I think the true test of many of the Web2.0 offerings out there is whether or not somebody would pay up a little cash for a service that is or was free.

For some I use I would say no, others maybe, Jott – I just did. Jott came out of beta recently with a host of new features – including two pay options. I use and love the tool so much I’m now willing to pay for. That’s a pretty big compliment because once something is free, it’s tough to move to a paid model.

My favorite new feature is a software called Jott Express that has become my daily to-do list manager. It sits on my desktop and syncs with Jott messages I give it for projects.

Here’s an overview I Jott I posted on the Digital Nomads site

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John Jantsch

John Jantsch is a marketing consultant, speaker and author of Duct Tape Marketing, Duct Tape Selling, The Commitment Engine and The Referral Engine and the founder of the Duct Tape Marketing Consultant Network.
  • I agree with the general point as to the ‘true test’ of an offering.

    Clearly not everything can be advertising supported – which ultimately means they’ll have to sell something. The idea of creating an audience (or user base) and then finding a way to monetise it is false luxury that most small business owners would do well to avoid. Even some of the biggest players have trouble turning eyeballs into cash.

    That’s not to say you need to charge from ‘day one’ but without a clear idea of how, when and from whom you’ll generate revenues you’ll be hard pressed to create a real business before the funding coffers run dry. Which is why I feel many of the VC funded businesses we see profiled are poor examples for most small business owners and entrepreneurs.

    Having seen and worked with a lot of startups, the best advice I ever heard was actually a question, “But who’s going to buy it?”

  • Unfortunately with a lot of software for which the “tutorial” option is available, the purveyors of the app leave you feeling that there is sooo very much you can gain from paying for the complete package by leaving tabs with tempting titles visible but untouchable… It’s frustrating as sin when you then pay for the device and find that none of the extra option are actually all that exciting!! It completely puts me off paying for software at all, whether or not there’s a free tutorial..
    My philosophy is, if there is someone in today’s web 2.0 world that has something they can give to me for a price, there will be someone else willing to offer it free of charge!

  • In response to the “if there is someone in today’s web 2.0 world that has something they can give to me for a price, there will be someone else willing to offer it free of charge!” — I completely agree. But if I find myself using a free service or program on a daily basis I am at least willing to donate something to their cause. If it is useful enough to me, then the creators probably put a lot of time and thought into it.

    I really like Peter Shankman’s approach:
    “So a few things about this list: First off, yes, it’s free. It takes me a few minutes each day to do this, and the good Karma is immeasurable. So I’m not charging. If you really feel like sending me a donation or something, why not just send a few bucks to an animal hospital or animal rescue society somewhere. Some good places are Best Friends Animal Sanctuary, or The National Search Dog Foundation. That’ll keep the good Karma flowing.”

    Now there is a service(and a philosophy) I would like to contribute to.