I’ve had several people suggest that I (eventually) apply a freemium payment model to Shmeppy: where there’s a base product that’s free, and paid plans expand on that product.
I’m almost certainly not going to do this. I want there to be one single plan for Shmeppy. Right now that plan is free. Eventually it will cost some amount of money per month.
If Shmeppy had a freemium model, there’d need to be some portion of the product that was freely available, and some additional portion that could be used for a price.
I’ve focused on making Shmeppy’s core experience as focused as I can, so there’s not much cruft. I can’t think of any part of the current version that I can cordial off as “the paid part”.
So if I were to adopt a freemium model, I’d have to create something new to be the paid portion of the product. In other words, I’d be incentivized (or basically forced) to add cruft to the product.
Shmeppy’s wet-erase functionality is what’s good and unique about it. Chat, teleconferencing, note taking, or whatever else are better handled by other products that focus exclusively on those things.
Like do you think I could make a better chat implementation than Discord? I sure don’t think so.
Ever used Roll20? I’m guessing you noticed that ad reel that appears for 10 seconds or so when you join a game. If you have ad block enabled, they’ll still show the reel, but it’ll just advertise Roll20 Plus.
Roll20 is heavily incentivized to make the free experience shittier than the paid experience, and shoving ads in your face is one of the few ways they’ve found to do it. They are literally incentivized to annoy their users. I don’t think anyone blames them for it, they need to make money and this is how you do it within the freemium model.
I don’t like this incentive structure at all. I want to always be on the side of my users, and I think the payment model I’ve described is a good way to do that. It will definitely mean less users, and maybe even less profits (though I’m doubtful about that), but I think it’s worth it.
There’s even more reasons I can share for why I don’t want to adopt a freemium model. I think it’d be a fatal move for Shmeppy. But hopefully this gives ya’ll at least some insight into my decision-making.
Comments definitely welcome .