Can I still think like a user?

Trying to think like a user, when I’m fully aware of the $ figures behind the scenes, has to be the most difficult thing I’ve done so far on SoundOfSpace.com. But as a result of doing that I’ve just changed the account model to one that I would much prefer as a user… its just more risky $ wise. Let me explain.

I do some quick calculations, and determine that I need to charge X amount for X features.

Then I cast my head into a “user” and ask myself … “would I use this service if I was charged that much?”. If the answer is ‘no’ then I have to ask myself “well, what would I pay for?”.

This is particularly difficult for me, because I’m cheap. I just dont like paying for Internet services. So whenever I ask myself if I would pay for a certain service …. my answer is often ‘no’. There are actually very few internet services I pay for. I think there’s 3.

As a user (with a free account), having only my last 3 uploads visible just doesn’t work for me. Actually, the whole concept of paying for ‘visibility’ doesn’t work. Why bother to upload stuff if it will just drop off the radar once I get to my 4th upload. Its a bit of a lock-in … I feel wedged. Feels like I’m being conned into being up-sold a premium account just to avoid the annoying things in the free account.

Doesn’t work. So I’ve changed it.

Now, when you create a new account you are allowed 3 uploads in the first month. Then you are allowed 1 upload every month. Nothing will ever drop off the site. If you have fulfilled your quota for that month … dont worry, just wait and you will be able to upload more.

This is really just a way to slow down free uploads (which costs the site money) … but without introducing negative experiences (like when one of your tracks drops off the site).

It is also a way to cater for 90% of the site’s users (who will really only ever need to upload once a month) … without having any degraded performance. It also removes the uncomfortable up-sell to premium services.

I think the up-sell to premium services must be a pull, not a push. In other words, the users should feel excited to go to premium services, rather than pushed there to avoid some negative experience with the free accounts.

I wont talk about the dollars … but … this strategy is more risky, because if no one upgrades to premium services then my costs will slowly go up and up.

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