[lug] Fedora *MEETS* KRUD comments wanted

Rob Nagler nagler at bivio.biz
Thu Sep 25 18:34:37 MDT 2003

Peter Hutnick writes:
> Mindshare. [snip]
> Install Base. [snip]
> Good Will. [snip]
> [snip]
> Surely they realize that this move will alienate some number of people. 
> The real question is whether the increase in license sales will out weigh
> the loss of the items above in what I am going to suddenly call the medium
> term.

Having gone from free to fee with one site (bivio.com), I can tell you
it's exactly these things that make it work.  There are always people
who will complain; it's the nature of being in business.  However, if
you have a solid Mindshare, a good Install Base, and lots of customer
Good Will, you aren't going to lose many customers by starting to
charge them.

I have 20+ servers signed up with RHN.  I'll stay with them for all of
the above reasons, and one other: durability.

One of the most frequently asked questions about bivio.com before we
went to a fee-based model was: How do you make money?  When we
switched from free to fee, that question was removed almost
instantaneously from our CRM system.  It became irrelevant, and the
customers who were skeptical, became less so.

$60/year for RHN is not gouging.  My cell phone costs more per month
than that.  RHN is continually innovating, and somebody has to pay for
that.  At $180/year, I'll maybe think about optimizing with autorpm,
but maybe not.  It's an insignificant cost in comparison my other
business expenses (rent, colo, people), and I'm much happier with
RH's service in comparison to, say, Microsoft or Oracle--two of the
biggest price gougers in the industry.


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