From The Audacity of Getting Paid by Christopher Bowns
First, making money is easy: you must have the sheer audacity to charge for a product. Pinboard.in turned profitable in week one. Minecraft’s early sales helped bootstrap its development, and the developer has staffed up and found office space in the past six months to work on new features and new games.
Second, making money from ads is hard. The above numbers are good, but they’re from two of the biggest social networking sites in the last eight years. Most sites won’t make anywhere near that, and many more won’t even be ramen-profitable.
The third lesson is for you, the user: if you use a product and don’t pay for it, you’re living on borrowed time. The company will eventually ask you for money, sell your eyes to an ad company, or disappear. Start paying for services even when it doesn’t get you anything. The company can focus on building their product up, not monetizing it after the fact, and it’ll likely be around for more than just the few months that VCs were willing to shovel cash into the company’s basement incinerator in the name of “growth”.
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