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Case Studies in Freemium: Pandora, Dropbox, Evernote, Automattic

Case Studies in Freemium: Pandora, Dropbox, Evernote, Automattic
Don’t spend money on marketing, do offer flexibility and data exporting to eliminate buyers’ regret, make sure to capitalize on and value goodwill, and only charge for things that are hard to do. That’s what some startups say is the key to success in the freemium business. But the biggest reason the five presenters this morning at the Freemium Summit in San Francisco — Pandora, Dropbox, Evernote, Automattic (see disclosure at the bottom) and MailChimp — are doing well is because they have great products that people want. They’ve been able to get those products to a broad audience by using the freemium model — that is, offering a free service with the option to upgrade. It’s an increasingly important business model, but one that’s hard to navigate, so their anecdotes, open sharing of data, and lessons learned were really valuable. Pandora CTO Tom Conrad That November, Pandora switched on an “ad-supported” option. Dropbox CEO Drew Houston Evernote CEO Phil Libin

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Freemium is better than Free « Alexander van Elsas’s Weblog on n A few interesting posts drew my attention this morning. First there was Dave Winer who predicts that on-line advertisement will be dead. Not because it will completely disappear, or that it’s growth will slow down considerable. "Freemium's" broken promises - Stephen Baker - The Numerati "Freemium," I'm learning, is not to be trusted. For those who haven't read Chris Anderson's book, Free, or been briefed on thousands of Internet business plans over the past five years, Freemium involves luring masses of users to free services, and then enticing them to pay for "premium" services. Google docs, Flickr, Skype, Ning, they all run on Freemium--or used to.

The Asymptotic Twitter Curve « What our readers want you to read! | Main | Rhythm method 2 » The Asymptotic Twitter Curve We've all been at the brain bandwidth breaking point for the last five years. Email is out of control. IM'ing sucks up half the day. Instapaper Releases A Full API — With A Brilliant, Unique Twi$t I love Instapaper. Blah blah blah — you all know that by now. But today developer Marco Arment has released something significant that could alter the way the service is used: a full API. And perhaps even more interesting is how he’s released it. The Complete Guide To Freemium Business Models Editor’s note: This guest post was written by Uzi Shmilovici, CEO and founder of Future Simple, which creates online software for small businesses. The post is based on a study done with Professor Eric Budish, an economics professor at the University of Chicago Booth School of Business. It also includes ideas and comments from Peter Levine, a Venture Partner at Andreessen-Horowitz and a professor at Stanford GSB The idea of offering your product or a version of it for free has been a source of much debate. Pricing is always tricky.

Top 10 Social Networks for Entrepreneurs Dan Schawbel is the author of Me 2.0: Build a Powerful Brand to Achieve Career Success (Kaplan, April 09), and owner of the award winning Personal Branding Blog. Looking for a job? Consider creating your own. There are a number of social resources to help you connect with other entrepreneurs and get your business ideas off the ground. Former Myspacers Build Link Curator ‘Tagging Robot’ Former VP of Product at Myspace Todd Leeloy and Myspace Product Manager Joe Munoz have launched a semantic tagging network and link curation service today called Tagging Robot. Tagging Robot currently crawls your Facebook newsfeed and separates your links based on topics, as well as giving you relevant topics data for each link. Tagging Robot uses NLP and Machine Learning to build users a topic-centered profile, and uses your Facebook Interests and Social Graph to populate the page. What you immediately see on your profile is a list of recommended links (based on followed topics), a list of all links shared recently by your network and your favorites (which you track by clicking the <3 symbol next to each link). In addition to pulling from your Facebook Interests, you can follow topics on Tagging Robot by clicking on the “plus” or “minus” sign next to the link topic. You can sign up for the beta here.

Full API now available Full API now available The full Instapaper API is now available for developers. See the Full API documentation to get started. I’ve made an unusual decision for it that I’d like to explain. I was reluctant to make a full API before now for a few reasons: Mobile Messaging March Madness Editor’s note: Guest author Semil Shah is an entrepreneur interested in digital media, consumer Internet, and social networks. He is based in Palo Alto and you can follow him on twitter @semilshah. On Thursday, I used Yobongo all day, which helped me find a new lunch spot, run into an old friend, and meet a Yobongo co-founder. That afternoon, I thought it would be a good time to write about the new group and mobile messaging wars for TechCrunch. Bring Interactive Linking To Your Wordpress Blog With Apture A lot of blogs lack all of the information you’re looking for. It’s not their fault, it’s just that sites like Wikipedia and YouTube are much more informative. Well, that’s all about to change with an interactive blog linking tool called Apture.

I Won’t Use Flickr Until They Release My Photo Hostages Freemium business models are always hard. You have to give users enough for free that they try your service out and get hooked. Then you hit them with fees for upgraded features that make it even better. With a perfect product people don’t mind paying because they feel like it’s good value. Flickr is a freemium service. But they have more of a hostage taking business model. How Amazon Controls Ecommerce (Slides) When you think about ecommerce, you think about Amazon. But how did a company that started with online books come to dominate an estimated one third of ecommerce in the U.S.? In the 72 slides above, global consulting boutique faberNovel breaks down Amazon’s business and strategy. The keys to Amazon’s success are 1) the Internet imposes no limits on how much Amazon can sell; 2) its control of customer accounts and loyalty, and 3) and a growing ecosystem that is helping it cement its place in the world of digital goods as well. It’s instructive to see how Amazon has expanded over the years and moved away from its reliance on books, music, and movies. You also forget that along the way, Amazon piled up $3 billion in losses between 1995 and 2003.

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