Sahil Lavingia on November 1st, 2012
CameraSim is an amazing learning and teaching tool for Mac and Windows that explains visually how to use a DSLR camera. They originally launched using eJunkie + PayPal, but saw 69% increase in revenue after making the switch to Gumroad quickly after launch.
Using Gumroad’s ‘Pay What You Want’ pricing, they left the price of CameraSim up to their buyers — whatever they thought it was worth. They’ve made thousands of dollars since launching on Gumroad, and their average buyer has paid more than 7x the minimum price, with several buyers paying hundreds of dollars for the simulator.
We caught up with Jonathan Arnold, one of the founders of CameraSim, to chat a bit about the app and his experiences with Gumroad so far.
What are you selling? What’s the story behind it?
A couple years ago, I built an online DSLR camera simulator because I wanted a way to explain the fundamentals of shutter speed, aperture and ISO settings to some friends that were interested in photography.
I put it online and forgot about it, but it started quietly growing an audience and now draws several thousand visitors every day. A few months ago, my developer and I created an iPad and iPhone version, and most recently created a Windows and Mac version. It’s this Windows and Mac version of CameraSim that we are selling using Gumroad.
Why is Gumroad a good fit for it?
Our product is still very much in its infancy, so we don’t have the time or resources to build our own fancy payment system. But all of the quick-and-dirty payment solutions that we looked at (and used initially) were simply awful from a user experience standpoint. Gumroad has been an excellent fit for us because it was so easy to set up and customize, and the user experience of making a payment is the best I’ve seen.
Did you hear any feedback from buyers on the Gumroad buying experience? Any cool stories from them?
Not a peep, and that’s what I love about Gumroad. I design apps for a living, and I believe that some technology should be like the air-conditioner in the room – you’re only aware of it when it’s not working right. The rest of the time, you’re oblivious to it because it’s doing its job so well. That’s how I feel about Gumroad — people sail right through the simple payment process!
What are your favorite things about the Gumroad platform?
Because we’re still doing market research — including what price to charge — Gumroad’s “pay what you want” feature has been huge for us. It’s given us insight into what the market will pay for our product, which is invaluable data that I’m not sure how we would have gotten otherwise.
Another great thing about Gumroad is the ability to reskin the user interface with custom CSS. Gumroad looks fantastic right out of the box, but being able to visually tie the payment experience in with the pages from our product site is a really nice feature.
What could we do better?
The Gumroad support is amazing, so no complaints there. I do get an occasional request from someone wanting to use a PayPal account, so PayPal integration would be nice to have. I’d also love to have more robust analytics to help us test our payment pages and measure conversion rates.