Posted by: wingnut650 | July 21, 2008

Software downloads and the “DR Mower Conundrum”

When does size matter?  What I mean here is, when customers are looking to evaluate software, when does the size of the download of that software become a turnoff?  Currently, I am responsible for a product (bundle actually) that is 102MB in size (zipped).  Since it’s a bundle of two products, I wondered if instead of having a single zip file to download that’s 100+ MB, that we separate the two and offer a download for each on the same page.  The feedback that was received was that 100MB was not a big deal and, more importantly that being able to get both install files for this bundle in one download was the choice b/c we don’t want prospects to have to download one, then go back and download the other.  Fine, I was cool with that, it made sense enough.  BUT, I still had a nagging feeling that we are moving closer to the point where someone will think about whether the download is something they want to deal with in regard to size.  Think about it, if someone offers you a free trial of a razor or toothbrush or even coffee maker for instance, you don’t think too much about it – they’re manageable in size (the coffee maker example is kind of weird, but is done to give perspective to what I consider manageable). 
Now, think about the DR Mower or even the SoloFlex where you can try these two enormous products out ‘free of charge’ to evaluate for yourself.  I mean, I know some people do that, but c’mon, the size of these things is crazy and b/c of this, I’m sure they’re evaluation numbers suffer and in turn their sales numbers take a hit.
My concern here is, when does one of our software products become so big that the download to evaluate becomes a decision like that of evaluating the DR Mower?



  1. In the examples of the DR Mower and the Soloflex, maybe their big size works to their advantage once it’s in the house – you don’t want to go to the hassle of shipping it back. With software, on the other hand, there’s no time/labor cost to the uninstall, so big vs small doesn’t have that sticking power.

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