Bit off too much chew like hell
TulipFX is proud of our baby, the KangarooEA. It is one of the first EAs we developed a while ago now and we have had it chipping away at the markets making good solid returns.
We considered releasing Kangaroo EA to the retail market sooner but a combination of not wanting to enter such a generally shady marketplace and the fear of losing control of our intellectual property had us dismissing the thought.
Over time, however, we gave the idea more thought, especially since almost every EA we laid our hard earned money on gave either poor demo results, or blew demo accounts on backtests. What we noticed wasn’t so much the fact that alot of people were wasting $97 on a poorly coded and risky EAs, but also the marketing hype that went along with it promising the earth and then some. That didn’t sit well with us. Encouraging people to think that for the price of a new release computer game they could retire early with a beach side villa and Ferarri in the garage was an illogical claim and bordering on fraudulent practices (in our eyes).
Bottom line: what many of these EAs provided was a loss of capital. EA marketeers (lets face it, the majority have never traded a pip in their lives) were selling people down the river. Did we want to enter that market?
After testing more EAs and getting quite upset at the difference between what sellers were promising us and the actual results, we decided that we would like to ‘do things right’ and sell our systems to the general retail market. After all – this market is big enough for a new kid on the block. Selling our EAs which trade on the major pairs wouldn’t cause our personal trading profits to suffer and we could earn a secondary stream of income to fund more live accounts…so why not!
Seeking out new armor
One of the major reasons not to do it was that our systems would not be able to be kept to those who had recompensed us for our work. While most EA systems should get their grand claims independently tested the ability to have our hard work freely distributed worried us. It would see every Tom, Dick and Harry running our systems and leave us with no compensation for releasing our personal traders to the market.
But even more importantly, we’ve all come across so-called “educated” EAs that were actually educated badly….these would be shared, cause losses since -part of- the logic might have been altered from the original version, and this could cause damage to our reputation we were trying to establish as being a company that delivers consistent & profitable no-nonsense EAs.
If we could be sure of finding a way to protect our intellectual capital and the interest of our future (paying) customers, we decided we should release the EAs.
Luckily one of us had a personal friend who had worked in software security and was able to assure us that our logic and our client’s exclusivity could be maintained.
And so we decided to release Kangaroo EA. It was our first long term profitable automated system, so that had to be our first release. Researching what was needed to be able to successfully launch an EA took us weeks, if not months. After much brain storming and culling of ideas we had a general idea of what we wanted to do and how to do it.
Strategy is for consultants
Dutch and I wanted to be everything most EA sellers are not. We wanted our sales site to be transparent, honest, open, detailed, useful and friendly. We wanted our layout to be clean, simple and effective. Having a good EA with nothing to hide helped as we could present every detail possible allowing potential clients to make up their own mind on facts, rather then emotive dialogue packed with false dreams.
Since we were not presenting an EA belonging in the “$97 quality market”, and since we wanted to position ourselves as different from the general lemon EA market, we decided to enter at a higher price point. We also agreed on the subscription model for purchases. It allowed us to have a reasonable upfront fee similar to what people expected to pay in the retail EA market but also allowed us to gain the revenue which we thought the KangarooEA was worth — if it kept performing, and so creating a mutual interest in success: we have to be on our toes all the time to keep our customers happy.
Setting up the webpage, the payment provider and testing the recoding used for protection took a LOT longer then we envisaged. At the start we thought we could put the EA together, smack up a website and it wouldn’t be too hard to get going. How wrong we were! It took ages!
Selling ice to Eskimo’s
Now we had the product, but how were we going to let people know about it? The internet is a big place for a little flower. Our business plan had a big NO next to affiliate spam marketing. I hate that and I am sure others do to. It seems effective in driving the sales during the launch and the large EA marketers do it well but that wasn’t for us. Deciding to go a different route, word of mouth was going to be our promotion tool.
Sure affiliates are used by TulipFX, but not many. All are vetted to make sure they offer a review and/or a live test of many different robots and that this review is honest. If we are going to give away a big chunk of our revenue to an affiliate we expect them to do more then just spam their email lists. TulipFX worked hard on our systems, so we expect affiliates to put in a little effort to be informative to their readers.
Our overall business plan seems to be going along well. We are not selling thousands of systems, but are happy with how things are going. Website hits are constant as are sales. Clients seem happy with our customer support. This is important to us. Dutch and I attempt to answer every email personally as soon as we can. People have respected us and bought our work so the same respect should be returned.
This has taken up a LOT of time. We underestimated how many questions, comments, issues and requests would come in. Don’t get us wrong, we welcome them! It would be far worse if there were none – it just takes a lot of time to give everyone the level of service they deserve. If I can make a simple request – please read our FAQ’s first as that will help take a load off us if your question has already been answered there. If it hasn’t and you think its a general question (rather then one specific to you) then post a comment on that page. Dutch or I can then answer it for many to see. This can let us have more time to do what we really like doing – creating new trading systems.
“Testing 1,2….Testing 1,2…”
As observed this week, testing is important before releasing a system. We tested our original system for months prior to release, fixed up all the little things which needed fixing before finally releasing it in December. Our updates were mainly to solve some authentication issues because that was the only part which could not be thoroughly tested prior to release.
This week we released Version 5.0 and being brutally honest that release didn’t go crash hot. We put ourselves under pressure by declaring we would release this week. As it turned out we had not done enough testing and had to released a number of updates in the first 48 hours to solve issues which could have been picked up with a longer testing period. Version 5.1 is now stable and operating correctly with no hiccups but it took us a couple of updates to get there making us look rather amateur. It wasn’t a good marketing image, then again we are not marketing people.
TulipFX is pleased with how quickly we solved the issues but we are unhappy and annoyed with ourselves at rushing out a release. The lesson has been learnt and there will be more and longer testing in the future. This might delay releases a bit but it will be for an important outcome.
Dutch and I have discovered selling our KangarooEA can be quite stressful at times, since we really care about our clientele and about Kangaroo…we want it to succeed…! Heh, what can we say: we’re traders, just like you…and we know what it feels like to win..! We are both empathic guys, so your trades have become our trades. We fret about them just like you do, even if our broker does not have the same trades issued. This empathy for the retail trader was what drove us to release an EA which we personally trust and what drives us to provide you with good service and profitable systems in the future. And watch this space: You ain’t seen nothing yet. :)
So thank you for having faith in what we are doing, we really appreciate it and wish you lots of profits from our systems.
See how Kangaroo EA performed when tested by brainyforex here.