When I told people that I would be pausing the alpha, @cam replied saying that he’d be happy to pay monthly for the service. This got me thinking: Should TaskRatchet be a subscription service?
Consistent income is good for the business’ sustainability, of course, and would make it easier for me to put more of my time towards the project sooner. But what I’m more interested in is the idea that charging a monthly subscription might help to ensure people continue to use the service over time.
Beeminder’s feature set inherently encourages people to continue using the service—you commit once by creating a goal, and then, by default, it continues to keep you accountable until you deactivate it or manage to trigger the kill switch.
TaskRatchet, on the other hand, requires the user to continue committing every day, preferably multiple times a day. It feels like it would be very easy for people to just stop adding tasks. (The Beeminder equivalent is a do-less goal without presumptive pessimistic data, where the risk is the user is in danger of avoiding inputting data.)
The main downside to a subscription model, of course, is that it may prevent people from trying out the service who might otherwise become loyal users. A trial period could help with that, but I’m sure some people would be scared away even still.
Also, I know @dreev has mentioned previously how, if he started Beeminder from scratch again, he might forego the subscription part of the business, as it’s added a lot of development and support costs, so it may have been better to just double-down on their primary business model. I feel like a single-tier subscription with no feature gating would have a lot fewer of those issues, though.
What do you think? Would you pay monthly for a service like TaskRatchet? Does this just feel greedy, or like something that would, in the end, make the service more valuable to you?
Looking forward to hearing your thoughts.