I'm a private weather industry marketing executive specializing in the strategic approach to SaaS in established and emerging markets. 

Chaser Software - The Downfall?

I have made several posts pertaining to the idea that products and services targeted to storm chasers generally fail for one of many reasons. I think I have found the most predominant reason for failure... UNFRIENDLYNESS.
Now, while I'm not real positive unfriendliness is a word, what I am sure of is that when it comes to software, the unfriendly nature of the applications out there is the primary reason for failure. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not talking about unfriendly people here, I’m talking about unfriendly software so don’t go e-mailing this to all your buddies telling them Steve is bashing them in his blog… heh

Call me crazy but when I buy a service or software, I expect it to run properly right out of the box. A perfect example is DA. I bought this software for $150 from Tim V. last year at the chaser convention. I have never been able to do anything with it. My friends, Bob and Hans, are computer wiz's (programmers) and they couldn't get it to do anything either. I believe there is an update of two out there but I'm already bored with it. I'm not slamming the software, I'm sure some of you out there are using it fine but I apparently do not have the time, nor want, to sit down and learn how to program or whatever it takes to make it work.

Another example is AllisonHouse. I have browsed Tyler's website several times thinking I would buy this service. Heck, I was even willing to buy the $25 per month super-duper package. Somehow in all the times I read about the service, I never saw that the viewing application had to be obtained somewhere else. That "somewhere else" is the grlevelx.com viewer app the chase community, who refuses to buy in to WxWorx, has had a woody over for the past 8 months. So, I have to pay $25 per month and $80 for an app that is not supported by AllisonHouse. I'm not discouraging anyone from using Tyler's service; it looks awesome. I personally want a one-stop-shop for things I buy. I also want solid tech support.

I find the services I use the most are web based. WeatherTap, WeatherBank, F5Data, and many free modeling and current conditions pages.
Of the pay services I use, F5Data gives me the most return. Very rarely do I go more than a day without looking at F5 models. I would check this out if you are wanting to spend $ for modeling. WeatherTap is surprising me too with many product updates, additions and the new, updated severe weather page where now you can go in and see all the latest text data from all NWS offices in one place.

I’m no marketing or sales professional – wait, yes I am… Maybe a trial week during this time of year would be something these providers should do to get people hooked on their product and/or see if users can get the applications to actually work rather than being charged a month’s worth of service to find out?
WeatherTap does it… shouldn’t you?

Turns out unfriendliness is indeed a word.

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