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While a good article, i disagree with his statement that by providing a free service, you are implying it does not have any value. I think the free service model is much more deeper than this comment suggests.



It is a very common result in cognitive decision-making studies that people don't value what they don't pay for. Whether or not you think the issue is more complex, the fact of it is very well established: in general, absent other measures of utility, price signals are used by purchasers in their initial valuation of a commodity. It's a limit example of the anchoring bias, a cognitive effect to which most humans are ridiculously susceptible.

There is a flow-on effect in the way consumers interact with a service provider, too: per account, you'll receive more complaints from free users than paying ones; vice-versa, more constructive suggestions from paying users than non-paying users. This result is explained as a choice-supportive response [look it up; "the tendency to retroactively ascribe more positive attributes to a choice invested into"], since the opposite behaviour would be a source of cognitive dissonance. It can be a source of frustration to paying users that their suggestions/requests are not then more highly valued by the service provider.


>>you'll receive more complaints from free users than paying ones; vice-versa, more constructive suggestions from paying users than non-paying users

This is SOOOOOO true! It's because monetary value comes with commitment!


I was taken aback too when I read that (his implication that "free"="cheap"), but (in my opinion) there is some truth to it.

If I pay for a product, I will use it to the fullest bang of my buck (example: we go around our house making sure we fill up our trash can on trash day). If I get a product for free, the engagement level, my interest, my commitment...it's not on par (example: trying an app in the app store that's free and deleting it because there's a bug, not wanting for a new release).




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