I tend to be pretty damning of start-ups with no real monetisation strategy who give their products away for free with the vague notion of value at some later stage. It’s so painfully hard to change a model post release – try charging punters for something that they’ve grown accustomed to getting for free.
That’s why it was interesting when Jason told me that Jott, the company offering Reminders 2.0, has moved out of its free pre beta stage and is now following a freemium strategy – charging users that need to use the offering often.
I like freemium as a concept – but worry about a service that goes from free to freemium – I guess at the end of the day it depends on how many of those pre-beta users will need to step up and start paying. If the majority of existing users remain on the free offering, but they are the seed customers that bring others in for the paid version then the strategy has legs. If however the plan is to convert existing free users to paid – it’s a difficult road to travel.
Time will tell how Jott manages with its change.
Update – I’m told that existing beta-testers will remain on the free service – nice one Jott!