combined with ease of adoption. Clickers and other competitive products focus on teachers engaging students with questions, and while GoSoapBox accomplishes polls & quizzes just as well, it also focuses on students engaging the teacher with questions. It’s nice to see how well students can answer the questions that you ask them, but it’s often times more effective to see the questions that they’re asking you.
And unlike many of our competitors, teachers don’t have to re-design their curriculum to best fit GoSoapBox — they can customize GoSoapBox to best fit their style of teaching.