Why PPV is a bad idea to begin with (was RE: [theforum] movementfor redesign)

Jeff Howden jeff at jeffhowden.com
Tue Aug 12 21:43:31 CDT 2003


> From: John Handelaar
> [splat]
> I'll agree to this at the point someone gives me an
> example, anywhere at all, of a site which *started out*
> charging for access rather than introducing it later
> and actually made more than a buck and a half.
> </blue_in_face_from_selfrepetition_over_12_months>
> This is NOT how you make revenue on a noncritical web
> venture (where 'critical', by contrast, is i-can't-do-
> my-job-without-it).

at work we started a free service to test the waters and get a feel for
interest level.  then, we implemented a paid service with additional
benefits.  we just recently turned off the free portion of it.  yeah, we get
people calling to complain about that all the time.  you know what though?
we convert a fair number of the ones that complained and our average number
of new signups for the paid service (that weren't previously free users that
are now locked out) continues to climb.

i'm not saying this will work for us, but i'm saying that the idea of a free
service going to paid only (over time) is not automatically doomed to

i'll agree with you that i don't like the idea of the paid service, mainly
because i think it'll cost us more (man hours, bickering, loss of
friendships, oh, and financially) than we'll ever make.  i don't think it'll
be sustainable and i don't think it'll cover the costs of evolt.org.  i'd
dearly love to see a "business plan" that shows not only research in this
arena, but the usual things like time to market, viability, user profiling
(more defined than just saying "web developer" because i personally think
it's more specific than that and we'll only be successful with it if we can
niche market it more than that), and our value proposition.  yeah, these are
all "evil buzzwords", but they need to be discussed.


Jeff Howden - Web Application Specialist
Résumé - http://jeffhowden.com/about/resume/
Code Library - http://evolt.jeffhowden.com/jeff/code/

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