A Request from TFP, and a few updates

ellislo

Bronze Supporter
I so greatly wish I could, but with the current setup TFP cannot. Because we're offering the App in the various App stores and we're using their setup to handle all payments TFP must comply with the various rules set by the different stores. Unless it's a discount put forth through their setup, it's a royal pain to offer discounts and if they catch you making multiple alterations to users accounts off the App store you run the risk of them pulling your developers license.
Thanks for the clarification. You wouldn’t want to mess with it then.
 

Silver_2000

Gold Supporter
LifeTime Supporter
Nov 29, 2015
560
Carrollton tx
I own and run a couple Forums and know how much work it is.
For the casual reader of forums, a forum with over a million posts, 200k members and 3000 users online at once, this site likely runs on a dedicated server, and that likely costs in the hundreds of dollars a month. Its easy to guess that thousands of hours of work went into getting this to where it is and it takes hours of moderating and adjustments every week.

Thanks for all the work keeping the site going and cleaning up the spam that Im sure gets posted all the time.
I've managed to do all the maintenance on my pool thanks to the site.
 

Nar

Active member
Aug 25, 2016
25
kansas city
Thanks for the update, I will have to check out the site, since I haven't lately. I had to immediately look for pool math, and Thank You for keeping the old one on here. I have had the app since last year but do not like it. I am just someone who dislikes apps, they are confusing and lack info to me. I was scared when I got this email that you may have done away with the old pool math. I don't like very old fashioned sites, so know you have to update, but have used sites where they have updated me right away from their site also. Looking forward to checking out the new one, and thank you again for keeping old pool math page.
 
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hepmama

Gold Supporter
Silver Supporter
Sep 12, 2015
96
Dallas TX
I just wanted to jump in here about the value of the Pool Math app. I mentioned in another thread that my husband was a programmer. He wrote an app for my business that was also connected to a server. After he died I had to let that app go because apps require constant maintenance just to keep working. I felt I had enough demand to try to have the app redeveloped.

It was an eye opening process. My first developer choice was a disaster. I wasted a year and lost a lot of customers. I decided to give it one more try but this time, I used what I had learned to better vet developers. I went very slowly and methodically. I wrote a 35 page app specs "brief" to explain exactly what the old app did. I interviewed several developers. All of them were positive they could do what I needed but I also listened to my gut/intuition and my B.S. meter. :LOL:

That second attempt app finally launched this past December. I paid 6 figures for the development alone and my monthly maintenance fee is shocking. The app server monthly fee feels like a drop in the bucket compared to what my developer gets paid. I still believe in this app but it's going to take some time to recoup the cost.

Long story short - I learned the true value of what my husband created. His genius of being able to do this all by himself when now I have a team working on it. And he was very cheap labor. ;)

Someday I hope to hire a full time developer - but I know it's not easy to find someone who can do it all, and do it well.

So whoever you have developing the app for you - my hat is off to them, and you. I now know what an undertaking it is to pull this off.

And the annual fee for the Pool Math app is a bargain!
 

redth

TFP Guide
Jun 21, 2016
87
Leamington, Ontario, Canada
I just wanted to jump in here about the value of the Pool Math app. I mentioned in another thread that my husband was a programmer. He wrote an app for my business that was also connected to a server. After he died I had to let that app go because apps require constant maintenance just to keep working. I felt I had enough demand to try to have the app redeveloped.

It was an eye opening process. My first developer choice was a disaster. I wasted a year and lost a lot of customers. I decided to give it one more try but this time, I used what I had learned to better vet developers. I went very slowly and methodically. I wrote a 35 page app specs "brief" to explain exactly what the old app did. I interviewed several developers. All of them were positive they could do what I needed but I also listened to my gut/intuition and my B.S. meter. :LOL:

That second attempt app finally launched this past December. I paid 6 figures for the development alone and my monthly maintenance fee is shocking. The app server monthly fee feels like a drop in the bucket compared to what my developer gets paid. I still believe in this app but it's going to take some time to recoup the cost.

Long story short - I learned the true value of what my husband created. His genius of being able to do this all by himself when now I have a team working on it. And he was very cheap labor. ;)

Someday I hope to hire a full time developer - but I know it's not easy to find someone who can do it all, and do it well.

So whoever you have developing the app for you - my hat is off to them, and you. I now know what an undertaking it is to pull this off.

And the annual fee for the Pool Math app is a bargain!
?

First of all, I'm sorry for your loss. I REALLY appreciate this story, and to see your understanding and appreciation of your husband's work.

I also felt really compelled to reply to this post, so here it goes:

I'm the developer on the app here ?. We did things a little bit differently since *I* approached TFP initially after I installed my own pool and realized there weren't great options for apps to help with the maintenance. After learning the TFP method I decided I could definitely use my skills to make a better app for managing pools, and that it would be fun, and that it might be a really good thing for both myself and the TFP community. I also set out knowing that it's a TON of work to build and maintain an app. At this point I have lost track of the many hundreds of hours I've put into the app. If I had to guess it's nearing the 1000 hour mark all told. Let's just say it makes a lot of sense why your app rewrite cost six figures. If I were simply building the Pool Math app as a job, and billing developer rates, Pool Math would easily be there too.

I definitely enjoy the work, and am happy to build something I and the community can use, but I'll admit the hope all along was also to be make a bit of extra spending/vacation money from it, and to have TFP benefit with some additional revenue too - after all TFP is the reason I learned how to care for my pool this way to begin with.

And... this is happening! So, thank you to everyone who subscribes to and uses the app! You're all the reason I get to spend lots of my spare time maintaining and improving the app, and even justifying it a bit to my wife too ?! You're all the reason the servers get to keep running for the app. You're also helping (along with the generous TFP donators) TFP improve itself with the new site, new videos, and more to come! THANK YOU!

Admittedly, it's really frustrating when someone leaves a one star review because they don't like having to pay for the app. Or they think they should pay less, or they think it should only cost them a one time amount. Seeing a post like yours makes it all worth it! I wish more people understood that server costs and app maintenance is an ongoing thing, and that while some people might want an option to not store their data in the cloud, most don't, and it's no small feat to support everyone's preference with limited time and budget. I wish more people understood that there is no diabolical plan to exploit their pool's historical FC log data and bleach purchases. I wish people who spend hundreds of dollars a year on their pool didn't feel that an extra $7.99 was the tipping point.

I'm the lone developer actually writing code for the app, but I should also mention how immensely helpful and absolutely invaluable @Leebo is in helping design what the app will do, how it will function, and how it will work (by the way, we make an excellent team together on this - seriously, you can't practice or train to get the natural synergy we have working on this).

So again, thank you for your post. I hope more people can read this, can understand the amazing folks that make up the TFP community, and TFP itself. You just made my day :)
 

hepmama

Gold Supporter
Silver Supporter
Sep 12, 2015
96
Dallas TX
?

First of all, I'm sorry for your loss. I REALLY appreciate this story, and to see your understanding and appreciation of your husband's work.

I also felt really compelled to reply to this post, so here it goes:

I'm the developer on the app here ?. We did things a little bit differently since *I* approached TFP initially after I installed my own pool and realized there weren't great options for apps to help with the maintenance. After learning the TFP method I decided I could definitely use my skills to make a better app for managing pools, and that it would be fun, and that it might be a really good thing for both myself and the TFP community. I also set out knowing that it's a TON of work to build and maintain an app. At this point I have lost track of the many hundreds of hours I've put into the app. If I had to guess it's nearing the 1000 hour mark all told. Let's just say it makes a lot of sense why your app rewrite cost six figures. If I were simply building the Pool Math app as a job, and billing developer rates, Pool Math would easily be there too.

I definitely enjoy the work, and am happy to build something I and the community can use, but I'll admit the hope all along was also to be make a bit of extra spending/vacation money from it, and to have TFP benefit with some additional revenue too - after all TFP is the reason I learned how to care for my pool this way to begin with.

And... this is happening! So, thank you to everyone who subscribes to and uses the app! You're all the reason I get to spend lots of my spare time maintaining and improving the app, and even justifying it a bit to my wife too ?! You're all the reason the servers get to keep running for the app. You're also helping (along with the generous TFP donators) TFP improve itself with the new site, new videos, and more to come! THANK YOU!

Admittedly, it's really frustrating when someone leaves a one star review because they don't like having to pay for the app. Or they think they should pay less, or they think it should only cost them a one time amount. Seeing a post like yours makes it all worth it! I wish more people understood that server costs and app maintenance is an ongoing thing, and that while some people might want an option to not store their data in the cloud, most don't, and it's no small feat to support everyone's preference with limited time and budget. I wish more people understood that there is no diabolical plan to exploit their pool's historical FC log data and bleach purchases. I wish people who spend hundreds of dollars a year on their pool didn't feel that an extra $7.99 was the tipping point.

I'm the lone developer actually writing code for the app, but I should also mention how immensely helpful and absolutely invaluable @Leebo is in helping design what the app will do, how it will function, and how it will work (by the way, we make an excellent team together on this - seriously, you can't practice or train to get the natural synergy we have working on this).

So again, thank you for your post. I hope more people can read this, can understand the amazing folks that make up the TFP community, and TFP itself. You just made my day :)
I am not surprised at the hours you have put into this app.

Having an app sometimes requires educating the potential customer for sure. I don't tell my customers that my app cost 6 figures but I do tell them it was very expensive and there are ongoing costs to keep it working. I also tell them I don't like ads in my apps so I refused to monetize it that way.

I'm glad you saw this and that it made your day. You rock! And if you ever need a new gig, let me know. (y)
 

ghall6292

Bronze Supporter
Jun 10, 2018
61
North Central PA
Maybe someone can help me out. I recently got the Pool Math app from the Microsoft store for my Windows 10 PC. I was surprised there was no cost for the app-yes, free! Now I have it, but can't upgrade to the premium subscription because it does not recognize me as a subscriber. Since I paid nothing, I don't believe I SHOULD qualify as a subscriber. How do I become a subscriber? I've been trying for 5 days to figure this out by reading posts, etc., all to no avail. If someone shows me how to subscribe, I will also become a supporter; how's that?!? :):) Thanks for the BEST pool site/forum ever!
 

Leebo

Admin
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 21, 2011
9,935
Eastern Ohio
Maybe someone can help me out. I recently got the Pool Math app from the Microsoft store for my Windows 10 PC. I was surprised there was no cost for the app-yes, free! Now I have it, but can't upgrade to the premium subscription because it does not recognize me as a subscriber. Since I paid nothing, I don't believe I SHOULD qualify as a subscriber. How do I become a subscriber? I've been trying for 5 days to figure this out by reading posts, etc., all to no avail. If someone shows me how to subscribe, I will also become a supporter; how's that?!? :):) Thanks for the BEST pool site/forum ever!
Is there any way you can either send me a private message or email to [email protected] and I'll gladdly help you out. I suspect the fix is simple but it'll take me getting some info I suspect you'd prefer not to share in the open forum. Drop me a message or email and we'll get you all setup.

Lee
 

Kjp300

Gold Supporter
Jul 18, 2018
133
Canfield ohio
I just want to say thank you to all of the volunteers who make this forum great! I am an end user of technology. That is someone who has very little knowledge of what it takes behind the scenes to to make any software, app, or message board work. So this thread was very educational for me. I knew that TFP was a 501 (c) 3 because of my donation, but I certainly figured that those worked behind the scenes were paid for their efforts. And if they were, it wouldn't bother me in the least.

I probably go to this site everyday during pool season to peruse the message boards. I always learn something new. I, like many others, found this site because the pool store had my CYA sky high, my chlorine wasn't sanitizing properly, and I got an algae outbreak. After spending tons, dumping all kinds of stuff in my pool and getting no results, the mods guided me through a drain and refill. I converted to a salt water generator, and since then my pool has been crystal clear and I have not needed to SLAM. I have posted more questions over the last couple of years, and they all have been answered politely and diligently. This is just a great site!

And to those who think the app should be free, $7.99 a year is a great bargain. Thank you @redth for developing the app!

Thanks again to all those who make this site work! And since I can't offer any technological expertise (I love reading @JoyfulNoise but have to admit I don't understand most of what he says) or software knowledge, or anything like that, I will help out in the only way I can. With another donation.

I look forward to another great swim season and if I run into problems I know have the best team behind me.
 
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Leebo

Admin
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 21, 2011
9,935
Eastern Ohio
Very early this year when Covid first started becoming serious I had very detailed email prepared to send to Rebecca to discuss this swim season. In this email the key focus was to discuss just what our primary focus should be, to focus on growing our userbase or focus on donations. I had detailed game plans with stats to back up various ideas and everything. I’m sure Rebecca knows just the type of email I’m talking about. 😂 Before I hit send I knew the email was worthless. I knew the primary focus of the Summer was totally missing. I knew our focus HAD to be on our users and helping them enjoy their pool.

Over the last few months we’ve made some major changes to how we reach out to users and how we bring information concerning pool care to our users. So far these new techniques have been very popular and seems to have really helped users learn more about pool care. From emails to Wiki articles to Videos these bits of info help users learn about their pools. In the future we hope to develop even more methods to reach our users.

During this time our bills however have increased greatly. Bills for the server have doubled this year as we've upgraded to meet demand and costs associated with sending communications to users have increased roughly 75%. Lastly we've seen a MAJOR increase in costs as we've produced videos as this was simply not a feature we've offered in the past. During this time donations have been hit or miss on if they can cover these increases. We at TFP have known COVID was going to alter how the year looked for donations, and we're in a good place still as our users have always been amazing in terms of supporting the site.

Here shortly I am planning on sending our an email requesting your support on TFP. I ask that you please consider a donation to the website as we work to help users with their pools. Your donations are what helps us reach pool owners and give them the same enjoyment of maintaining their pool that you now have. Please help us reach more users and improve the quality of their pools!

Lee
 

DiverGirl1972

Gold Supporter
Silver Supporter
May 11, 2018
196
Delta, PA
I have been meaning to come back and donate again so thank you for the reminder of what goes into making this site the awesome place it is!

TFP has not only taught me how to effectively manage my pool and has saved me tons of $$ along the way, it brings me a sense of "security" that if things go south with my pool, you all will have my back to help me through it best you can - with no hidden agenda. It has also brought me many hours of distraction & entertainment from the difficult issues we have all faced the past 4 - 5 months.

Now that I've found you, I wouldn't want to own a pool without the support of TFP! Thanks to every one of you who selflessly donates their valuable time and expertise to help this community.
 

JoyfulNoise

TFP Expert
Platinum Supporter
May 23, 2015
17,204
Tucson, AZ
My e-mail got sent to SPAM Jail on Gmail. So it’s highly likely a bunch of users never saw it.

And don’t forget about Amazon Smile. I just made a bunch of big purchases the last two weeks and @Leebo should be getting that $2.37 any day now!!
 
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