RecordBox reached an important milestone this week: our iPhone app was released. Finally people could enjoy the end-to-end RecordBox experience.

The feedback so far has been pretty positive. The engagement with the website and the product shot up as it became easier to create and upload recordings.

Another thing has happened: feature requests and suggestions are pouring in thanks to the real world use the product is getting. This is a bit overwhelming, and requires me to prioritize my focus because one man can only do so much.

I have reached a few decisions about how I am going to go about this prioritization process and what the next steps for RecordBox are. In this post I will share these decisions and the rationale behind them.

Co-opting users for deciding on priorities

RecordBox aims to fill a specific need: to simplify music recording. To meet this need the product has to be highly focussed with a simple yet powerful feature set.

The best way to figure out this feature set is to actually observe how the product is being used and how it 'wants' to be used.

And the only way to get this information is to actually have people use RecordBox, and to make it easy for them to provide feedback and share complaints.

As a result, my primary focus now is to allow people to signup easily. To achieve this I am going to do the following:

  1. Open registration up to the public.
  2. Release the app on the Appstore.
  3. Make the service free, with a limited storage quota.

This will give the product a chance to spread through word of mouth. After all, music is a social activity and enabling musicians to spread the word about RecordBox organically is the best way to recruit the right users.

So that is my next goal.

Some caveats

I don't want to make RecordBox a freemium application, because anecdotal accounts suggest that freemium does not really work so well for most businesses.

Also, by postponing charging for the product, I am am potentially setting myself up for a huge disappointment later: Suppose people don't really want to pay for the product at all?

These are risks indeed. But the more I use RecordBox --and the more others use RecordBox-- the more I believe that it can become indispensable in the lives of musicians. And indispensable tools always have the potential to be monetized.

So my strategy is to build a product which musicians love, and then start charging a fair price for it once it offers compelling value. The best way to build this product is to incorporate feedback from musicians which is borne out of actual use. This is why it makes sense to open RecordBox up for free right now.

That's my playbook. And this is an experiment. But now my cards are on the table. I will keep this blog up-to-date on how it goes. Exciting times ahead!

Thanks for reading. I would love to hear your suggestions and thoughts on this approach. Hit me up with some comments!