Sharing Software Should be Like Playing a DS Together

The good folk over at 37 Signals published some upgrade figures for a day in the life of the new Backpack and, as often happens, the comments were the most idea-sparking part.

One obviously happy user said you guys added a lot of features officially that we were sharing one backpack login to pull off.

This made me think about product features and how often the multi-user version of a product is delayed to get version 1 out the door. If you’re not building in a reason for users to buy multiple licenses from day one, you’re teaching them bad habits. In particular, unless you make it really painful for multiple users to share a copy of the application, the upgrade to a multi-user version isn’t going to offer enough incentive once the rot has set in. Continue reading