Feb 21, 2008

VectorMagic.com - Using Free as a Business Tool

I blogged about a free online vectorizing tool made by Stanford couple weeks ago.
It is no longer free.

My point for posting, is in wondering...

Did they purposely set out to promote a free vectorizing tool, in order to gain internet popularity, to change it into a profit generating tool later on?

It was easily one of Digg's top vote attainers.
Millions of people are aware of its existence now.
Moveover, millions have ALREADY accustomed themselves to using the product, while it was offered free.

Is that great?

It must have cost them a significant investment for development, servers, etc.

I find it interesting, however, that offering products/services for free, is a successful method of garnering the internet audience for the sole purpose of extracting revenue from them in the future. It's not an new model, its been around for years, free coke with purchase, free installation with signup, etc.

This is no different than receiving trial software on your PC when you first purchase it. Except, instead of having to pay someone to install the trial software, they let the potential customers come to them with the use of word of internetz, which I find to be phenomenal.

The internet is seemingly a vastly larger and simpler audience to get than offline if you have something valuable to offer the market.

I cant seem to let go of this concept, and hope one day in the future come up with my simple idea to harness the vast internet audience to sell a product and essentially be able to rest without worrying about my retirement, health insurance, etc.

I keep thinking what can I offer for free.

I can offer art, but the problem with that is, once its obtained, what purpose would they have to come back to the site.

A program has infinite use.

Although I shouldnt be so quick to disregard creating free art. There are millions of people in the world. If a million people came to a site I build to obtain free art, a small percentage of them would be potential customers of whatever product I would have on the site.

We'll see.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

what I hate most is the fact that they could only develop their software to be so good because of the data they gathered from all the people using the free service. And "we have to pay for the server and traffic" is not a good argument... with prices per download THAT high they can buy a nice car and a big house in a few weeks for everyone onvolved... (if people really keep on using the service) In just a few months they had more than a million vectorizations!