OT: Why you shouldn't give away your shareware for free

Richard Gaskin ambassador at fourthworld.com
Tue Dec 5 09:32:59 EST 2006

Ian Wood wrote:

> <http://www.thinkmac.co.uk/blog/2006/11/why-you-shouldnt-give-away- 
> your.html>
> Roughly paraphrased as:
> Hey buddy, can we give away 5,000 copies of your app for free?
> What? Why on Earth would I want to create an extra 5,000 potential  
> customer support issues for no money, and piss off all my paying  
> customers?

A good, sane read, Ian.  Thanks for posting that.

On balance, there can be an argument with some products for working with 
magazines like those from Future Publishing to distribute older versions 
of an app you've since added some truly compelling features to.  I've 
had a good response rate working with that company and others like in 
South America and Australasia, offering an old version for free with an 
attractive price to upgrade to the current one.  But the key to that was 
a significant feature gap between the free version and the current 
product, which remains available for purchase only.

Many people still find themselves attracted to novelty notions about 
economics, hoping to discover some magic formula by which the sum of 
everything humanity has collectively learned about business may be 
wrong.  But just as the irrational exuberance of the dot-bomb era 
damaged the US economy with easily-manipulated (and hopefully since 
fired) fund managers listening to the advice of 20-somethings who said 
that profit was an obsolete idea, anyone buying the snake oil of 
"mindshare over money" risks running out of the latter.

  Richard Gaskin
  Fourth World Media Corporation
  Developer of WebMerge: Publish any database on any Web site
  Ambassador at FourthWorld.com       http://www.FourthWorld.com

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