think addiction - kee's opinion

kee nethery kee at
Sun Dec 19 15:32:38 EST 2004

On Dec 19, 2004, at 7:08 AM, John Rule wrote:

>> 3. For your try-before-you-buy software, think addiction.
> Sort of like a drug dealer...
> Can we expect these same 'models' are going to be applied to your 
> service?
> Let us 'try it' (or you give it away for free), and we will pay for it 
> if we
> 'feel' like it.

When people sign up for the Kagi service, a human at Kagi spends time 
reviewing their application and then we assist them in getting 
everything set up so that they can begin to attempt to sell their 
products. Plenty of other online stores like Kagi charge an initial 
setup fee because that setup process costs real money in the form of 
manhours. So yes, the same model is applied to our store. We give away 
the cost of reviewing new suppliers and getting them set up in the 
hopes that they will sell through us, and we will eventually earn money 
from the relationship. So yes, we do give a portion away for free, same 
as what I recommend for folks starting a software business.

> I find it amazing that there are so many proponents of 'freeware', but 
> they
> are diligent in charging for their own services.

I'm not a proponent of freeware. I'm a proponent of trading what you 
have for what you need. When a software developer wants to build a 
software business, they have ideas, time, and programming expertise. 
They do not have marketshare or customers or an income stream. I am a 
proponent of trading ideas, time, and programming expertise for 
marketshare and then when the marketshare is high, converting that into 
customers and income stream. It's a marketing strategy that works quite 
well for people who do not have the funds that it takes to go the 
traditional route of getting products into shrinkwrap on store shelves, 
nor the funds to run massive advertising campaigns.

> Programming is a service that needs to be paid for.

I totally agree that programming as a service needs to be paid for. We 
hire programmers and we pay for their services.

A software business is a different animal. I do not believe that it 
makes sense to complain when people do not pay for a product that they 
did not ask someone to build. A product is not a service, it is a 
product, and there is nothing that says that all products that are 
created must be paid for.

Programmers that trade what they have for what they need can over time 
build a successful software business. I've seen many examples where 
this is true.

My most important piece of advice I give to people who want to start a 
software business is "Don't quit the day job". Building a successful 
software business can take years of effort, some of which is 
programming, most of it is in taking the time to learn how best to 
build marketshare. Most people who quit a job to start a software 
business are doomed to run out of funds before they make enough 
mistakes to learn what they need to learn to be a success.

Regardless whether someone on this list uses Kagi or not, I'd be happy 
to spend some time engaging in a conversation with them about their 
software business. I don't know anything about programming businesses, 
but I do have some experience with software businesses.

Kee Nethery

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