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On the flip side, it was users demanding free service (under which I include gracious data export) that killed the product in the first place.

I hope we find a way to pay for this stuff more than I hope getting it free becomes standard.

Which is yet another example that the rise of free beer tools made the enterprise developers the only valued ones as customers.

What was “the product”? They got a ton of attention initially but it really felt like that was squandered by the poorly defined message about what you were paying for — especially when many proponents reacted to early “it's like Twitter but open” stories by saying they were wrong and it was something else entirely, possibly only for developers.

The primary memory which I have of that era are people not wanting to pay for something which wasn't clearly useful, shrugging, and going back to Twitter where most other people were. By the time app.net finally launched the free tier the self-inflicted damage was already fatal.

You're absolutely right.

The moment they allowed free accounts was the start of the end. The spam and the noise came. All the things we were trying to avoid. But they just wanted beefier numbers to throw around.

I developed quite a few apps on the platform and made a few thousand in the process. It more than paid the fees back and was totally worth it.

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