U.S.A. –-(Ammoland.com)- PractiScore was built because I needed it. I, perhaps foolishly, shared it with my friends, one thing led to another, and now it is used by hundreds of little businesses we call “clubs”. Millions of dollars flow thru it for match fees. In 2018 we had 602,398 shooter registrations and 474,135 squaddings happen thru PractiScore.com It has clearly moved beyond “I needed it”.
Well, from the day I started sharing it my answer has always been “to give match directors back their life”. Or more broadly… to help those who run clubs and matches.
The why, formally specified, is:
PractiScore exists to help people run practical shooting clubs and matches more easily.
Every day we consider that “why”. We do things that help that mission. We don’t do things that hurt it. Sometimes we do things sort of related to it, but not as a high priority.
The Why Moved Beyond Just Having Software to Supporting It
Last month we took in 150 support tickets in our new support ticketing system. All were handled. Most were about the “why”. That number doesn’t include personal contacts to our phone, email, FB messenger – that probably doubles the support contacts.
I’ve been in the software game for a long time now. Eventually, most software business turns into a support business. And PractiScore has moved to that point. Support was taking up more time than development. That wasn’t where we wanted to be.
So we added in DJ Petrou, and today, Madison Killian to handle direct frontline support. They will answer what they can and coordinate getting answers or fixes from the technical part of the team.
In coming weeks we will be asking certain match director friends in the practical shooting community (Zack Jones for instance) to join the ticketing system and help with sport or match type specific questions.
Additionally, we will be adding in two tiers of support:
- Normal use the ticket support system – generally same day response
- My major match is stopped I need a human phone support
Both are free. One uses the online ticket system. One uses a phone number that distributes to on-call helpers who will answer on Sunday night and do their best to get things back working.
We aren’t gonna hide the way to reach a human but please ensure the need is dire.
Put another way, we are structuring to treat this like the serious activity it has become – where tens of thousands of people, and hundreds of little businesses, and millions of dollars flow thru it – so it is serious!
PractiScore will always be free to clubs to run their clubs and score their matches. I made that promise when we started and I don’t intend to renege on it.
It does need funding.
A couple things to know:
- Ken is never gonna make money off PractiScore. I hope to not lose any (or much) more.
- All money goes right back into the “Why”.
- In my “perfect” world funding is done this way:
- 1/3rd industry (sponsors like we have now)
- 1/3rd sports (we are serving their members quite well )
- 1/3rd competitors
This balanced 3 legged stool doesn’t give too much power to any one group, but lets all help. If one group had too much power we would risk the “why”.
Industry has stepped up. We appreciate it. Our ad model seems to work pretty well for sponsors and is also not intrusive.
The sports have not contributed in a signficant fashion. ICORE, actually, has done a lot as relative to their size. USPSA has made a donation, which while welcome, was tiny compared to the service we do for their members and clubs on a daily basis. IDPA has done nothing. Some IPSC regions have donated. And all the help was welcome!
For 2019, I hope they can choose to help. You as members might suggest it (always politely). Our track record should show that helping PractiScore would be among the best money they spend in 2019 on behalf of their members (both individual and club).
Competitors have purchased the Competitor app by the thousands. That’s pretty cool. But not really that much money, and the app store gets a 1/3rd of the loot. In a few days we will launch PractiScore: Supporter and ask them to help where they can. There will be certain features only available to Supporters (primarily video, sponsor logos, and ELO).
If you can help, help. We’d appreciate it and promise to spend the money on the Why.
A last word on funding …. it’s not a matter of whether PractiScore exists. It will continue to do so even with no funding. It’s a matter of how much more we can solve the WHY. Which is the point of it all.
Finally, I want to thank all those who sent me thanks for PractiScore. I accept it but want you to know that a team exists that is doing all this. Me, Bryan, Jeff, Chandler, Russell, Eugene, Benjamin, Steve, Madison, and DJ – we all do what we do for the Why – which ultimately is my friends – practical shooters. Thanks very much and I wish the best for you in 2019.