I'm really glad that you're now running s2Member - it's a big relief after months of uncertainty.
Some suggestions ...
1) I think the main priority should be to ensure the stability of s2Member - e.g. making sure that it continues to work regardless of what changes are made to Wordpress, PayPal, Stripe, etc. It needs to be emphasised that if s2Member stops working, even for just a couple of days, then a lot of people that use s2Member will start losing customers (which would make them much more likely to transfer from s2Member to a different membership software).
2) There are obviously a lot of new features that people want to see added to s2Member, and you will be under pressure to start adding them as soon as possible (particularly as s2Member hasn't been updated in 1.5 years). However, noting the above point "1)", please don't rush into adding anything that might break the core functionality of s2Member. I think people need to appreciate that taking over a complex piece of software that was largely written by someone else (i.e. Jason Caldwell) is a very difficult process - so please take the time to fully understand the software before making any significant changes.
3) I think it's clear that s2Member's charging model - i.e. paying a "one-time" fee for lifetime access - was always going to fail at some point. It's a bit like a "pyramid" scheme, because every year you need to attract increasing numbers of new members (who pay the "one-time" fee) to cover the costs of supporting increasing numbers of existing members (who no longer pay anything). It also means that your focus is always on attracting new members (e.g. to cover your staff costs, etc), rather than on supporting existing members. In my opinion, you really need to change s2Member's charging model so that everyone pays an annual fee to access the updates (i.e. if a member stops paying the annual fee, then their version of s2Member Pro will continue to work, but they won't be able to access any further updates).
4) The above point "3" is likely to be contentious - e.g. there will be some existing members who think it's unfair that they should have to start paying an annual fee for a product when they've already purchased a "lifetime access" (which is a reasonable point). My suggestions are as follows:
- Firstly, I think you should offer existing members an ongoing (i.e. permanent) discount on their annual fee - e.g. 50% off the normal cost - to recognise the fact that they've already purchased a "lifetime access".
- Secondly, I think the annual fee for existing members should be relatively small - e.g. no more than (say) $20 per year.
- Thirdly, I think you should emphasise to existing members that the choice was either 1) allowing s2Member to fail, or 2) asking existing members to pay a (small) annual fee - hopefully, most existing members will agree that the latter option is much better.
- Fourthly, I think you should emphasise to existing members that this (small) annual fee will enable s2Member to be better supported in the future - e.g. in terms of bug fixes, new features, staff support on the forums, etc.
5) As a longer-term suggestion, I think you should make the free version of s2Member more limited - e.g. maybe limit the total number of Members, or remove the ability to send reminder emails, or add an annoying banner at the bottom of each website, etc. At the moment, it's possible for someone to set-up a successful business using the free version of s2Member (e.g. using PayPal Standard Buttons) and then continue using it for years without paying anything.
6) Finally, a few months ago, when it looked like s2Member had been completely abandoned and might fail in the near future, I think a lot of existing members were reassured by the work that Krum did (e.g. trying to contact Jason, starting the process to fork s2Member, replying to posts, etc). For example, his work persuaded me to wait a bit longer to see what might happen with s2Member, rather than transferring to a different membership software. I really hope that you can include him in your team, because I think s2Member now needs people with such enthusiasm to help move forward.