April 11, 2006

Subscriptions and Solving Problems

I could charge subscriptions and whatnot for some of the things I do, but generally I have avoided them for a couple major reasons:

  • One off services are easy to add a ton of value without you having to dedicate tons of recurring mindshare to things you may eventually grow disinterested in.
  • I have though many subscription based services to be evil.

The reason for the second part there is two fold

first, many of the subscription based services I have used have gave me shitty service. I started typing this post on leeched WiFi from the neighbors because my Verizon DSL did not work for about 12 hours. No refunds of course, and I could bitch for 20 hours to get nothing out of them, but that is just how it is.

Also my cell phone...it amazing me that on the streets in NYC Sprint sometimes offered analog roam and sometimes had no service available. The same thing often happens in my house. I was talking to a friend the other day and used the land line to call him back and apologized. He asked if I was using Sprint. When my phone in NYC wasn't working the guy who was making my sandwitch in a deli asked "Sprint?"

The second part of my distaste for many subscription based models is that I think many of them aim to solve symptoms instead of problems. But then again markets just try to solve problems the way people want them to be solve, and many people are not willing to work for real change (thanks Andy for the chat). Many of those people who are getting ripped off are not really getting ripped off, many of them are getting exactly what they want.

If the world is to become more sustainable more business models are going to require recurring relationships and subscriptions, so I may as well get used to it and not hate the model.

The model isn't bad, just a few (or really many) soulless corporations exploit it.

Posted at April 11, 2006 5:31 AM

I understand where you're coming from - the subscription model rarely provides a good ROI from the educational standpoint.


As far as the "symptoms, not the problem" issue, can you ever truly teach someone how to think? Maybe, maybe not, but repeated exposure to your creativity may finally click in some people's minds that they don't have to follow mechanistic plans for building their biz.

Often people think Internet Marketing (because we disguise it with the computer-geeky acronym "SEO") is some formula. OK, so G uses a formula, but you know what I mean. Marketing is just meeting people's needs with computers, some charisma, and creativity. (hopefully a little soul too)

You may be one who could truly make it work. On the other hand, it may take you away from new and exciting stuff. Having "million dollar minutes" would lead me to think you may have time better spent.

So I guess what I'm saying is... never mind. ; )

Take it easy - Happy Easter! I remember you mentioning you're not much into the formal religion, but I wanted to extend an invitation to come to church with my wife and I. Virtually, of course. They stream the service online at www.seacoast.org

thanks for the cool comment Matt

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