Why Give Your Products Away for Free?



I saw (CEO of Sun Microsystems) spoke at Startup Camp the other day.Jonathan told us this story about meeting of Facebook for lunch.

Their conversation when like this…

Jonathan: What did you choose for database for running Facebook?
Mark: My SQL.
Jonathan: When did you decide that?
Mark: In my dorm room at Harvard…
Jonathan: Why?
Mark: Because I have no money and it was free!

Jonathan’s conclusion was “If we don’t give it away from free, you probably won’t use it.” and you never know who will hit it big one day.

Give it away for free (if you can afford to do so) and let as many people as possible to use it and get used to it.

Who would say no to freeware?

Get them hooked and addicted. Once you in the door, you are in forever.

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3 Responses to “Why Give Your Products Away for Free?”

  1. on 20 May 2008 at 12:27 pm

    I agree entirely - for my lists, I’ve been giving away lots of stuff (content, ebooks, ecourses, etc) for free… people love free stuff, and in my niche of spirituality there’s few things better than helping people.

    That said, I am about to start selling some higher-end ebooks. I believe that the devotion I’ve showed to others will help them realize that if I’m already giving away quality free content… then the stuff I actually sell is going to be above and beyond.

    I think at the heart of it all is the essential marketing principle:

    “Always overdeliver.”

  2. on 20 May 2008 at 3:48 pm

    I like to think of it as exchanging value or in more traditional lexicon, bartering.

    I am finding the “free” stuff lets me pursue my entrepreneurial dream and I in turn help people by sharing my knowledge and experience.

    For example, I have given several presentations on blogging, LinkedIn, Facebook and Self-Branding to those who are at least curious but also aware that there is more to life than toiling in cubicle-nation.

  3. on 21 May 2008 at 10:06 am

    kevin kelleys blog has a few interesting entries on this subject. we ARE moving into the era of the ‘free’.

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