First, let me get this out of the way. The subscription is not the problem. It makes sense that you would pay extra for images, drawings, the beta editor (genius subscription idea), and the extra tutorials. Also, the subscription is a good price and I think Hopscotch should keep it. I made this topic because I have another idea about how they can make much more money. BUT, before they can implement that plan, they need to fix a problem.
I think we all know the elephant in the room. Hopscotch programming is great, the forum is great, THT is great, but core features of Hopscotch being taken away unless you buy a subscription is not great at all.
- Nobody can even create a new account on Hopscotch without subscribing unless they jump through a bunch of hoops.
- Even once they jump through the hoops, they are limited to only publishing 15 projects unless they subscribe!
I get it, Hopscotch needs money; but by blockading non-subs from joining and creating a more limiting app, THT are setting themselves up for failure. Here’s the problem with the system they have now:
It discourages growth.
The kids who used Hopscotch in the beginning are growing up. They are going to get real jobs (hopefully becoming real programmers), but there are new kids who want to code with Hopscotch and Hopscotch is not giving them a fair chance. I have a young friend who really wants to use Hopscotch, but he was scared away by having to sign up to a free trial before actually getting to code with his own profile. He might even buy a Hopscotch subscription later, but he can’t even give it a chance without signing up for the free trial! Even if he gets a profile without a subscription, he will only have 15 projects that he is allowed to publish (even though I get unlimited projects just because I signed up earlier). If Hopscotch continues discouraging newcomers, it will die. I guarantee that.
It makes Hopscotch look bad
I mean, come on guys! Your goal was to teach kids to code! Not to become one of those greedy developers. The thing is, The Hopscotch Team are looking more like greedy developers every day. The subscription, the project limit, new people having to subscribe before joining Hopscotch. These are classic greedy moves. The consumer spots it immediately and it makes them have a bad taste for Hopscotch right out of the box.
I know that Hopscotch needs money. I get that. That’s why I made this post. Because the way you are trying to make money now discourages payment.
I know that sounds stupid, but it’s true. The subscription is really really cool and has some awesome features; but the way Hopscotch sells the subscription makes people less likely to pay. Older HSers won’t see the benefit in subscribing and new HSers don’t even understand what they are signing up for.
I know you’re probably thinking “well, once they sign up, they can cancel the free trial.” But seriously guys! Nobody new to any app understands that. When they first download the app, people think it’s a pay-to-play and immediately (because that’s what other developers do) and don’t like it. THT even knows that’s true, I’ve seen the many 1 star reviews that are proof that it’s true.
I believe that if THT sold Hopscotch correctly, everyone would buy it (in one way or the other). That’s where my solution comes in
I challenge Hopscotch to view their app the same way the consumer does.
First, fix the no newcomer problem and the greedy developer problemBefore they can sell Hopscotch to people, THT has to fling it out of the pit they dug for it. Hopscotch dug themselves into such a deep pit with how they modified the system that it will take 2 ladders to climb out of it. To make it easier for you, I will provide my idea for blueprints to create the ladders:
Remove the 15 project rule and the try-premium-before-you-sign-up rule
They don’t work, they make you look bad, and they are the main reason you don’t get as many new passionate programmers. Things like images, beta testing, drawing, and extra tutorials make sense to have behind a subscription; but limited projects and signing up does not (in the consumer’s perspective). This is because publishing projects is a basic feature of Hopscotch and it feels like publishing is how Hopscotch works. If you take away the core part of Hopscotch, people will not subscribe; but will look for something else to use instead.
Fix the broken categories
Oof, this one’s hard, but if you want new fresh people to join, it is necessary. New Hopscotchers don’t even show up in the categories. Take, for example, my two younger brothers. My brother Elisha is sad that none of his projects ever show up anywhere in the play tab. He worked very hard on his projects. He spends days on them sometimes, but his projects never get a chance in Hopscotch and that is discouraging. He says that’s the main reason he hasn’t used his iTunes money to subscribe to premium. He also says that he thinks many other Hopscotchers feel the same way. The system you have now is cool for the player, but what if it could be cool for both the player and the creator? I think we’ve figured out a way to do that.
First. Create a “remix” tab, a “tutorials” tab, and an “other” tab. Remixes will go into the remix tab, projects made from tutorials will go into the tutorial tab, and all other projects go into the “other” category. The “remix” or “tutorial” tabs are automatic and can’t be changed unless the HSer’s project gets nominated to another category or is featured.
Now there are many different ways to finish it off from there. @Temmy had a good idea to let the community decide what projects go into what categories. This would be hard to implement, but it’d be really cool and could be another perk of subscribing to Hopscotch.
When you've taken care of that, here's how to make more money
Sell subscription services separate from subscriptions
I would pay $4.30 to buy a single pro HS tutorial that I can keep forever (THT makes a little over $3 per tutorial because of Apple’s developer system taking 30%).
I would pay $1.45 per premium project published forever (that’s $1 for THT because Apple’s developer system is really unfair)
When someone buys 2 tutorials, THT earns more money then they get when someone subscribes for a month.
There are many reasons why this system would be beneficial to Hopscotch.
- It would encourage Hopscotch to make more tutorials geared towards what the user wants because people are paying more for them
- It will reach a larger demographic of buyers
The reason selling services like this makes more people buy them is that there is a certain feeling people get when they own something. It makes them feel happy that the project or tutorial they bought is all there own and that they don’t have to pay monthly for it. People with iTunes gift cards are more likely to spend their iTunes money on a Hopscotch tutorial because it’s something almost tangible. In fact, if Hopscotch implements this feature, I will buy a tutorial immediately. That’s one customer right there. What about you all? Would you buy a project or tutorial?
- I would buy a project
- I would buy a tutorial
- I would probably buy both
- I would pay more
If you voted maybe or nope, tell us why:
- I don’t have the money
- I don’t don’t buy in-app-purchases
- I don’t want anything offered (reply with what you would buy)
- I don’t like this idea
- I don’t like Hopscotch
- I accidentally voted
There are even more benefits to selling services separate from subscription:
- People are more likely to pay for the subscription because they see it’s worth better
- People will feel freer to be creative and code whatever they want in whatever way they want with Hopscotch while helping keep hopscotch afloat
- It will make Hopscotch an even better gift for people to give to one another
- It will encourage coders to use premium features more then just people who have subscription money.
There you go. That’s it. That’s all you have to do to make much more money in Hopscotch. I hope the THT will decide to do this and make Hopscotch a wonderful place for young logical minds.
@Elizabeth Since you’re product manager, I’m sure you’ll agree that this is the best way for Hopscotch to make more money. You most likely even have professional statistics that back me up on this.