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Crowdfunding Implementation of Popular Features Requests

So, how about this for an idea:-

We keep getting told, even for simple requests that are 5 years or more old, that 'this isn't on the current roadmap', despite how much your customers tell you it's a really important thing for their business.

So how about we get to post up a request and, once a certain amount of interest is received, say 10 votes, you look at it seriously and provide an actual development cost of implementing that feature. As part of the cost you look at whether it's something you have in your vision already and apply any associated 'credit' for general improvement to the software.

Once that is done, you then notify all users by email that this has now reached funding stage where we can all contribute towards that additional feature. This way you get paid by us, a bit like us being able to have additions to custom software, whilst we get to decide how much we really want that feature and vote with our wallets to cover the implementation cost. The improvements become generally available to all and help your software grow and gain more market share, whilst those of us that want it fast help with the cost.

As far as I see, this is a win-win situation and would make your company and software even more unique, whilst massively improving customer feedback and involvement and giving us the features we deem important to our businesses and that we are willing to financially invest in having available.
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  • Roan (Product Director) August 10, 2017 10:44
    Hi Laura,

    Seriously, 10/10 for ingenuity!

    First of all, let me say that we genuinely would love to implement all the popular feature requests that our users have, as long as they fit in with our longer-term strategy. Many do but some don't, so realistically there are some things which won't end up on our roadmap. And there are other things that may happen in the future but just aren't as important to us as things we're working on right now.

    The issue with 'buying' features is that it's not just about the cost of developing something, but the cost of not developing something else.

    With finite resources, if our team are building a feature then it means they're not working on something else which could be 'worth' a lot more to us and our users.

    Some of these things (like keeping compliance functionality correct for example) are simply non-negotiable for us. We couldn't afford not to dedicate the time to keeping FreeAgent legal and compliant.

    So that leaves us with less resource for optional (and cool) new features that users will love. I can absolutely promise you that these are informed by user feedback and feature requests and the things we're working on right now (better banking search, rules, final accounts filing etc) are all things customers ask us for regularly.

    Unfortunately we're never able to work as many of these as we would like, and I get that's a frustration for you too.

    You'll have heard this before, but do honestly listen and record all user feedback that comes in, whether that's through customer support, meeting users face-to-face or these forums. And that feedback plays a vital role in shaping our roadmap.

    Out of interest what are the small things that have been niggling you? I do want us to get better at picking some of these things off.

    Roan
    Co-founder and Chief Product Officer.
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  • I'm really surprised you guys haven't done more with your Zapier Integration.

    I used to use Freeagent but have now moved over to Xero due to the lack of integrations.

    Even sending over an invoice from my CRM system (PODIO) via Zapier isn't possible.
    • Roan (Product Director) August 10, 2017 13:31
      Hi Lee,

      That's a good shout. There is definitely scope for using Zapier to extend FreeAgent functionality.

      Generally speaking though, most of our users (who tend to be micro businesses) like FreeAgent for it's 'all in one' nature, where it covers most of the functions they need.

      This is the reason why FreeAgent hasn't prioritised integrations like some of our competitors.
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  • Roan - niggling little omission for me is that I can't reconcile an unexplained transaction with a previously manually entered one in the iOS app- only in the web portal.
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