With JS Bin, everything users need is given away and open source. That's honourable, but doesn't pay the mortgage.
He has come up with a very jaded either/or point of view. You can visit Patreon and find sites being supported by user "donations". There are sites making money on ads. There are sites making money on product sales. There are sites supporting staff from a combination of the above.
It is naïve to think "If you build it, they will throw money at it," but that doesn't mean you can either cut your own throat by giving it away for free until you feel like a chump or you can hold everything hostage until people pony up.
It's fine if you have a service that works well with a pay per use or subscription model of some sort, but lots of services are not monetizable that way. Television, print magazines, newspapers and on and on have to find ways to pay the bills using a combination of charging the end user and selling advertising and possibly other things I am not thinking of. As far as I can tell, it would not work to only charge the end user for quite a lot of things we use regularly.
The world would be a poorer place if the only services that lived were ones that charged the end user. There are some services that are just not conducive to that model.
I hope he revisits the question of how to monetize JS Bin. Do some brainstorming. Do some research. Try to figure out a monetization scheme that is a good fit for the specific service in question.
I think the best salve for this wound would be a monetization scheme that works. There are enough embittered, jaded people in the world already. We need to find more ways for people to follow their bliss and also pay their bills.
I see side projects also get bushwacked by this mental shift.
But if I'm being paid for something, I feel the obligation to deliver what I've promised, and I feel bad if I fall short. I do struggle sometimes with valuing my time "correctly", but overall I think I've experienced less stress building software for a paycheck vs. dealing with the (minority of) ungrateful leeches in the open source community.
Having done some voluntary work long time ago - I would say providing value to a community in any context seldom pays in direct gratitude.
In direct communication, complaints are always more likely than compliments. The value must come from somewhere else than direct feedback from beneficiaries, like observing the thing you just pulled off being enjoyed by a lot of people and being pleased of it. The corollary to this is that it's much more enjoyable to work for free in a friendly group than alone because then the company and support of peers can be an equivalent source of joy.
I suppose a lone free software project lacks these both, unless one can visualize the value by looking at the number of downloads...
It's super cheap and has saved us tons of money and headaches!
Not only that, but processors routinely penalize merchants who fail to screen fraudulent transactions sufficiently with fines and eventually banishment from the processor.
A few processors might provide something like this as a paid value-added service, but it's unusual. The next-gen all-in-one card processors would make a lot of money if they offered this.
But if you think about the case he describes in the article, there is very little distinguishing a fraudulent purchase to test the validity of a credit card vs a legitimate one, unless they are completely careless and initiate multiple transactions from a russian IP, in the middle of the night.
The biggest problem is the very expensive chargeback fee from Stripe. It looks like he could avoid some of them by, for example, reporting accounts that had no activity as fraudulent and refunding the purchase before being hit with a chargeback claim, but I don't see how putting such a burden on businesses makes sense to begin with. A fee that grows in proportion to the % of chargebacks the company generates would be more fair.
1) The implementations by Visa and MasterCard have security weaknesses, terrible usability and look like phishing: http://www.cl.cam.ac.uk/~rja14/Papers/fc10vbvsecurecode.pdf
2) My understanding is that my bank shifts liability to me for 3D Secure transactions. Why would I want extra liability?
Good lord! Reading through this document is like reading a primer in how not to make a secure form.
Fortunately here in the USA I haven't been asked for my credentials in at least 10 years. So it seems to have died the death it so richly deserved.
Do people encounter this on a daily basis?
There could be, say, an HTML5-exposed API capable of triggering "super-modal" forms (like OS UAC does) if-and-only-if the page is being served from a secure origin cross-signed by some "Web Banking Working Group Certificate Authority" that all the banks and OS makers are members of.
Unfortunately the banks have less motivation to invest in this as long as the costs of fraud are pushed onto merchants and all of the major players charge similar fees. If something like Apple Pay starts to catch on, perhaps we'll see that change once the banks’ main concern is avoiding a single vendor getting too much market share.
Another one uses a smartphone 2FA app.
For every transaction the customer must enter the OTP.
It wouldn't serve much for subscriptions, though.
(The redirect sometimes happens, but it's automatically approved.)
It sends a text to my mobile for me to plug into the form to approve the txn -- thus, not like phishing in this case. But for a while this was a real nightmare because my mobile number changed, and I couldn't figure out how to convince my bank to store the new number (it turned out after many months and phone calls I was sending the requisite paper form to the wrong address for my type of account...).
with full 3d secure payments the liability shifts to the customer and you will have no liability. because the customer verified the payment him/herself by hand with the otp.
p.s. i am yet to read that link.
As I mentioned in another reply, "Verified by Visa" is a stupid joke. Which, fortunately, I don't think I've seen anymore in at least 10 years. The paper linked in the other reply to you provides more details of how stupid this thing is.
IIRC basically the first time you encounter it you get a popup asking you to create an account. Yeah, right, I'm on some random website and I'll just start entering all sorts of security information into a popup. NOT! I did some checking when I first encountered it, and decided it was legit. But 99% of people won't. They'll just say "fuck this, I don't need this shit". They will then go elsewhere.
I encountered it a few more times after I first signed up. And it would have maybe a 50% success rate of actually "verifying" my transaction. I'd enter the information and nothing would happen.
It's the antithesis of the friction-free way that Amazon does business. I probably use Amazon once every few years but they still have all my info saved. I don't have to enter an address, I don't have to enter a CCV, I don't have to enter a credit card number. It only takes a few mouse clicks to complete an order on Amazon.
So, which payment method would the average person prefer?
Edit: look at what Wikipedia has to say, it generally makes the same points as the paper. Why would anyone voluntarily want to use this?
So not a full list of factors, but some of them...
Not sure if it's standard practice, but in our case we let the users use the "free tier" service first, and we offer the paid plans only once we can validate they have a genuine interest in the product . It works well for us to avoid these cases.
This should suffice. I don't think they'll wait 2 weeks for the charge to go through.
You can automate the process of disabling charges to if nothing happens. Say 2 days before the charge is about to happen, you do an automated audit of the account and if there hasn't been any activity, fire off an email stating that their trial is about to expire and they're about to get charged and you noticed they hadn't used the service yet. If still no activity when you're about to charge, then cancel charge and disable account and chalk it up as avoiding a chargeback. Make sure to email the user saying that you disabled the pro features and voided the charge as to not automatically charge them for something they're not using.
It's a win/win situation. If the customer was legit, you just saved them on paying for something they didn't plan on using, and they may actually re-enable it and start using the account because they see you actually care about them as a customer and aren't just hoping they forget about such a small charge and it goes on for years before they audit their card charges and cancel any small things.
If it's a user who was just testing stolen cards, well 2 weeks is a long time to gamble on if it's valid or not, so they move on.
It's one of the most ridiculous regulations there could be. As a small business founder you are not really in position to do the accounting for it properly and most accountants here have very little idea how to prepare all the documents either. You are required to keep 2 pieces of evidence of customer's location (IP, address etc.) which you often just don't have access to in the first place (if you payment gateway provider doesn't make this information available to you).
So not only you need to find someone who knows what to do (already very hard), pay them significantly more than you would for normal accounting (big burden for small business owners and especially people who start), keep accounting information you often don't have access to, then prepare this accounting information as well (which means you spend resources for writing the scripts yourself as most tools accountants use don't track needed info).
Additionally to all of this there is no more VAT free quota for people who just start (usually there is for business who don't qualify for VATMOSS, size of the quota depends on the country).
When I've learnt about it (I started my business in 2015, the regulations started to be law Jan 1th 2015) I was really depressed about the whole thing. I was spending my days reading some contrived law and various interpretations of it instead of doing the actual programming. Nobody had answers for me (I've got different opinions from 2 tax advisors, different one from our tax office and yet different one from national tax information line) and I was just close to giving up altogether (I didn't expect my project getting as much traffic as it did and I wasn't really in position to spend significant resources for accounting when I didn't even know I would make enough to cover it).
It's a hostile piece of regulation which very severely disincentivize you from starting a business or paying your taxes properly. It only shows how out of touch EU bureaucrats are. I guess they think typical business is like Google or Amazon or something.
Exactly. Many in the EU imagine that "business owner" is a synonym for "evil capitalist plutocrat." For them, if you are not someone's employee, you are by definition rich. Questions of scale are ignored.
I see that, because at least in Germany (where it is very chic in the political class to talk how to aid smaller businesses and startups ...!) the tax rules are in favor of the big corporations (they have been changed in the last decades, so the corporations got better and better conditions) ... but of course this relieves for the big ones must be compensated somehow -- so the smaller companies have to pay even more taxes.
The current VATMOSS legislation is also a good example: It was announced to be a means to counter the fact that bigger corporations like Amazon avoid VAT by having subsidiaries in Luxembourg. But the biggest problems with the new rulings have now the smaller companies, that never had the chance to open subsidiaries in Luxembourg. For Amazon it is a small drawback and they may have to raise some prices -- but the troubles of other companies are tremendous.
So: The politicians are talking much about smaller companies -- but are only thinking about the bigger ones. And in Germany, many laws are even written by people from the bigger corporations.
One tried to start some kind of innovative form of pharmacy (the details weren't clear to me), but found himself unable to join the pharmacy guild, and apparently it is illegal to start a business without joining the guild. The other tried to start a bed & breakfast business, but the 'breakfast' part was closed down indefinitely when the food safety inspection found he didn't have the right license for a Sandwichtoaster. Apparently there are different regulations for serving a hot breakfast.
Guilds used to rule all professions in the middle ages and a lot of the regulations are sadly derived from that. This means you can't do certain things without the proper certifications (e.g. if you're a licensed car mechanic or "KFZ-Mechatroniker" that doesn't mean you're also allowed to do paint jobs because for that you'd need to be a licensed "Lackierer").
Likewise, pharmacies and pharmaceuticals in general are heavily regulated, especially with regard to prescription drugs. I think online pharmacies only became legal quite recently (previously most of them operated out of other EU countries, effectively creating a grey market with all the problems that entails for the customers).
What killed your friend's B & B idea was likely the strict requirements for food safety. It's practically impossible to use private kitchens to produce commercial food products and commercial kitchens have to conform to various rules (plus the employees working in them have to obtain the necessary certificates). IMO this is a good thing, but it can of course make easy things (like serving a breakfast in a single bedroom B & B) very difficult.
The huge difference between the US and Germany is that in Germany suing for damages results in compensations that are a fraction of what you see in the US. But at the same time companies are more likely to run into trouble with the authorities before they can harm you and even if you end up with permanent injuries the public healthcare covers them in most cases -- i.e. you're less likely to be harmed and the economic damage of that harm is likely considerably smaller.
But as an employer I have to say some of the regulations, laws and restrictions can be incredibly tedious and annoying. Especially if you're running a very small business.
Yea. My impression is (too), that the regulations in Germany are much more harmful to smaller companies than to big corporations. As big corporation, you basically can do very, very much, without being penalized much. In Germany, you always can say, that health costs are covered by the public health insurance. So, it is common, that compensations are small fractures of that which is paid in the US or even no compensations are made.
My feeling is, that German judges are much more reluctant to rule against corporations, as long as their fault can not be proven 110% -- for common people on the other hand, 80% prove are enough most of the time (I remember, that not long ago a young girl was convicted for computer fraud, just because Siemens said, that the 4 digit PIN-system for EC cards was 100% secure -- something we soon later found out, was never true!).
I live in germany and I am willing to be independent in the mid-term (~ 2-4 years), but I have major doubts about doing it here...
Here a link from a German organization of self-employed people that informs about the current situation and what is planned (it is planned to worsen the situation):
(sorry, only in German)
The big corporations, of course, which really use different models to betray the social system and their employed people, they have the lawyers and the tricks to come away with it. And again, they are the reason for this hunt ... because they are searching for ways to cut costs -- the state tries to close the holes that make such things possible -- but currently the only people they hurt, are those that are innocent, because the big corporations are always ahead of the game. And additionally I am not sure, if the politicians are really willing to hurt the real big players, because those have so much power -- so they merely show "actionism" and make laws that are ineffective or even hurt innocent people.
At the end (if by intention or just stupidity), they hurt the country ... but we Germans still vote for those people!
One fiscal year can be very short in the IT sector. In some cases, you need halve a year to get to know the complete topic.
According to the link I have given, at least in Germany the situation is now such, that even when you have more than one customer in a year, you can be accused to be "Scheinselbstaendig". The offices just search for evidence that you might be, but not for evidence that you are not. One such evidence for "Scheinselbstaendigkeit" can be for example small investment needs ... something you typically have in the IT sector as freelancer ...
It seems that the new law in preparation shall codify this practice.
But of course, when the situation is better e.g. in the Netherlands, it could be worthwhile to work there. But (since I already thought about that possibility) would it also be possible to do so without moving there and still earn the benefits?
>I guess they think typical business is like Google or Amazon or something.
I guess, that is all they want -- and it very likely could be, that this is all they will get, when they are not stopping this. The EU is about to kill inventions in the online business. With this kind of regulations, the EU will become a dessert with the Amazon's and Googles ruling over it.
But I think, many big systems tend to go in this direction: The dinosaur corporations are going to win, because after the day, they can change the rules to their favor and the small businesses are going downhill, because they are to small to be recognized -- but those are those that innovate. And remember: Google and Amazon once also started small, but those where the days, where the focus of the big players where mostly elsewhere.
Would this fall under regulatory capture? I'm not sure to what extent existing international businesses worked to get this established.
Regulatory capture is almost always given some reason behind it. As such when determining if something was regulatory capture, the stated reasoning behind it is ignored, which is why I was asking to what extent did multinational organizations influence this decision.
The dynamics are different in the decision making processes in the EU. None of the commissioners are elected, they don't have campaign funds to worry about, so there is no legal veneer for corporate 'lobbying' as you would call it. I can't tell you for sure that it doesn't happen, but it can't happen out in the open as it would be considered corruption, and illegal.
The problem instead is that the commissioners are put forward by the (elected) governments of member states, so there is always the danger of them either deliberately or unwittingly favoring their national interests, and it makes them potentially vulnerable to domestic political pressure.
It is just as difficult to see why the US population would support laws that favor massive companies at the cost of the general populace but they still do. Large companies have no nationality in the realm of politics.
(disclaimer, I am a happy FastSpring customer in the US, but have no other relationship with them)
I've had maybe one or two chargebacks that made it past their filter in the ~three years I've been with them, and I don't remember having to pay any extra fees for it.
It sounds like a part of OPs issue was not the "cost" so much as trying to do to much himself, which ended up being costly.
I love Fastspring but they're not the only game in town. I used to use Kagi, and Avangate & Cleverbridge are two other companies I've heard of. There's lots of them out there.
Yep, VOES was put in place in 2003 and that was a simplification, before that businesses were supposed to register themselves with each country's tax office and fill VAT everywhere. For non-EU businesses VATMOSS mostly updates the scheme: register yourself in any member state and use their MOSS portal as a non-EU business, the tax office is supposed to redistribute VAT based on your fillings.
The business also has the option to forego MOSS/VOES and register itself in each country of course.
That doesn't help you if you're in an EU country, of course.
Then, when you've proven your product, and got substantial sales, you can write your own. Maybe.
The author of the article spent weeks and thousands of euros to implement a payment system. And yet he had only a handful of customers.
Seems like most of his time was spent dealing with tax issues, which you'd have to do regardless of how money is actually transferred.
I meant that you should use a service last FastSpring or Avangate initially, which require no coding, and completely take care of VAT.
I am definitely not interested in hand-coding a solution.
I use them together with Stripe as my gateway, it generates proper invoices and applies the rate of the buyer's country unless a valid VAT number has been provided. They also provide a stripe-like js library so that the credit-card number doesn't go through my server.
With regard to VAT MOSS report, they do most of the checks, I only wrote a little ETL script using http://www.kiba-etl.org/ to create a break-down of the related amounts for each quarter and each country, which I then submit manually to the VAT MOSS French website.
So in my case, this is fully automated, and I'm pretty happy with this :-)
Feel free to email me if you have questions.
1. Generate different PayPal buttons for different countries (depending on IP). The country of the IP is included in the receipt. Currently I only have Sweden and "other".
2. For other countries, I'll manually ask the user to confirm the transaction (the intention is to make it count as a manual transaction, so I can simply use 25% VAT of my country). If the user doesn't respond I'll have to issue a refund.
Foreign users are _very_ uncommon in my case, so it works for me (my software is specific to my country anyway). I'm not even VATMOSS registered, only VAT registered.
Following the bliss increases skill-sets, creates necessary connections between persons, and gives the bliss-seeker an out. Out is good.
The bliss is not the means to an end. The bliss is self serving and self improving, while also finding an escape from the daily grind and its deleterious effects.
Follow your bliss, by all means. But, at the same time, realize that it's not the end goal. You're not learning programming to make money. You're learning programming because you enjoy it, and or it increases your skill-sets.
Also, programming isn't bliss. Programming is an addiction. It's a sometime beneficial addiction, but an addiction nonetheless. Something to consider.
Programming can be bliss, at least seeing the results. I mean, why else would anybody program? Just for the money?
Considering the pay, absolutely!
Working with software, it is such a toll on the mind and the body, that doing it just for the money seems really pointless at least for me.
But I understand that this realization may come through only going through enough work that is not really fulfilling us inside on a deep level.
On a superficial level programming can be good just to gather resources, but is this really the best we can do? I mean, what if Elon Musk, Nikolai Tesla, Newton or other brightest minds would just worked for money ? Would we have the inventions we have today ? This is my point I want to remind people everyday.
I have worked for 5 years (3 of those fulltime, and so that I have always managed) on a project (http://GeoKone.NET and now http://Geometrify.net) that is the product of my pure love, and at times it has been difficult, yes, eaten a lot of porridge during those days, but the Universe has a way of supporting those who really want to help others, and to provide something to support others in their quest too!
But you have to give back something too in order for it to work. I think this is also a big problem in our society right now, not giving back, but just gathering resources for selfish uses, like many big companies do.
This is why I am reminding to really think about what we are putting our energy into.
I'm also sorry that I haven't sent the emails that probably still sit in my drafts folder, because I think that the JSBin genre of software development tools has a very bright future - and I encourage you to not give up.
For now, is it at all possible to just send you $100 via paypal?
If they become worth charging for then someone can buy the rights from me and run it. Yeah they'll take the lion's share, but also all that hassle and I can still have credit for having created the thing in the first place. This is assuming that whatever project I'm talking about isn't released F/OSS of course, at which point if there is any sort of demand someone will already be hosting an instance or few.
If the costs of running one of the projects gets higher than pocket money and no one else wants to run it? It either stops taking new users or is otherwise rate limited, or gets turned off completely, or in the case of a F/OSS project my instances become "friends and family only" and others can host their own.
My side projects are just that: personal time projects, either just playthings or intended to grow my experience in something. They are not second jobs and I wouldn't want them to become so.
Similarly I'll be careful not to include any features that can send mail or SMS, or call other sites, in a publicly addressable service that isn't locked to F&F-only. I don't want the faf of accidentally becoming a spam source due to a silly bug in my code or some support library I happen to be using.
Sellers of Amazon DevPay applications must be able to do business in the
United States. Funds earned through the sale of Amazon DevPay applications
can only be withdrawn to U.S. bank accounts.
Q: How are taxes handled?
Amazon DevPay does not provide tax collection services for you. You are
responsible for paying the appropriate taxes (local, state, federal,
etc.) as applicable.
"Amazon DevPay removes the pain of having to create or manage your own order pipeline or billing system, which is traditionally a challenge for online subscription services or applications running on demand."
Monetizing foss projects is hard. It's funny... at this very moment, in another corner of Github, there are people fighting against ads being introduced in Flyspray, a self-hostable gpl issue tracker. There's good discussion in the commit and it's a perfect lesson in how not to monetize FOSS projects.
I thought it was relevant so I submitted the details here: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=10235858
Thanks for sharing!
Could you require the first payment to be for say three months upfront, and rolling monthly after that?
Or discount quarterly billing and hike the rolling monthly above the threshold?
Yah, I know the trend is to do a bunch of little micro payments, but its not like you can't do the math for them an say "$6 a month" then when they go to order it, limit the minimum number of months in order to increase the total.
Everything < 50€ / $50 / £40 will hardly trigger any security measures.
Kudos to companies that can survive past monstrosities like VAT and VATMOSS.
Out of curiosity, how is VAT enforced for a non-EU seller and an EU buyer? Let's say my business was registered in the Cayman islands for example.
A question I don't know the answer to.
You'll have to charge VAT as normal, before the price is converted into bitcoin.
I could see the location information being supplied using a Bitcoin service provider (Coinbase?), but whether it is accepted as "proof," is questionable.
I love Bitcoin and use it a lot, but the truth is, this likely wouldn't do much for jsbin.
Well that hit home pretty hard, I think I've made the same mistake with my project.
Although the great reviews and personal "thank you"'s are great, as the author said, they don't pay the bills.
This is so wrong. Business owners, on average, have little to no information or power to deal with this. The only agencies that have ultimate ability to deal with fraud are the card issuers and banks. IIRC, it was Bruce Schneier who first clearly articulated this for me. By placing all fraud risk on the issuers, they're fully incentivized to fix the problem as well as possible.
But instead when small (or even large) business customers are subjected to ridiculous fraud charges as described in Remy's article, fraud is transformed into a kind of externalized cost imposed by these same issuers.
Unfortunately for Remy Sharp, he built a fraud enabling system that doubled as a pastebin, and the financial system responded as appropriate for an open fraud portal. It's a bit like calling foul when email gateways start mistrusting your server because it's a proven open-relay node for spam. Not fair, but the system has to protect itself and its users.
Also, paypal's refund fee is just $0.30. (Not sure if it costs any more for a chargeback).
Did I get lucky with being one of the early Apps for Your Domain users? We don't pay a bean for our company's Gmail accounts but seem to get most of the features (no ads, custom domain, etc).
Frankly, as a European I don't find the paid version worth the price tag (which can be hefty if you have a lot of freelancers working for you). Yes, it's Google Apps, so if you use the entire stack you can avoid the cost of a lot of additional services, but at the same time that means you need to be okay with storing all your confidential data with Google.
But for me the deal-breaker was the way e-mail accounts work when using the same Google Apps for Business account with multiple domains. At least when I evaluated it, there was no way to define aliases per-domain. So if you add both domain-a.example and domain-b.example and want email@example.com to go to a different person than firstname.lastname@example.org -- no dice. Also if you want to be able to receive e-mails on email@example.com but not firstname.lastname@example.org, again: not a chance. I'm not sure whether this has changed since then, but this is why I took my business to Fastmail and other isolated services.
With it being a new rule, there was very little info about the penalties for not complying. The penalties for normal UK VAT are only proportional to revenue, so not much risk for small companies getting it wrong. It wasn't clear that this was true for VATMOSS and so there was fear amongst even tiny company of big penalties for getting it wrong.
We went through the same worries last Nov/Dev, but were lucky that our billing provider dealt with adding in all the required logic. (Shout out to Recurly!)
I've heard a few stories about small businesses suddenly getting demands for thousands of pounds (etc) after only a handful of transactions.
But what I suspect will happen is that HMRC will realise that chasing and fining microbusinesses for non-compliance is a complete waste of everyone's time. They won't bother unless businesses are being obviously, blatantly fraudulent - and considering how short-staffed they are, perhaps not even then.
It'll be similar to the EU's legislation about cookie notices, which created a big initial compliance explosion, but now seems to be being quietly forgotten.
The UK is lobbying hard to set a minimum threshold for VATMOSS. It will take a few years for the idiot lawyers in Brussels to catch up, but even though some member states seem to think VATMOSS is a good thing, common sense and experience will prove that it's utterly unworkable and destructive in its current form.
Germany and one or two others have also sent deficiency notices to UK sellers. The UK tax authorities have complained about that, saying one of the main points of the VATMOSS system was that sellers would only have to deal directly with the tax authorities in their country. If Germany, for example, thinks a UK seller underpaid for VAT on German customers, the UK's understanding was that Germany was supposed to bring that up with the UK tax authorities, and they would be the ones to get it straightened out.
Without offering any recommendation for them, here are two I've investigated:
Full doc: https://docs.recurly.com/eu-vat-2015#when_to_tax_require_two...
The main drawback is customers think they need a PayPal account and nobody wants to open one - for good reason. The payment page has a dark pattern that makes it look like you have to sign up to pay by credit card.
For searchcode I have not implemented paid accounts though I have considered it for a while. This post pretty much confirms for me that it would be a bad idea. searchcode also gets a lot of abuse, particularly to the API's (millions of requests) and though hot-links. I think the worst part for me though is the constant takedown notices. Most are nicely worded emails, but quite a few have been very nasty threatening legal demands.
I haven't lost my love for my side project yet and the ad's that are running at least cover hosting costs. Really looking forward to the next part in the tale.
I won't say the thing is bad, but the business behind it is bad. Got to have a viable targeted userbase as the core, and handle any new userbase as they come in.
ex. by making the free version (gradually) worse until you see revenue.
- non pro user pastebins last 5mins, 5 views etc
- non pro users can post 1 pastebin per day (cookies, IP)
- non pro user pastebins are max x characters long.
- you get the idea
- there are clever people on this forum who will come up with good ideas to help you out.
- do everything BUT show ads, PLEASE. Internet's sole purpose is almost all that already.
Hope you got my point. The above are only meant as an example.
Main idea is to cripple* the free tier enough to push a chunk of current users from free into pro. Some will leave but you don't want them anyway (they will never pay).
* how exactly cripple? This is the product design / product-market-fit stage work that was skipped when building jsbin.com
These would be malicious users. Both words are significant here. People using the service just to check credit cards are malicious, but not users. Free users are users but not malicious.
I think for most services, the set of actual malicious users—people who do want to use the service for its intended purpose, but don't want to support it—is fairly small.
I would never sell a product to devs. They don't know how to value their time. Which is odd considering we're in the business of automating other processes.
This sounds a lot like the arguments piracy apologists use. A lot like the arguments people looking for free web design use. I am very skeptical whenever anyone asks for anything to them for free now because it will somehow (nebulously) come back to me later in a good way.
I have never heard of it happening, but theoretically any member state in which you sold can start a criminal trial against the responsible persons, making travel to Europe a bit more complicated.