Tag: innovation

Consumer software licensing innovation please

All around us the mechanisms for delivering applications are evolving and innovating. The web has created an infinite number of ways to do things. With all the change in the consumer application space there still seems to be a mind set that consumers should pay for the value of software up front (for local applications). So here are my suggestions for new licencing approaches:

  • Free for N number of days, after N days the customer pays what they think the software is worth to them.
  • Modest initial fee ($25 to $50) and then a small subscription fee for a fixed period of time.
  • Modest initial fee ($25 to $50) and then micro payments only when the software is used with the total payment capped.

Large upfront fees create economic barriers and perpetuate the digital divide. Companies that are willing to align their revenue streams with the rate at which their customers realize value will be more sustainable and profitable. The alignment of cost and value also provides greater motivation for companies to continuously innovate their products and focus on their customers needs.

Simple shifts

As the understanding of the web matures, new unique perspectives of the web are going drive innovation. In the beginning having the web was the driving force of innovation (The Bubble was a side effect), and by all measures that type of innovation is still going on today. Now after more than a decade of the web we are seeing innovation based on using the web in an unique and innovative ways.

Companies like SalesForce.com (CRM, business applications), Google (mail, chat, calendar, marketing and search) are delivering services via the web that were previous costly and difficult to manage. Companies like 37signals (Basecamp for Project management) and Zimbra are simplifying and bringing together information and applications in meaningful ways. More and more simple shifts in thinking about how the web can be used or generally how the network can be used are having profound effects on technology and the community of companies and people on and off the network.