Business Pressures

  • Steve Jones - SSC Editor

    SSC Guru

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    Comments posted to this topic are about the item Business Pressures

  • Robert Sterbal

    SSChampion

    Points: 10967

    If you are looking for feedback on how your are doing from users perspective, I've rarely been as impressed with any source of information as I have been with SSC.

    Great job, Steve. Thank you.

    412-977-3526 call/text

  • GoofyGuy

    SSCertifiable

    Points: 6029

    I do hope GitHub and many of the low cost services are able to transition and survive as they mature as businesses. Even if many of them can't continue to provide the same services for free, I hope customers see enough value to pay for some level of service, and the sites survive.

    Well, perhaps I sound like Captain Obvious, but it does seem to me there is a new business model at work here ... basic products and services are offered for free, whilst the money is being made from customers wanting more than basic: consulting, professional services, premium support, or whatever it may be called.

  • Steve Jones - SSC Editor

    SSC Guru

    Points: 715889

    Thanks, appreciate the note that we're doing a good job.

  • Steve Jones - SSC Editor

    SSC Guru

    Points: 715889

    GoofyGuy (8/12/2015)


    I do hope GitHub and many of the low cost services are able to transition and survive as they mature as businesses. Even if many of them can't continue to provide the same services for free, I hope customers see enough value to pay for some level of service, and the sites survive.

    Well, perhaps I sound like Captain Obvious, but it does seem to me there is a new business model at work here ... basic products and services are offered for free, whilst the money is being made from customers wanting more than basic: consulting, professional services, premium support, or whatever it may be called.

    This is how Github and some others operate. There are upcharges for additional services. For example, to have private code, Github charges. For more space, Dropbox and Evernote charge. This is called a "freemium" model.

    However the revenue generation isn't necessarily what you might get with a straight charge model. What's disconcerting is some companies will abandon the free model in favor of a higher priced subscription. They may have lower customer numbers, but higher revenue. However the side that I don't like is revenue becomes a driving force and companies will shut down if they don't make enough. not that they don't make money, but they'll abandon customers and move on to something that makes them more.

    That's fine. That's business, but it does start to dampen the trust of customers in the market. At least that's my opinion.

    Note I don't want that changed, but I was noting that there are business pressures in starting and running a company that can interfere with the mission that founded the enterprise.

  • jckfla

    SSChasing Mays

    Points: 632

    There's also the data aggregation business that comes along with it. That in itself has become a huge revenue stream for the biggest of the sites on the internet.

    I don't recall the terms of service and privacy policy from here specifically (since I read about half a dozen a day), but there are many sites that have a clause in their user agreement that they will only trade with their "partners" or "sister companies" or "affiliates".

    Some sites will share the information you provide with these "partners", i.e.- trade. They agree not to sell your data to third parties, but that isn't legally considered their "partners". After the partner gets your data, who knows what happens to it. That partner has no agreement with you as to who they will or won't give the data.

    I worked in data aggregation, and I've seen first-hand how it works. Even the dark side of it that includes how business deals get done and data gets "acquired".

    That data can make a LOT of revenue. When you can provide someone's name, email, location (not even physical address is necessary), companies can use that to "beef up" (essentially improve the quality) of their data and sell it as "fresh" to people looking for the latest data.

    It can potentially make a company $10ks to $1Ms per month/quarter of revenue depending on their customer/user base.

    Like I said, I don't remember what the policy here states and how the legalese is written. I read so many all the time when having to sign up for sites. I keep over a dozen spam email accounts just to use for that at home, and I use my work email for a lot of professional sites for work so that I don't have to get the spam at home. Let the work email admin worry about blocking spam.

    I do have to say though. I receive no spam at my work email after signing up for SQLServerCentral (and another site I found here where I attended some online education/seminars). So, kudos to you guys for that.

    If you saw a couple of my home emails and the volume of spam they get, you'd understand why I so appreciate my work email not getting pounded with spam.

    I do understand tho the balance that has to be maintained in making sure you remain viable both professionally and fiscally. It's not easy by any means.

  • Steve Jones - SSC Editor

    SSC Guru

    Points: 715889

    jckfla (8/13/2015)


    I do have to say though. I receive no spam at my work email after signing up for SQLServerCentral (and another site I found here where I attended some online education/seminars). So, kudos to you guys for that.

    We're really careful about that. I (and the founders) made a decision early on to not take money to sell data. We turned down lots of money over the years. Redgate has continued to stick to that policy. We're really careful even about our own marketing.

  • GoofyGuy

    SSCertifiable

    Points: 6029

    What's disconcerting is some companies will abandon the free model in favor of a higher priced subscription ...

    That's fine. That's business, but it does start to dampen the trust of customers in the market. At least that's my opinion.

    I think you're right, Steve. Some years ago, our shop began using a free cloud-based source code repository, only to learn a month ago the hosting company's business model had changed. (Ka-ching!)

  • Robert Sterbal

    SSChampion

    Points: 10967

    SugarSync changed from a freemium to a free trial model.

    I moved my data

    412-977-3526 call/text

  • GoofyGuy

    SSCertifiable

    Points: 6029

    robert.sterbal 56890 (8/13/2015)


    SugarSync changed from a freemium to a free trial model.

    I moved my data

    Great, thanks for the info, Robert!

  • jckfla

    SSChasing Mays

    Points: 632

    We're really careful about that. I (and the founders) made a decision early on to not take money to sell data. We turned down lots of money over the years. Redgate has continued to stick to that policy. We're really careful even about our own marketing.

    That is really awesome, and much appreciated.

    Can't tell you how much it pains me, because I have actually had places I paid for service and was a customer spending significant sums. And then, my info got published by them. I knew it was them because I used a different layout of my name and a new email I'd just setup for spam catching.

    I understand it somewhat if I get a free service, and a company needs to run banner ads to make money to maintain operations. Totally makes sense.

    But to give my info out to others whom those companies don't require to legally agree to comply with the terms set forth between the original parties...to me qualifies as being professionally irresponsible to your clients who trust you to have at least a modicum of professionalism, trustworthiness, and discretion with your personal data.

    Again, I highly respect your policies. And note that knowing that information now, I will open up my ad blocker on your site when I get home. I don't look from there much...but when I do, I want you to get the ad hits for revenue knowing that your site doesn't sell my info.

    Your respect for my privacy and discretion in handling my personal data deserves that much.

  • Robert Sterbal

    SSChampion

    Points: 10967

    By the way, until I have a legal right to remove my data, all the other rights and concerns aren't very useful.

    412-977-3526 call/text

  • Matt Miller (4)

    SSC Guru

    Points: 124184

    GoofyGuy (8/13/2015)


    What's disconcerting is some companies will abandon the free model in favor of a higher priced subscription ...

    That's fine. That's business, but it does start to dampen the trust of customers in the market. At least that's my opinion.

    I think you're right, Steve. Some years ago, our shop began using a free cloud-based source code repository, only to learn a month ago the hosting company's business model had changed. (Ka-ching!)

    Perhaps it's a symptom of the new freemium mentality, but I can hardly fault someone who stops giving me something "for free" when the "for free" would end up sinking their business. Business models change all of the time, and most of the time they're changing because the company HAS TO. You could gamble that giving away 2GB of storage for free will engender enough revenue through ads to cover the cost, but if your ad revenue doesn't pan out, you have to change. Some organizations might be large enough to soak up large losses for this stuff, but most just flat cannot.

    And by the way - I find it interesting that we're now using the term "customer" for folks who aren't actually paying for service. A couple of years back we used to call those "prospects".

    ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Your lack of planning does not constitute an emergency on my part...unless you're my manager...or a director and above...or a really loud-spoken end-user..All right - what was my emergency again?

  • GoofyGuy

    SSCertifiable

    Points: 6029

    I find it interesting that we're now using the term "customer" for folks who aren't actually paying for service. A couple of years back we used to call those "prospects".

    Perhaps we're looking at one of the innumerable difference between UK and US English, but 'customer' has at its root 'custom' - which, in the UK at least, means having regular (as in 'customary') dealings with a shop or a service. So 'customer', for me, is an appropriate term even for those regularly using a service - free or not.

  • jckfla

    SSChasing Mays

    Points: 632

    GoofyGuy (8/13/2015)


    I find it interesting that we're now using the term "customer" for folks who aren't actually paying for service. A couple of years back we used to call those "prospects".

    Perhaps we're looking at one of the innumerable difference between UK and US English, but 'customer' has at its root 'custom' - which, in the UK at least, means having regular (as in 'customary') dealings with a shop or a service. So 'customer', for me, is an appropriate term even for those regularly using a service - free or not.

    Yeah. We used to call people we wrote software for inside the big corporations "customers" too when working on projects. I always thought it was weird calling co-workers from another department customers lol

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