TLDL #003 - Bundling/Unbundling /w Tyler King on Indie Hackers Podcast

TLDL #003 - Bundling/Unbundling /w Tyler King on Indie Hackers Podcast

This week I listened to: Indie Hacker Ideas for Bundling (and Unbundling!) with Tyler King of Less Annoying CRM

Speakers: Courtland Allen and Tyler King

Product Bundling

Product Bundling is when you take a number of products and sell them together as a package. Examples:

  1. Adobe Creative Suite - Photoshop, Illustrator
  2. Google Workspace - Storage, Docs, Slides, Gmail

Advantages of bundling:

  • Get far more PR reach
  • An average product can get more usage when bundled with good products
  • More value for customers for a better price

Product Unbundling

Unbundling a product is when you take a product that has too many use cases and slice it vertically to create a more niche product. Examples:

  1. Carrd.co - Simple landing pages
  2. Ghost - Free/Paid blogs

Advantages of unbundling:

  • Target a niche or a specific use case - tailor made
  • No bloat, better experience
  • Better support and can provide deeper value
  • Examples - carrd.io, ghost

Slack vs. Microsoft Teams

Slack is a better product than Teams overall but Teams has better usage numbers since it comes already bundled with Office 365. Companies that already have a subscription don't need to spend more.

Effect of subscriptions

Most products have changed their pricing model to be subscription based. Even though it might be easier for both parties involved, customers feel overwhelmed.

  • They hate having to compare/contract products #pain-point
  • They feel overwhelmed - no easy way to manage them except from accounts or bank statements #pain-point
  • Companies have tons of subscriptions. Having to update all of them when a new hire comes onboard has significant challenges:
    • Will there be enough usage to justify adding into the plan?
    • Will the pricing tier change?
    • Do we need to get in touch with Sales team?
  • Build a subscription manager tool to help individuals and companies manage their subscriptions #idea
  • Hate having a 100 places to check in on things

Anatomy of a good bundle

  • The products in the bundle have to be related
  • They all should be well integrated
  • They should all have the sample experience, branding
  • Cheaper as a deal

Building vs. Buying products in your bundle

  • Buying is faster, but you end up with different codebases - Harder to integrate together

  • As an example, Notion replaces Trello, Asana, Google Docs, but if they had bought a note taking, task tracking apps and combined them, the experience wouldn't have been as connected

  • Key is to figure out what other pain points your customers have and build a bundle of products around that

Opportunities for Indie Hackers

  • Find products that have app stores. Figure out what apps are absolutely essential. Make a similar product with the additional apps functionalities already included. #idea

  • Large companies when they buy small startups can't usually take care of them very well. The product ends up dying. When you see a product being bought by a slow moving company, create a similar product to fill the void. #idea

  • Take general purpose products, figure out what a niche set of users are looking to accomplish, build a product directly geared towards them.

    • For example, take Squarespace (Building websites of any kind), if you know a lot of podcasters are building their webpages on it and need an RSS feed, audio player, videos with captions, then you can build a landing page builders just for podcasters.
  • Bundle products you don't make. Curate products in a category and sell them as a bundle. #idea

Unbundling Education

  • College is pricey. Online courses and blogs are unbundling education.
  • School gives you social connections + certificate + education. Unbundle them.
  • For example, lunchclub.ai is a new way to build your social connections

Bundling and Unbundling as a cycle

  • Growing number of subscription products eventually become too much for consumers, that's when bundling happens
  • As people start lookign for more differentiated products, unbundling occurs
  • It's a cycle

All credit goes to the original speakers.

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