On Wednesday, September 17, 2014 10:05:36 AM UTC+1, Daniel Vainsencher
I think that one blindspot that QSers might suffer from is that for most
people, just one system is plenty complicated enough. There isn't room
in my life for beeminder and for iDoneThis etc.
I don't think the conceptual confusion that exists is a good reason to get
shot of a valuable feature. Simply rename the premium version, as
suggested, to something like "totally pledge-free goals". It's (quite
reasonably) premium only, so it's not like the population who might get
confused by this is very large.
On this topic, I've been thinking fairly hard about the post made a few
weeks ago which linked to
exactly the best way of seeing the premium plans is.
The QS/free goals thing is essentially the only reason I have a premium
sub. This seems to be quite a fundamental point: your business model is not
dependent on subscription income, and (except for this case, where an
obvious benefit undercuts your business model) it's not clear that they
offer many benefits beyond warm fuzzies of financially supporting a good
The second point is that your business is not like those discussed on the
Kalzumeus posts: you don't sell premium subscriptions to corporates for
whom whatever subscription level is trivial and the glossy presentation is
all. You sell to individuals, for whom the "feel" of the service is
actually central to the basic offer and absolutely key to whatever added
value is offered by the premium sub. By making small chisels away at that
feel, whether it be by establishing a separate class of grandfathered
service or by making things "premium" which are actually helpful for the
delivery of the basic Beeminder service (which, let's not forget, comes
with its own revenue stream) then my feeling is that you're slightly
cannibalising your brand reputation.
In short, it seems to me that your approach should be closer to the Tarsnap
example that is derided (extraordinarily honest and straightforward, and
very much a person-to-person service) simply because your competitive
advantage rests on either your model not being copied (seems unlikely) or
on relatively geeky individuals (not large bureaucracies) deciding that
you're absolutely the swell kind of people that they want to send cash to
on a regular basis to keep themselves honest. The premium subs (however
happy I am with them) are a bit of a sideshow.
I don't for a moment think this is the only perspective on value, and
you'll have spend orders-of-magnitude more time thinking about this than I
have, but it seemed important. Feel free to treat it as the unsolicited
advice it is!
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