One problem I see often is to do with pricing. More specifically, offering something for free or very low price and then later trying to charge people more. Here are a few recent examples…
- On Android, once an application is offered free of charge it must remain free forever for customers who have downloaded it.
- At a recent MoMo London on Mobile Money, there was mention of how initial tariffs/charges restricted how a service was able to evolve. Setting a low tariff set consumer expectations on pricing and increasing prices, to introduce new business partners (who also wanted a revenue share), was prohibitive.
- There’s currently consternation that Skype will start charging for Skype to Skype 3G calls as of the start of 2011.
We are currently living in an age where many people expect things for free or very low cost. Maybe the companies that will succeed in the future will increasingly be those that can discover or invent new business models that seem to offer things for low cost or free but make money another way (like Google).