On Tue, Jan 5, 2021 at 01:06 AM, Jeremy H wrote:
Groups.io, Inc's service - providing the underlying system - is, of itself, of no end value: it only becomes valuable because people (group owners) are prepared to run groups,I don't necessarily disagree with that. The value of the various aspects of what Groups.io offers will vary depending upon how people interact with the service provided. For email only users, the Groups.io website may be irrelevant for example.
in summary, the question for Mark is whether he is in a B2B (to business) or B2C (to consumer) market? (And whether he expects group owners to be 'businesses' or 'consumers'?)I think it goes beyond that and also depends upon Mark's long term ambitions for Groups.io. Does he want to keep it going enough to make a living from it as long as possible and then maybe let it fade away or does he want to build it up and eventually sell it off so he can retire? Either way, it costs money to run and costs need to be covered.
Mark has ruled out adverting but that along with no tracking cookies are marketable features and money can be made from that. Have a trial period by all means but after that, people should pay for the level of service they use.
The planned pricing structure change from 18-Jan does mean there is a big step from Basic (I'll avoid the 'F' word) to Premium group. Some level of intermediate group may be preferable and I would also look at splitting the Collaboration Suite. There are currently 7 features in that (Polls, Calendar, Chat, Database, Photos, Files & Wiki) so perhaps split them into two sets with one of the more popular features in the set attached to Premium groups to entice people to upgrade. A more flexible approach may be to price each of the features separately to allow a fully customisable set with the most popular features attracting a higher price. Of course, if most users are email only, this may have little impact.
At the end of the day, I believe that group owners are those that should be liable to pay for their groups. If an owner has created a group for others (because they have the technical skills to do that) and doesn't want to be on the hook for the cost then a simple solution would be to promote someone else to owner and demote themselves to a Member or a Moderator. There are very good cases for Groups.io to waive the cost of certain groups such as GMF and Group_Help as they provide a service to others and are cost effective in terms of reducing the number of support queries raised directly.