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@sama I am about to launch a beta version of a service I find very useful in the food industry. I have spoken to a decent number of people during my customer development phase and everyone is excited about the service. However, I have not thought a lot about monetizing it. Right now I am just bootstrapping it and will release it as a free service. What is your take on free services and monetizing them?

It's ok as long as you have a plan to make money eventually (i.e. http://blog.samaltman.com/unit-economics)

However, why not charge on day 1? It sounds like something people should pay for. And charging always makes it clear if people really like your service or not.

Do you think charging on day 1 is typically the smarter route (e.g. to better validate the product, prove the unit economics, etc.)?

We've been struggling with the question of when to monetize since there are also some strong points in favor of waiting. Some of those include avoiding a local maximum by way of pigeonholing yourself early, making it easier to reach scale and get feedback from a broader market, etc.

We'd love to hear your thoughts on this.

edit: To clarify, we have two monetization strategies that we think are especially viable—the question is when should a startup pull the trigger on their monetization strategy.

> why not charge on day 1?

Some of the most successful companies, like Google, Facebook, Twitter, and Reddit, didn't charge on day 1.

This is a pretty common fallacy of an argument.

Some of the most successful companies, like HP, Microsoft, Apple, and Adobe, changed on day 1.

@sama thanks, I will have to give it some thought as to how to monetize it.

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