Thanks and replies

Dear all,

It is really heartening to see your responses and feedback on this forum and also a ton of useful suggestions. This is stuff that keeps us motivated to do even better :) Thanks! 

Response on specific suggestions:

1. Upgrades: I agree there is no excuse on messing up new updates. These days, many of them pass without much disruption, but still there is one such disruption every month that will shake up a few accounts. The main reason for this is that initially we allowed users to update the schema (DocType) on their own, which was a big mistake because we had no way to track which user updated which field. But let me assure you that we will invest a lot more time testing such updates and ensure that there is minimum disruption.

2. Documentation: Robert is right in saying that the system can be frustrating for new users, specially with no background to accounting. In my personal opinion, the system has to be so easy to use that there should be no need for documentation.

Robert has volunteered and created a Google Document that I will share and update and we can all contribute there. We will set aside one day and all of us in the company will update the document.

Also, in the next couple of weeks we will try and put in a lot of inline and contextual help.

3. Webshop: I see there is a lot of excitement in webshop because I think that a webshop will become a basic requirement in the future like a website is today. (Having said, I think website itself is not a solved problem. No offense but I keep checking websites of all customers and I think very very very few have a good website).

Integration of 3rd party webshop: Again this is an opinion, but we think that the effort to integrate or build will be similar. But if we integrate, it will help us in a great way to take it forward and maintain it. Also future schema changes will be easier to manage.

4. ERPNext business model and growth: We are doing quite okay on new signups. The problems though are exactly the ones that Robert explained. Out of the five-odd customers that sign up every week, we find one or two that engage and go through the initial setup process. 

Currently we have enough signups that we can manage with our current team. And every new customer contributes valuable feedback that gets "fixed" for the next customer and so on. The current pace is fine considering our resources and I think we are innovating very aggressively. 

In terms of competition - they are good in some places and we are good in others, but I think the depth and breadth of features that we have been able to deliver is not done by any product in the price range. 

- Netsuite, SAP by design or Workday come at $100+ / user / month with a minimum commitment. 
- Single module apps like Zoho, Freshbooks or the tons of of clones (invoicing and POS), do not yet have the depth. 
- In Open Source, OpenERP or OpenBravo are too complex (if you think ERPNext is complex, check them out :) and still a lot more expensive.

As an additional source of revenue, we plan to start a self-hosted model based on Open Source for $1000 per year (unlimited users) for one installation that includes setup, updates, patches, support and crash recovery. Hopefully that should kick in some revenue (more than the $7 :) and it would also make sense for companies who are not very comfortable hosting their data with us.


ERPNext - Business Operating System

T: @rushabh_mehta