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what’s wrong with free services March 15, 2006

Posted by Timothy Li in wood.

I remember studying about Norway from a Lonely Planet travel book. A passage caught my eyes, it goes something like this:

"what is free here? – nothing, you want to take a walk in the park? it might not be free here"

I entered the web 2.0 industry two months ago. If I have learnt anything at all, Beattie articulates it here with vulgar diction. The important point goes like this:
"if at the end of the day your users didn’t put money into your bank account, it’s a useless waste of time for everyone involved"

You may ask, howabout users? don't you benefit from these free services?

indeed, why pay for things when they are free?

I think there are at least two reasons – service and trust.

  • Which service will be around for longer? A charged service or a free service?
  • When a company runs into financial difficulties, which service would they abandon first?
  • Which service can you trust for better customer service?
  • If a home security program comes free, would you rely on it?

take this peace of mind and weight it against the amount of money you are willing to pay. $5 a month? maybe even less?

I will do my part to encourage web based companies with a visible business model. I plan to start by:

  • moving to a professional email account – can't do business with the gmail account – 1$ a month
  • moving to a paid blogging host – for less server down time – 5$ a month

[edit: blew a fuse here, will take a sometime before changing to a paid blog host] 

Check out the prices if you don't believe me. and please let me know your thoughts on this one.



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