Being a reader of this blog for some time, I wonder if you would allow us to translate your articles in French and post them on our blog. I really like the contents of your blog and woud be happy if French readers could enjoy your witts.
You would be named as the author of the article and that it is there by your permission.We would of course do it for free as it would be added value on our blog and for our french readers. You could use the translation for your own use, and we would stop the deal at the other party's request, "no questions asked".
Would you be happy with such a deal ?
Wathever your answer may be, thank you for your presenceand energy on this planet, I hope you'll be with us for a long time !
Jean Baptiste: I would be honored to have the content translated for your French readers.
Please just provide a link back to the original article (this way, I can track references to the article).
But don't worry, downloading other people's music for free is still OK.
Welcome to the 21st century - A time of free and open software, free websites and free communication.
Well, I guess the invisible hand of Adam Smith still lives in these parts of the Web.
Nice postI I would add to #3 that charging early is also a good way to continuously test your market position, price, competition and value proposition.
If you can't hold on to customers, and the reasons are more than just development issues, the reality will hit earlier in the cycle and stimulate a change in course.
I made a mistake by giving my software for free in the beginning of the development. I will never repeat this mistake again.
Dharmesh, I think you're right on the money with providing value and charging for that value. One addition I think could be made to this post, particularly around point 3, is communication.
As a business coach, I often find myself working with companies that gave fanatical service when they were in start-up, and their product was still developing, but are now (years later) having problems with those clients who now 'expect' that kind of service to continue.
Definitely give that great service to early adopters, but be sure you communicate that the service is part of your value proposition in line with the early-stage software. As the product develops (with their assistance) and delivers more on its own, there will be less need for you to deliver that high a level of service.
In this way you will still attract paying customers early - you just won't have them demanding too much, or worse being annoyed at you, down the track when you have a great product and loads more clients.
I'd add another point in there somewhere: talk directly with your users about why you are charging.
On the Kayuda forums (<shameless plug> http://forums.kayuda.com/ </shameless plug>), we have made a point of talking to the users and saying things like "We are planning a subscription plan with extra features. What would you actually pay for?" We take pains to explain that we aren't charging because we're greedy, we're charging because we have to keep the lights on. People seem to get it, and it puts them "on side" with us, as they join in to help us figure it out.
I've also made a point of using my real name everywhere, giving out my personal email address, and making sure that I sign every message (and not just with a signature file).
The more that you can make your user view you as a honorable person who is just trying to make a living, instead of as as a soulless corporate vendor, the easier everything will be.
Providing free software services works because the cost of supporting an additional customer is next to zero.
The ability to get publicity by giving away a free product and selling a premier product is also catching on.
But what about giving away the product for free, but selling plugins?
Hello, I'm also a reader who likes your blog, though I just start to read it recently.
From the hint of Jean Baptiste's comment, could I translate some of your posts to Chinese and put on the blog?
Feel free to translate to Chinese. Once again, all I ask is that any translated articles have a link back to the original.
I come after the war but there is a nice interview of Matt Mullenwag on the .Net Mag Website. He explains:
“I’ve always said that charging for software is something of a dead model. Onwww.WordPress.com,
the things we charge for tend to be services – support, upgrades or hosting. The software itself, the core, is free.”
Very intersted by the french translation Jean Baptsite. Where will you put it?
The way i see people doing it now is giving the product away for free until enough people depend on it.. then a few years down the line..they slap a price tag on it.. yes,they lose some of the people who were using previously but that's what you gotta do.
I would like to respectfully disagree with you. You don't "gotta" get people hooked and then slap a price on it. When we originally opened up Kayuda
, we had planned it as a subscription service. Then we worked out the projected revenue under an ad model and a subscription model. No matter how ridiculously optimistic we made our assumptions on the subscription side, we still always showed more money from ads than from subscriptions. And not a few pennies more, either...I'm talking an order of magnitude more.
Most sites these days are ad-based because it pays better and costs less to run them that way. It's as simple as that.