The problem with web services being free.
Something I’ve been thinking about quite a bit lately… The problem with web services being free. Seems every service on the internet is free, right? Blogging services, facebook, google, email services, even the blogs themselves, etc, etc, etc, etc. I started thinking about it more after just recently switching my personal email to be hosted using Google Apps, and hosting my personal site using Tumblr…both services free. So for $8.95 a year, GoDaddy fee, I have the pretty much the best email solution possible and a fantastic blogging platform - both with rock solid performance and uptime. Minus the GoDaddy fee…I have everything for free. In fact, I left a previous host and I’m actually saving money and getting better service. I’m starting to feel like this isn’t a good thing. In fact, apparently neither is Google, they have been lowering the number of free accounts you can have on your Google Apps service - its down to 50 form 200. And after that its $50 a year I believe. The web has long been about ‘getting eye-balls’ and then figuring out how to monetizing them. This has all been funded by massive venture cap that have made their money selling their hit products to some other, often established, company who thinks they’ll be able to monetize those zillions of ‘eye-balls’...see News Corp + MySpace. But at the end of the day, it always seems to come down advertising real physical things, that can be monetized the old fashioned way…by selling them. It’s like the internet has been subsidized by venture cap for so long that the idea of creating something for the web that makes money because it offers a valuable service…doesn’t even occur to ‘entrepreneurs’ anymore. Kind of scary, you know? There is that classic saying that if you give something to someone for free they’ll never value it. And from that, people won’t really evangelize the product because they don’t really value it. Right? What if Google Apps wasn’t free? What if facebook was $1 a month? What if twitter was $5 a year? What if really great blogs weren’t free? I just wonder how much different things would be if there were 1,000s and 1,000s of great little internet business humming along that made money…without advertising. You know, like the real world. I guess this post was just me thinking out loud. There are companies, new and old on the web that charge…just not as many as it seems there should be, and not enough small ones in particular. ***Did this post suck? Was it too boring/long? Stating the obvious too much? Should I not think out loud on here anymore? Ha.