make it free or fail (a real world test- week 1)

January 19, 2011

I recently blogged about my opinions regarding free software vs paid software in a post titled ‘make it free or fail‘. To summarize it, I basically disagree with the common idea that the only way to succeed in the software industry is through releasing free software, utilizing the ‘we’ll get 1 million users first, and then hopefully 1% of them will pay’ philosophy. I received a huge amount of feedback on the post, it generated almost 15,000 pageviews in just over two weeks. Even MIT wrote an article debating my post.

Instead of simply reading your opinions and doing nothing about it, I figured I might as well test it properly in a real-world scenario, using one of my own projects. I will releasing TapType very soon, it’s basically a virtual keyboard for Windows which will hopefully make Windows tablets actually usable. It’s kind of like an iPad keyboard for Windows. It will basically be the test dummy for this concept, I’ll be testing a number of the theories on the product – and we’ll see what happens!

I’ll be writing frequent updates on the project via this blog, outlining the (exciting) results. Feel free to offer your ninja suggestions to me via my Twitter account, if they sound good I might put them into action on the product!

The project will be beginning in less than a week, when TapType will be launched! Follow me on Twitter for updates, or follow TapType on Twitter here. You can also subscribe to this blog here.

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2 Responses to “make it free or fail (a real world test- week 1)”

  1. Peter said

    Would you buy a car that you never drove? Paying for software is mandatory – but the user wants to try the software before buying it.

  2. Hi Peter,

    Comparing the purchase of a car to that of software is impossible however: the vastly different price points means that there is a huge psychological gap as a result of the monumental price difference. Customers are much more willing to take the risk purchasing a $20 piece of software with just a demo video, than a $100,000 car.

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