The canny dope dealers who invented Freemium!

By November 28, 2016 No Comments

I’m convinced that the “freemium” concept was first invented by canny drug dealers who started giving teenagers their first few hits for free, knowing that a certain percentage would return and be willing to pay for bigger and better highs (yeah I used to skiped lectures so I could learn from The Wire). But then again the strategy has probably been shaking up markets for much longer than that. Finally we have the word for it it that gives it a buzz.

What is Freemium Software?

In the digital world it is a pricing strategy where you, the user, are offered a limited version of the app or product for free. The plan is to get a certain percentage hooked, and when the user needs more or wants all the bells & whistles they will start to pay for the premium version. It’s a percentage game.

Some crackerjack examples:

Many of you will have spotted I am sending this mail to you via Mailchimp, a great freemium example. At the moment I use it completely for free, an excellent product and it perfectly does what I need it to do.

For those of you on the list who have recently received an invoice from me, you will see that I use a web app called Zoho, an absolute beast of a tool. It can take care of all of my accounting needs, record my timesheets and it gives me these beautiful dashboards to display all activity over any given period of time.

Other well-known examples of the Freemium model:
Dropbox, LinkedIn, Hootsuite.

Playing the % game and playing it well.

Skype is probably the most classic example of all. Apparently they have only ever managed to get 12% of their users to pay for a call. Their estimated revenue? A mere $2 billion per annum, now you can start to see why Microsoft, despite complaints, have it pre-installed on every Windows 10.

Trolls of the internet and what can be done?

I saw a headline the other day about Prince Harry being upset that his new girlfriend is getting abuse online. Much like the royal family, unfortunately internet trolls don’t seem to be going anywhere soon.

So what should be done? Clearly engaging in rational or sensible discussion does not seem work. The best solution that I can see is to ignore the haters and at least you deny them the pleasure of a response. However there is one A-lister who knows how to beat the trolls.

A hero in the naughties, a living legend today.

With songs like “Goodbye My Lover” and “You’re Beautiful” I am of course referring to James Blunt (I just call him Blunty). He does not take himself nor anyone else too seriously when he gets stuck into the twitter machine:

If you have never used twitter it kinda works backwards. read the last bit first and the first bit last.

There are hundreds of sites with plenty more of where they came from. But be warned, much like twitter, don’t be going there if you plan to get any work done this afternoon or if you are offended by colourful language.

One final thing.

Both Zoho and Mailchimp are free as long as you stay under a certain number of contacts. I’m pretty keen to start paying for mailchimp.

Well reader, your task is easy, just send on this link to anyone you think that would benefit from a freindly newsletter like this. We can chat about the zoho thing at a more appropriate time.

Keep it digital,

p.s. I have actually jumped on the “freemium” bandwagon myself. I’m always available to meet for a coffee, you can ask me anything you want, I’ll show you a digital utopia like you had never even thought possible! And the first 12 minutes are absolutely free.


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