When I previously said "bait n switch" I wasn't referring to the current issue.
I know that wasn't the nefarious plan so I even hate to clarify it, but here goes: I meant in the big picture like, "I know gio couldn't be a success if I start out with huge charge$$$, so I'll get it started by offering a bunch of free groups to gain a foothold/share then start building into paid groups once the platform is out there. But I'm keeping that plan in my vest for now."
I know that isn't the history of it.
But the alternative (poor business plan or poor projections?) is a definite issue here. I don't mean that in a criticism sense -- plenty of good folks have grand schemes to make a profitable business (better than sliced bread) and end up crashing. Some don't crash.
But then what? Bread isn't an issue because we can always go buy a loaf. But it isn't exactly a pc of cake to switch/migrate groups when they fail. It's a royal PITA, at least for our group with members who barely hang on without jumping ship to a FB group or wherever. All I can say is, as in our instance where it would have been nearly a grand a yr for 1600 members (of which two dozen are active,) there is NO WAY the owner would have given gio a first-look, no less a second-look.
Again, I don't see how membership is the driver of costs. It's activity (storage/bandwidth) not the raw number of users -- unless I am missing something. What I am saying is that the price platform/structure needs to consider what actually costs you money to provide the service, not something arbitrary like 400 vs 500 members. That was what moved our owner to migrate to the premium level (storage GBs, not how many members we have.)
Maybe the reality is that FREE anything, just isn't a good business model for gio because it costs a lot (in infrastructure) that you just cannot support??
What would be your breakeven if you did away with all free? Would it save enough money in infrastructure and operating costs to make gio profitable so that you can take a vacation (at least one day a year :-) )
Thx for your service to all of us!