Thursday, November 13, 2014

The trick with the freemium model

Fred Wilson wrote a blog post this morning titled, “The First Law of Internet Physics”. There is a strong chance you've already read it anyhow.
If you haven't, it's one of those axiomatic reads that can get your mind fired up.
I love it when I read something that seems to hit on a universal truth and my mental faculties just start racing up.
It’s like revving a fun car.
What I found even more intriguing, however, was a comment on Fred's blog that to a degree mirrored my own thoughts.
It said: “The trick with freemium is knowing how much (or what parts) of your inventory (be it software, music, or media content) to give away for free.”
That stirred my thinking along a certain line.
More specifically I would say it helped me come up with this little construct: the adjudication of what gets included and excluded in a particular freemium offering needs to be made from the point of view of the user who wants the free offering, and in such as way so as to make her happy — elated actually, and certainly not frustrated — all the while finding the right triggers that will make her feel she needs to upgrade to the paid offering without feeling she has been manipulated or coerced. She needs to feel it is in her best interests to get the additional (paid for) experience.
I mean every single word in the underlined text above.
I have enough experience already as a product manager, and as a website user, more importantly, to viscerally know the above to to be true.
I will personally keep this in mind moving forward; and if my little "reflection" here can be of use to someone else, then I’ll consider that to be a boon.

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