How to sell your software for $20,000 a pop

Weary of the ad-supported world of Web 2.0? Outside the echo chamber of Silicon Valley, there are software developers who write code that won't change the world, but that customers will pay real, five-figure license fees for — enough to sustain a growing, private business. It's all about finding a market that works and copying the competition. Call it anti-innovation. To explain how to do it, an entrepreneur named Bill wrote a blog post called "How to sell your software for $20,000." We've edited it down to a reasonable length below. Give the hoodie to Goodwill, say goodbye to your IPO dreams, and prepare to write the world's next great automated parking garage software.

1. Find software that sells for $20,000 a copy. Don't try to come up with something new. If there isn't a product already, it's because there isn't a need. With something "new" you have to convince businesses or organizations they need it. An example: automated parking garage software.

2. Pick products supporting million-dollar companies. Those companies spend lots of money convincing customers they need their products. Then the customer will get quotes from everyone and might end up buying yours instead.

3. Build the product but only with the core features. Make a "lite" version initially. Use that money to continue to make it less "lite" and higher in price.

4. Get your name out in the industry. $20K software is certainly going to be "niche" software, with not a whole lot of customers out there who buy it. Get your company name out there so everyone knows you sell your systems and could be an alternative to what they already have.

5. Present yourself as consultingware. Be there on call and devoted to them and how they're using the product.

(Photo by Manuel Faisco)