Ilya Lichtenstein on the Fear of Money:

Their fear is jus­ti­fied, because the sec­ond you start charg­ing for a prod­uct, all of the bub­bly bull­shit falls away. The mar­ket is cold, ratio­nal, and effec­tive. It doesn’t care about your lean startup meth­ods, your rock­star team, or your fawn­ing tech press. All of your assump­tions, vision, busi­ness plans and pitches are irrelevant.

You’ve either built some­thing worth pay­ing money for, or you haven’t.

What if a lit­tle site you love doesn’t have a busi­ness model? Yell at the devel­op­ers! Explain that you are tired of good projects fold­ing and are will­ing to pay cash American dol­lar to pre­vent that from hap­pen­ing. It doesn’t take pro­hib­i­tive per-user rev­enue to put a project in the black. It just requires a num­ber greater than zero.

maciej — Don’t Be A Free User.

Failing at a business model for news

There was hub­bub a cou­ple of days ago when Zite, the new per­son­al­ized mag­a­zine app for iPads, was sent a cease and desist let­ter by a who’s who of media com­pa­nies.

Techdirt pub­lished a strongly worded con­dem­na­tion, includ­ing this gem:

And, hon­estly, if cre­at­ing an app that makes it eas­ier to read your con­tent is a threat to your busi­ness, you’re doing busi­ness wrong. 1

Part of the prob­lem for the media com­pa­nies was that Zite was mak­ing con­tent read­able remov­ing ads and, thus, cut­ting off a rev­enue stream for the con­tent producers.

It’s too bad media com­pa­nies viewed this as a rea­son to send a cease and desist let­ter. Instead they could have read it for what it was: a state­ment that peo­ple hate the ads on news sites. It could have given media some data for improv­ing adver­tis­ing. Oh well, oppor­tu­nity lost.

News adver­tis­ing should take a hint from soft­ware devel­op­ers. Include ads that your users want enabled and will miss when they are gone.

Don’t think that pos­si­ble? Check out the response when Tweetie/Twitter for Mac dropped Fusion ads last year.

Notes:

  1. via @ryanpitts