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October 23, 2009

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Major mis-conceptions here. #1, that "free" devalues an offering. The value of an offering is the aggregated experiences a customer has with the product of which price is one, very small, aspect. #2, that the "free" option needs to be viable for a large percentage of users. Half the value of "free" is reducing signup friction.

The anti-free argument is so tired. When the cost to deliver something (anything!) is (near-) zero, the cost to the customer *must* trend towards zero. And the difference between $0.00 and $0.01 is *huge*.

Thanks for stopping by. I dont think it is a mis-conception rather my opinion which, Ive admitted, is in a serious minority. I do believe free has to be viable and useful. Opinions, we all got em, eh?

Hey Rick,

Thanks for mentioning us, and thanks for acknowledging my past career!

You're right, we often discuss the feature set that should be available to the "freebie" users. We try to minimize complaints by offering our "Business" accounts free for the first month (without any obligation to continue service). Our paying users are free to cancel at any time without penalty. So, we consider ourselves a hybrid of the freemium/30 models that you mention at the top of your post.

Typo: I think you mean "30 day free trial", not "30 day free trail". :-)

@pwb "The anti-free argument is so tired. When the cost to deliver something (anything!) is (near-) zero, the cost to the customer *must* trend towards zero."

I guess I wasn't lucky enough to find employees working for 0$ salary.

All I can think of is the interesting Trademark war brewing:

From the USPTO -
FRESHBOOKS: ...PROVIDING ON-LINE NON-DOWNLOADABLE SOFTWARE FOR TRACKING TIME, BUDGETING, PREPARING, etc...

BOOKFRESH: ...PROVIDING DEMAND CREATION AND LEAD GENERATION ACTIVITIES AND SERVICES; ONLINE BUSINESS INFORMATION SERVICES, etc...

I wonder what the rationale was to changing the company name from HourTown to the easy-to-confuse BookFresh?

I am not opposed to free (read, I am cheap!), but my motto is that value determines price and therefore I have to wonder if it is free am I getting any value?

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