Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Customer Loyalty (KISSfp)

Recently I received one of the more fascinating emails in quite a while. Quite an experience, really. With Bill's permission, here it is:
Hi, Mike,

Sorry to bother you at this email, but I keep getting rejection notices from sending this to your KISSfp email address.

I have a dying PC with KISSfp installed on it and I need to reinstall it on another computer.

Unfortunately, the only copy of an install program I have is the trial version (2MB). Can I download the live version somewhere? The link from my original order confirmation is no longer valid.


Here's a copy of my order confirmation:

> Subject: Order #1234567 Purchase Information
> Date: 23 Sep 2000
> Your order has been approved - thank you for your purchase!

> =============
> Order #:          1234567
> Purchase Date:    9/23/00
> Purchase Amount:  USD 49.95
> Last Name:        XXX
> Nighttime Phone:  123.123.1234
>   (1)   KISSfp Microsoft FrontPage FTP Add-On - Business Edition for Commercial Webs
Now, if you don't understand why "fascinating experience", just check out the dates... Bill purchased a KISSfp license in 2000, and is contacting me today (October 2009) asking for support - 9 years on! Quite a lesson in Customer Loyalty, isn't it? Nine years is an eternity... since I created my KISSfp "Microsoft FrontPage FTP Add-On" tool. So many things have happened since: I have moved from Switzerland to Italy to Switzerland to California/USA to Switzerland... got married to an amazing wife... had two wonderful kids... wrote a book... not to speak about four great day jobs, .. and much more of course. Man. Man!

As I just got quite nostalgic, I dug into my "rummaging old, moldy files" (Bill in our email exchange following his request), and here is the full disclosure history of KISSfp: It all started in April 1998 (the pure C/CLI version), with some work done during my exchange year in Torino (thank you, Massimo, and Daniele!). Around Summer/September 1998, I appear to have started with the Borland C++ Builder-based GUI, coding away at least partly during the nights while interning during the day at the IPB in Geneva (thank you Jo & Adam for proof-reading the help!), with what eventually became the 2.0 (initially "professionally" packaged & released in February 1999; see also KISSfp Version History). Further developments during the summer of 1999, and if I recall right from then on more time spent on stuff like online marketing, the whole Digital River / NetSales story, my referral program, the MenuPlus partnership with Jeff (where are you, Jeff?), the inclusion in the Microsoft Office Update Vendor Program in April/May 1999 (yeah!), at least one FrontPage book ("Master Visually FrontPage 2002") but probably others with CDs including KISSfp, that PreviewSystems VBox thing (now apparently HASP; how ridiculous all that seems in retrospect from today's day and age where I live daily using open source Java enterprise components), with increasingly fairly intensive daily technical support (thank you, Divvya!), well into 2000... and ultimately priorities in life starting to shift significantly about 2001 I think, with rapidly less time available for KISSfp.

For Bill and anybody else who may still be out there, I have finally made available a free/non-VBoxed/unlocked version of KISSfp publicly ... To use it, first run the KISSFP21.EXE which is that classic setup installer, and then run kissfp20-pvtkey.exe or kissfp20-buskey.exe once and it will be "registered" - you'll have the same app that you could purchase in the those golden days, and it seems to still run just fine on XP today! - PS: The installer EXE doesn't seem to quit and hand around (I think it always was like that), so you should may be log out and re-login to be clean.

Hey, ya all out there, loyal KISSfp users (if there are any others than Bill left?!), starting with the enthusiastic early ones and the at least many hundreds if not (probably) few thousands total along the road - it was a great time! Thank you.

KISSfp, forever!

Take care.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

My "customer loyalty" was well and truly earned by your great little program. I wonder if KISSfp will run on Windows 7? ;-)

21 October, 2009 22:41  
Blogger Unknown said...

I really enjoyed this post, it took me back in time...I still remember the day (well, night really) I created KISSfp web-button, I must have the animated-gif layers somewhere in my hard drives...
We had fun, everything was new and exciting and due to the fact that there was no web2.0 of any kind, ideas sprang out after "real" meetings, pizzas, drinks.
Ideas were developing as well as our friendship and what I value most is that after 9 or 10 years, even if you moved many times and we still live in different countries the joy of getting together and sharing a nice time is always the, it got better really now that you have a great family as well!
KISSfp for ever :-)

22 October, 2009 08:38  

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