These days I am in Luxembourg and I am working on very interesting projects, a couple for early stage ventures and one for a more established business that has an enormous growth challenge ahead. Yesterday's sessions were great; the discussions dealt with business models and the strategy of having free versions of software products on the market.
All these sessions provided good food for thougt to me; you know how strongly I feel about good work being done on a company's business model and strategy. While doing some personal research I found this interesting post. Here's a quote:
"Give your service away for free, possibly ad supported but maybe not, acquire a lot of customers very efficiently through word of mouth, referral networks, organic search marketing, etc, then offer premium priced value added services or an enhanced version of your service to your customer base."
The author also insists on the necessity to keep all features provided in the initial free version totally free in future version. I am not sure I fully agree with that because in some cases entrepreneurs do not know at first how to differentiate free versions from charged versions (in which case it's better to adjust the offring as things become clearer with the product).