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Chicken or the egg dilemma

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slowlane_diarya

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In my country, I have noticed that gas/fuel prices tend to vary across different locations within the same city. I am considering a software solution in which people log gas prices at different gas stations to determine the cheapest places to fill up, and the app is paid for with a monthly subscription. The problem here is that even though my solution meets a market demand, people have no incentive (at least at first, when the database of prices is empty), to spend time logging gas prices on my app when the initial userbase is small.

Therefore I am considering rewarding those that log such information to the app, with a small portion of the revenue or some other form of in-app compensation. This could be achieved by taking out a small portion of the revenue stream and setting it aside for the users who contributed the most, perhaps? Either way, this seems unsustainable without a) a sufficiently large starting dataset, b) advertiser revenue (unlikely with a small userbase) c) an alternative revenue model.

c) seems the best solution so far, but am I thinking about this in the wrong way? Will people actually log prices if their need for the service outweighs the time they spend providing the app with information? Any feedback is welcome, especially criticism!
 

Late Bloomer

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In my country, I have noticed that gas/fuel prices tend to vary across different locations within the same city. I am considering a software solution in which people log gas prices at different gas stations to determine the cheapest places to fill up, and the app is paid for with a monthly subscription.

That's already available for free in my area of the midwest USA. I just bring up a Google map of my town and do a search for "gas prices." The stations and prices are shown, along with the reviews of the stations and convenience stores. Google rewards those who log information with more thorough free search results for everyone, paid for by targeted advertising. I wouldn't try to attack the front door of Mordor myself.
 

sparechange

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i dont see it being a bad idea, not sure if people would pay for a monthly sub tho
 

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Boo

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I doubt anyone will pay more than $1 per month to save a couple cents on gas. Realistically, people often burn more in gas driving between stations than they save by buying cheaper gas. Not a great idea in my opinion.
 

msufan

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I doubt anyone will pay more than $1 per month to save a couple cents on gas. Realistically, people often burn more in gas driving between stations than they save by buying cheaper gas. Not a great idea in my opinion.

Right. You're getting the wrong kind of customer. The kind of person who scrimps to save pennies per gallon on gasoline isn't the kind who purchases unneeded apps IMHO. Plus, as Late Bloomer showed, this already exists here in the US.
 

slowlane_diarya

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That's already available for free in my area of the midwest USA. I just bring up a Google map of my town and do a search for "gas prices." The stations and prices are shown, along with the reviews of the stations and convenience stores. Google rewards those who log information with more thorough free search results for everyone, paid for by targeted advertising. I wouldn't try to attack the front door of Mordor myself.

I've actually looked at GasBuddy but noticed it only appears to be for the USA/Canada market, and this concept could be applied to gas stations worldwide. As far as I'm aware, Google doesn't support a lot of other countries.

i dont see it being a bad idea, not sure if people would pay for a monthly sub tho

I doubt anyone will pay more than $1 per month to save a couple cents on gas. Realistically, people often burn more in gas driving between stations than they save by buying cheaper gas. Not a great idea in my opinion.

Noted! I agree that paying a monthly subscription to get some of it back seems really counter-intuitive.

Right. You're getting the wrong kind of customer. The kind of person who scrimps to save pennies per gallon on gasoline isn't the kind who purchases unneeded apps IMHO.

That's a point I haven't considered. Would you say that using a portion of advertising revenue has more potential to result in active user contribution?
 

sparechange

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msufan

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That's a point I haven't considered. Would you say that using a portion of advertising revenue has more potential to result in active user contribution?

I would definitely make your profit come from ads instead of people paying for the app. You could have a premium version that gets rid of the ads as well.
 

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